I have never skied in life.
When I imagine skiing, I imagine pristine snow capped slopes, with adept individuals moving graciously in between, at slow or rapid pace. They fall sometimes, but snow doesn't hurt, does it?
When I skied for the first time in my life, it was on water.
This water activity called jet skiing takes place on a motorized scooter-look-alike that moves at tremendous speeds on water bodies. One, two, three people can sit at a time atop this thing, while one person drives it. The number of bodies is directly proportional to its instability.
On a chilly windy morning in Lake Tahoe, I decided to go for it. To dampen my beginner's unsuspecting spirit, the jet ski rental owner tried scaring me. "It's cold you know - the water itself isn't that bad, but when you topple in the water, which obviously you will given the lack of expertise, the winds will chill you to the bones". He paused after this , for special effects.
I stared back at him.
During the long stare, I pondered.
I was here already, I had never done this thing before, I would never come this close to bringing myself to do it again , and once I manage to get over with it- I can boast about it for life!
Next I knew, I was renting the boat, the sun goggles and the wet suits from the owner.
Dressed and armed, I ventured out into the lake.
I am not a great driver. The closest I came to driving something resembling a jet ski, was a bicycle. My Indian bicycle didn't have those fancy gears. As I started out in the water, trepidation set in. I recalled "fun facts" I had read about Lake Tahoe. It was the second deepest lake in United States. This fact were not fun any more.
Wobbling away, and moving at snail speed, I headed out to the water. I was told to stay away from boats, humans, steamers, and coast. In plain terms stay deep and stay out. Turning the jet ski in the direction I wanted, almost made me topple! (They charge 50 bucks extra when you topple their jet ski)
My friend sitting behind, wanted more speed.I tried. For a whole one minute I moved at 5mph and stopped suddenly coz it was making me nervous! After spluttering for what-seemed-like-eternity, in the water, getting chilled and numb all over, I decided to head back. We had booked it for an hour - I felt I had gone way past it.
When we went back, I was told it had only been fifteen minutes!
My friend decided to take matters in his hands this time. Sitting behind felt much better. As we went out into the lake, much smoother, I appreciated the beauty of Lake Tahoe from such close quarters. I recalled movies I had seen of people astride on a jet ski. They looked so cool! Chattering in my teeth, wishing for the wind to stop, I felt extremely cold- a degree ahead of cool! This time the jet ski was actually moving and at much faster pace. I wasn't comfortable with speed, and I made my point clear.
Next I knew, my friend left me at the coast and went off to have some "real fun" all by himself. As I stood woebegone on the sand, I tried concentrating on the positives of my situation. I had been able to enjoy a whole 40 minutes of my one hour rental!
Standing on the beach, I was definite he was freezing in the water. I was definite he would have toppled. I was definite he would be back, any minute. He did come back, right when the hour was up; extremely exhilarated by his experience!
Jet skiing was the most memorable part of my journey to Lake Tahoe.The feeling of cutting through water on a jet ski was amazing. Taming nature in such adverse conditions, with such skill as mine, made me proud of myself!
I doubt I will do it again too soon.