We all know that I am no Sporty Spice and I am definitely not the Gabrielle to Chris’s Laird. But damn I wish I wasn’t such a wimp. This year is supposed to be about pushing boundaries, learning new things and living healthily. I can talk a good game but when driving down that gravel path toward the beach with the wind whistling against Ole Smokey all I want to do is throw it in reverse and speed over to the cafe Les Araynes order a big cafe au lait in a bowl and hunker down with a croissant and my book. Chris knows this but is so eager to have a partner to kite with that he isn’t letting me squirm out of any lessons. I also told him that I will need to be pushed because I will never do it on my own. This all led to a really bad third kiting session (when I say kiting session in regards to myself just picture me in a full wetsuit with a helmet and a headset standing in hip deep water with 20 knot winds trying to NOT get dragged by the kite while all around me people are flying by masochistically loving every second of being whipped by the wind). The third session was on a particularity bleak grey day, the wind was howling so I was pretty confident, as we bumped over the gravel road, that it was going to be too windy for me to learn and the lesson was going to be cancelled. Chris hopped out of Ole Smokey to check on the lesson status and happily returned saying that it was a go. Instantly my mood was darker than the sky – I’m sure I said something unpleasant but then I sucked it up gave the door a loud slam to get my anger out and put on a brave face for Patrick. Now in hindsight I can clearly see all the mistakes in the trajectory of the lesson, and while hindsight is always 20/20, I’m mostly annoyed at not speaking up right at the beginning.
Patrick gave me a cautious smile and asked if I wanted to do the lesson and I said yes so off we went. We lasted about half an hour the wind was too strong and I just wasn’t able to control the kite. As we were slogging/walking back (the lessons are on huge sand bars that are hundreds of meters across so we slog through knee and hip deep water against the wind) I saw Chris and the truck speeding away but I wasn’t worried I still had to wriggle and cajole my body out of my wet suit and get changed. That done I texted Chris and sat with Patrick who told me that he was really surprised that I had wanted to take the lesson with the wind so high. He had recommended to Chris that we wait for the wind to die down. So that was the little push – well played Mr Lewis. The icing on the cake was that Chris didn’t show up to pick me up. Patrick went out to kite and when he returned and found me shivering on the bench an hour and a half later (seriously where is a good hot flash when you need one?) he offered to drive me – somewhere, anywhere. It was the look of pity and slight embarrassment on his face – he’s thinking that I have been abandoned and wondering why I’m letting myself get pushed around and why Chris is forcing me to take lessons. That look that has me wondering why am I doing this? Isn’t it just okay to be me and not like sports, can’t I just sit on the beach and read and paint while Chris whizzes by? Deep down I really really want to be the sporty type and I wish I wasn’t so scared. I did do a fourth lesson. I have not gotten up on the board. The balancing battle between self confidence, self hatred and self improvement continues.