The Ledbetter is barely visible from across the lake through the morning fog. The sun rising over the trees can be seen perfectly from the middle of the lake. My ski hits the water first. Then, when my body is finally submerged, the exhilarating moment of breathlessness from the icy, morning water hits me. It’s early June, and this is my life for the next two months. Trust me, there is nothing better than 6:30 in the morning slalom sessions. People call me crazy for waking up at six in the morning during summer, jumping into cold water before the sun is all the way up, but the way I see it, sleep is for the dead. There is no feeling like being pulled up, out of the water by the boat, for the first time. The water looks like glass, no waves, except for the ripples coming from the handful of fishermen who woke up earlier than me. I thrive on this.
Nowadays, it is becoming more and more difficult to find people to spot me. I just don’t understand how I am the only person in the area that feels this way about morning ski sessions. When my friends find out that I am going on the lake, they want to go with me. It’s amazing how many decide to stay at home instead when I tell them I’ll pick them up before 7. They just don’t understand the dedication it requires.
There is one person, however, that does understand what this feels like, and I can always count on her to drive the boat for me. My mom has been through this all before. When she was my age, she would ski with anybody that would go out in the morning. Twice her age, half her age, guy, girl, best friend, or complete stranger. As long as they got up early enough for these ‘fanatics’ it did not matter. When I am out on the lake with my mom, it doesn’t matter what happened or what is going on; the grades I got in school, what we did yesterday, our plans for the rest of the day, or the new movie that is coming out that we want to see. Nothing else matters. At that point in the day, it’s only about us, the ski, and the water.