Wednesday, July 21, 2010

World's Most Unathletic Person Tackles Extreme Sport!

My husband has a strong aversion to both sun and sand, but for some reason we take a lot of beach vacations. These trips usually revolve around some kind of activity, like scuba diving or kiteboarding.

If you’re not familiar, kiteboarding is a water sport in which the rider flies a gigantic kite that pulls them across the water on a tiny surfboard. Allow me to demonstrate…

Note: This picture is misleading in that it implies I am a skilled rider. In reality, my husband used his lightning fast reflexes to capture this shot during the two and a half seconds that I was standing.

So far, we’ve been on three kiteboarding trips (to North Carolina, Maui, and Key West). I always pull off at least one decent ride, and immediately afterward, I find myself fantasizing about becoming a kiteboarding instructor. Without fail, kiteboarding instructors are tan, happy, and seemingly without a care in the world. In contrast, my husband and I are pale, miserable, and usually trying to escape our real life. Sure, kiteboarding instructors don’t make a ton of money, but they’re living the sweet life. After one of our lessons, I watched the instructor join his family for a champagne picnic on the beach. It was a Tuesday. He was having more fun on a typical workday than I was having on vacation.

When I do pick up and move to Hawaii to begin my career as a kiteboarding instructor, I know exactly where I want to live: Lanikai beach on Oahu. It’s in a residential area with not a single hotel in sight. I’ve done a lot of traveling, but I’ve never come across such a breathtakingly beautiful beach. Even my husband is a fan. Look how much fun he's having!

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I can become a kiteboarding instructor, I will probably need to master the sport. Or at least stop crashing every few seconds.

Tiny problem #1: Kiteboarding is insanely difficult. This is not the kite you flew as a child. It has enough power to rip you entirely out of the water. Even getting the board on your feet is a challenge. You have to float on your back and secure your feet into the board’s footstraps while simultaneously flying the kite with one hand. Then, you have to dive the kite with just enough force to pull you into a standing position (too much force and you’ll hit the water face-first). Then you have to continue to fly the kite. In my experience, the sheer elation that comes from standing is abruptly followed by an unpleasant and disorienting crash as the kite changes course.

Tiny problem #2: I am not an athletic individual. It’s surprising, I know, because I’m built like a linebacker and wear a size twelve shoe (I have to special order my footwear and it arrives in a box labeled “For women who leave a larger footprint.”) Despite my sturdy physique, I don’t have an ounce of athletic skill or coordination. I played basketball for one year and was the only player in the league to go the entire season without scoring a single basket.

Tiny problem #3: My husband and I are super competitive, and kiteboarding trips inevitably deteriorate into jealousy and bitterness. Hence we need a few months between lessons to allow our marriage to recover.

Despite these minor complications, I think it’s about time we sign up for another trip. I'm looking at South Padre Island since we can drive there. Of course, I’m not sure how the Gulf Oil Crisis is affecting the Texas coastline. Just what I need... another obstacle.

No comments:

Post a Comment