It’s not that I don’t like water. I love water, especially chlorinated water. Most summer days you can find me swimming laps at the city pool (just look for the woman in the swim skirt that goes down to her ankles and it’s not because I don’t have a swimsuit perfect body. It’s because wearing a skirt that long increases my drag coefficient thus contributing to a better workout or at least that’s what I tell myself). What I have problem with is large bodies of water. Most especially ones that house other living creatures of the non homosapien variety.
Most of the blame for this comes from growing up in Texas – land of a thousand man made lakes and “ponds” (please note the quotation marks around ponds because in Texas speak a pond is usually a sludge holding pen make believing it’s an actual body of a water).
In fact, in the Lone Star state most of the lake water resembles a bad cup of coffee in a styrofoam cup that’s seen too much powdered dairy creamer. It’s not that I have a thing against splashing around in water that’s less than crystal clear. It’s that the color of the water acts a camouflage for my least favorite swimming buddy – the six-foot long, venomous, water moccasin that the Texas Park and Recreation folks kindly describe as “highly aggressive and defensive.”
In Texas you get taught two things at a an early age – that football rules and keep your eyes peeled for the water moccasin. It’s modus operandi is slithering up to you as you shove your foot in a water ski, float on a raft or worse wiggling up the side of a boat and doing a hop, skip and a shimmy to give your leg a little surprise loving. Yep, that happened in 1992 and I haven’t been in a Texas lake since.
When my family moved to Nevada and we had the gorgeous blue waters of Lake Tahoe at our backdoor I thought to myself here’s the lake for me. It’s perfection. Stunning doesn’t do it justice. It’s the supermodel of lakes – flawless.
I remember the first time we went as a family to the beach. It was Memorial Day weekend and I noticed that nobody was in the water. This seemed strange. Sure, a couple of kids had their toes in the lake, but nobody was swimming. Hmm, I thought maybe there’s some sort of lifeguard “water timeout” going on. Yet, there was no lifeguard. I even asked a woman sitting on the beach if it was okay to go into the water. She laughed and jeered, “Sure, if you can handle it.”
My first reaction was Good Lord, these West coast people are so dramatic. Seriously, “if you can handle it?” What does that even mean? Who can’t handle water? Are we at some sort of beach sit in? I bet half the people here are from California which totally explains this weird non water thing. Wait, can you not swim during a drought? Okay, that just doesn’t make any sense. Screw it, I’m over thinking all of this. I’m going in.
What that I dropped my sarong and ran into the water chanting, “Lake Tahoe you big, beautiful, bounty of H20 where have you been all my life” and then I dove underwater. Sweet Aqua Man, what had I done. At first, I couldn’t breathe. When I finally managed to get my head above water I released a scream so intense that it could probably have signaled aliens from the Circinus Galaxy. After the scream I began howling like I was the main course at an all you can eat brunch buffet and BBQ for bears.
I wanted to get out of water, but I couldn’t. My legs wouldn’t move. They felt like they were frozen solid. I was for all intents and purposes paralyzed because the water temperature was hovering at probably 33 degrees. Silly me, not to do what the locals call “snow melt math” to divine the lake temp. How was I, a Texas girl, to know that the Lake was “fed” from snow thaw in the mountains.
Finally, the water got a little warmer. I don’t know if it was because the sun came out or I lost bladder control (I’m going with sun), but I was able to make my way to the shore and begin the hypothermia triage necessary to get circulation back in my body. As all this was happening the “If you can handle it” woman gave me a smirk. I wanted to smirk her right back, but my face was still frozen and I couldn’t even so much as lift an eyebrow.”
Not even near death could dampen my love affair with Lake Tahoe. I just invested in a modified wet suit and knew not to breach the water until the Fourth of July. All was good until I entered the boat stage of my life and became a victim of the towable tube.
Why is getting dragged behind a boat exceeding 40 m.p.h.on what is essentially a cheap, inflatable rubber mattress be considered fun? It’s not fun. The human form was not made for this kind of abuse. Last time, I rode a tube I was clutching the nylon handles so tight I got carpel tunnel.
I’m not kidding when I tell you I had a friend who busted a breast implant due to a tubing beat down. And yes, this experience meets the qualifications for being a beat down. Does your body continually and with vigor get smacked as it flies up and down, repeatedly hitting with excessive force a rubber tube? Yes, yes and yes again. It’s 50 Shades of Gray – the Boating Edition.
For sure, there are tubes you can ride upright on. There’s even something that looks like a banana, where you can pretend all will end well because nothing bad can happen when you’re on a banana, right? You heard it here first, don’t be fooled by the fruit tube.
It starts out okay as long as the boat is going straight and there’s no substantial wake. But once the boat takes off and hits any kind of water turbulence wave bye bye to your dignity as you’re plunged off the banana with a G force so substantial you either lose a piece of your swimsuit or it’s found refuge in body crevices that I prefer not to talk about.
All this is why you’ll find me ensconced safe and sound at the pool where the only bad thing that can happen is someone making fun of my swim skirt or as I like to call my aqua exercise enhancer.
*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon. It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read. I hope you like it! 🙂