In Spite or In Spite Of?
When I hear the words, "you can't", in my head I always think, "wanna make a bet I can't?" I've been raised to believe that I can do anything. When someone laughed at my plan to become super flexible after joining a kickboxing club, sure enough 6 months later I was able to do the splits (both ways). When a professor marked my fist paper a "C" saying that it was a perfectly respectable grade, I pulled off an "A" on the next paper. And when my first boyfriend ever said that I couldn't beat his record of laps back and forth under water in a backyard swimming pool, I smiled sweetly, told him to move aside and ended up doubling his measly record. He spent the rest of the night trying to beat mine...by the end of the night he was exhausted and completely humiliated (we didn't last much longer). I've never backed down from a challenge and I hope I never will.
Last summer, I wake boarded for the first time. I went with a couple of friends the first time. The guys kept telling me not to be upset, that I would most likely not make it up the first time. The one guy told me that he tried about 10 times his first time and never made it up on the board. I could feel the competitive nature of me begin to rise as I listened intently to their cautionary tales. There were a few things working against me that night. The biggest factor was that after two months of bed rest I had almost no muscle mass left and was the weakest I'd been since I was 12. The second factor was that the board and bindings were more suitable for a 6'0" man than a 5'2" girl and the third was that I'd only been snowboarding twice and that was almost 6 years ago. Whatever, I thought and jumped into the river. They threw me the towrope and I waited there in the water.
I gave them the thumbs up to start the engine. It took a couple seconds for the rope to become taught and then I could feel the pull of the boat. For what must have been only 5 seconds it felt like my arms were going to be pulled out of their sockets. I held on though, digging my heels back into the water. And then I was up. I WAS UP!!!
It only lasted for about 30 seconds because the boys hadn't explained what to do once I was up because they didn't think I would ever make it. When the boat circled around I looked at them smugly and said, "now that you know I can get up, could you tell what I'm supposed to do?"