May 4th is a big deal day for Star Wars fans, but the entire month of May is huge for water sports enthusiasts, especially in the Midwest. The ice has thawed, the temperature starts to rise higher and higher above freezing after a long winter and even longer spring, as it seems most years. And water sports enthusiasts, especially towed behind the boat athletes, are itching to get out onto the water.
What is it about towed water sports that pulls at us so much (pun intended!)? Is it the smell of the fresh water of the lakes, the freedom we feel out on the water? I certainly don't think it's the temperature of the water, as we prefer a drysuit or wetsuit this time of year. But I do think it's actually the force, the force is with us on the water! The force is our friend, the force is there for us to use and manipulate.
Actually, the force can use and manipulate us for a while until we train our bodies to resist . . . the dark side? No! We train our muscles to resist the boat's desire to pull us over our toes, flat onto our faces into a very ungraceful nose-dive under the water. As we train our bodies to resist the pull of the boat's force and use it to defy the natural forces of gravity and physics, we begin to be able to manipulate that force for our own thrills of speed, jumping and even flying through the air, flipping and spinning along the way.
Whether it's wakeboarding, wake surfing, waterskiing, show skiing, kneeboarding or tubing, we borrow from the force of the boat as we produce our own force against the water and the pull of the boat in order to defy gravity. We glide with finessed force across the water, back and forth behind the boat. We manipulate the force of the boat's pull and catapult up through the air as we hit the wake and twist and turn our bodies in opposition to the force (landing successfully after many hundreds of attempts).
It's this challenge and thrill that draws us back time and time again, year after year, first to learn to resist the force, and then to show off our skill in resisting the force and manipulating it for our own pleasure and the entertainment of our family and friends. The learning stages are just as entertaining as the skilled finesse stages as well!
So, May the 4th be with you Star Wars fans, and may the force be with you water sports enthusiasts all month and all summer long as you learn to resist and manipulate it!