While on our summer vacation this year, my brother offered to take me waterskiing. It was a perfect day for Slalom skiing. I couldn’t resist. I agreed to taking a short ride.
After being on the ski for a while I got tired. I was enjoying the experience and didn’t want to stop because the lake was perfect, so I kept skiing. Finally, I was too tired to keep going. I signaled the driver (my brother) to stop.
He didn’t. He just kept on driving, even though he knew I had signaled him.
“I guess he thinks I should I just keep going,” I thought. So, I did.
In fact, I went a lot longer. I was getting so tired, but I didn’t let go of the rope. For some reason I kept thinking that if the boat was still going, that meant that I had to too.
And I did…for way to long.
I just kept dealing with my fatigue and discomfort, trying to enjoy the picturesque moment. Me waterskiing, the glass lake, the clear blue sky and the beautiful mountains surrounding me…and my body trying to revolt against the strain of exhaustion.
Finally, I let go of the rope.
When my bother came around to get me out of the water, he asked me if I was done.
The answer was yes, but I didn’t say that. I immediately I started to second guess myself. “If he is asking, it must be because I could keep going, therefore I should keep going.”
Needless to say, I got back behind the boat, and skied all the way back to shore. I was completely exhausted, and unfortunately, injured by the time I reached the dock.
Once I got out the water my brother told me that he had never pulled someone on a ski for that long before (He skis with really talented and fit men, so this shocked me). I pointed out to him that I had been tired, but when I signaled him, he hadn’t stopped.
He looked at me with a completely confused expression and asked,
“Why didn’t you just let go of the rope?”
What?! It had really never occurred to me to just let go.
You see, even when I think I know what I should do, I too often wait for other people to give me permission to do it, or to do it for me. I think that if someone has not said the “race is over,” then I have to keep running or, if someone throws me a ball, I have to play the game.
Listen, you have to be the one to “call the shots” for yourself in this life. You have to be the one who lets go of the rope when you are ready. Not because you are quitting, but because you are willing to step up and take control of your own well-BEing.
I have the perfect visual of this and love the analogy. I think it’s a great example of “running beyond our strength”. Being able to say “no” is a powerful tool. Love you!