Some of the best advice I was ever given was to “ask for what you want in life because people don’t read your mind and just hand it to you.” But, a close second is when my dad yelled at me from the waterski boat to “STAND UP LIKE A LADY!” What?? People now usually “wakeboard” behind a boat, but we waterskied! I am only a “thirty-something” but nostalgic for the good old days where a beginner started on two waterskis and eventually braved the real challenge, learning to slalom (single) ski. When I was twelve, our family went to the lake with many other families that had mostly boys my age. Those boys were learning to slalom ski, and I wasn’t about to be outdone! I wanted to make my dad proud that his daughter could keep up with any of his friend’s sons, and so I was determined to learn to slalom ski. As our jet boat started (and after my stream of silent prayers while I was floating in the middle of Lake Mead,) the boat’s engine roared ferociously and I hung onto that ski rope with all of my might. The motor propelled hundreds of gallons of water into my eyes and up my nose, but, I hung on. I was obedient to the instructions and kept my body curled and close to the single ski while I was pulled out of the water. I quickly found that the problem was not in “getting up” out of the water, which was other peoples’ usual problem. My problem was in staying up. After a few weeble wobbles after being pulled on top of the water, I was down every time. Several false starts later, my dad finally simply told me to “STAND UP LIKE A LADY” once the boat had pulled me out of the water. That was all it took, and I was a slalom skier!
I have thought about this idea many times through my life and have applied it when I felt like I was shrinking under the weight of life’s challenges. When we are scared or trying something new, it is easy to literally “curl up” under the pressure. That is the time that we weeble wobble as we are trying to find our balance. Often all it takes is a reminder to “STAND UP” and stand tall to the new challenge to stay afloat. It’s okay to “fake it ‘till you make it,” but if you don’t STAND UP, you may as well get back in the boat.
Motivational Speaker | Former Miss Nevada