Have you ever felt like you were on top of the world? Have you ever felt like the most powerful human being on the entire planet? Have you ever had the feeling of not having a single care in the world? Have you even had one experience make all of your stress disappear for just a brief moment in time? Well, if you've never had any of those feelings, then you need to go jet skiing!
Now I know what you're thinking: "Caroline, you're crazy! How would jet skiing be the solution to all of the corruption that is going on in my life?" Trust me, I know what I'm talking about, so all you need to do is listen and read on (if so you choose).
Last week my best friend/roommate next year (don't know how I'm going to put up with her) Alexa and her family invited me to spend the week with them in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Every day up until Thursday was the laid back to do list of: going to the beach, eating breakfast/lunch/dinner, and going shopping. Thursday was a little bit different because instead of going to the beach first thing in the morning, Alexa, her dad, and I went jet skiing while Alexa's mom stayed back as she reserved spots for us on the beach when we returned.
Before I knew that this one experience would give me the most incredible feeling in the world, I was pacing back and forth in the bathroom as Alexa and her dad were waiting for me out by the car. I was giving myself these cheesy yet helpful pep talks like: "Come on, Caroline, you can do this! This is a new experience for you and it never hurts to try something new. Come on, Caroline, you can do this! You are not going to die."
Alexa kept telling me that I was going to be okay and that I was realling going to enjoy it. Well, I did not believe her for one second at first because I kept having these "Raven Baxter visions" of falling off of the jet ski and getting eaten alive by sharks!
"Okay, Caroline. We are walking to the dock. Your life vest is strapped on tight and so are your goggles. Don't forget that you also applied some extra sunscreen too! It is going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Deep breath in. Deep breath out."
As our life instructor was explaining all of the procedures to the jet ski drivers, this little boy and I (who were rocking it as the only passengers by the way) were anxiously waiting to get this party started (or in my case, to get this catastrophe over with). So after Alexa got on our jet ski, I rocked the jet ski back and forth as I hesitated to go behind her like a tough motorcycle dude and his nervous girlfriend holding onto his leather jacket for life. We haven't even gone out to the water yet and I was already freaking out!
Before the drivers pressed their go buttons, Alexa leaned back and told me this: "Caroline, you are going to be okay. Just relax and no matter what happens, don't let go of my life jacket!"
Then the life instructor yelled: "Alright drivers, are you ready?"
They all cheered back: "Yeah!" (Me in my head: "No...").
"Oh yeah, that's the spirit! Now press your go buttons and we will all go to the water in a single file line. This man right here (Alexa's dad in this case) is going to be our line leader! Once you get away from the dock, smile bright for the camera on your right!"
Or in my case, smile through all of the nervous energy and pain you're having internally.
This is it. We are going out to the water (where there are sharks and no land). Alexa is taking things slow at first so that we (well, mostly me) will get used to the feeling of being on a jet ski.
Then as we go further off land, Alexa picks up the speed. She likes to go fast--plus, going faster on a jet ski makes it easier to control than going slower; the water will just drag underneath you.
"Deep breaths, Caroline. You are still alive. You trust Alexa and she knows what she's doing. You are going to be okay. Everything is going to okay."
As we reached the open ocean, the life instructor gave us two points that we cannot go beyond our free for all zone and then the rest of the drivers separated as we drove around with the intense water splashing in our faces. Now, when Alexa and her dad told me that I was "going to get wet," they absolutely meant it. The amount of water on my white t-shirt that I used to cover my shoulders was about as wet (if not wetter) than that one time at Disney World where I went on Splash Moutain five times in a row. From the little speedbump waves to the waves that were so big, water was everywhere.
Another important piece of advice about going jet skiing I can give you (besides to hold on no matter what, wear lots of sunscreen, relax, and take things slow at first then go fast) is to wear good quality goggles! This is because Alexa's sunglasses were not effective at all against the brutal salty water so she had to use my crappy non-jet ski worthy goggles which didn't really help at all since we had to stop and take an eye break multiple times during our free for all session (or as Alexa called it, "our runway" since the guys didn't give us much to work with).
But the most important thing that jet skiing gave me that day was freedom. From the moment when Alexa went a little faster to the moment where our free for all/runway session was over, I felt like I was Rose when Jack was holding her on the Titanic. Despite the fact that I was holding onto Alexa's life jacket for dear life, I felt like I was defying gravity and that nothing or no one could bring me down for just one hour. I was unstoppable. For just 60 minutes, I felt like I was the queen of the universe as the rapid breeze and the fierce salt water were blowing in my face. And you don't get that incredible feeling all of the time, so whenever you do get that feeling, take advantage of it!