• Leslie Crews

How I Flipped A Jet Ski and Was Cured

I am not an adventurous person. I enjoy following the rules of life and gravity. Humans are not designed to swing from ropes in the middle of a cannon. Lungs are not meant to walk at the bottom of the ocean. Racing is better done on two legs and best accomplished when something or someone is chasing you. It's simple. I like to be safe.

When I watch videos of people doing parkour from massively tall buildings to massively tall buildings, scaling monuments and statues instead of using stairs, or eating foods that squirm on their way down to their stomachs, it stresses me out. Maybe they are more confident in themselves than I am. Or maybe they have a secret contract with God, but it's a no for me.

This is clear in the job I have. Threat management and Security Compliance. Not only do I find where danger exists, but I write the safety rules and teach people how to be as safe as possible. And I enjoy it! Following rules. Being safe. It's my jam!

I am NOT an adventurous person.

In spite of my inability to go with the flow and live on the wild side, rarely am I struck with the idea to live a little as they say. Try something exciting that isn't a new wall paper or recording my own poor rendition of a TikTok dance. Very rarely am I hit with the "let's do something dumb" bug. But when I'm bitten, it usually goes just as I expected it to go. Bad. Comically bad.

This is the story of how I flipped a jet ski in the middle of an ocean, became a mermaid, and was cured. Call me Ariel, I'm convinced I grew gills. I'll explain.

I've written before about how my anxiety is set up. Anxiety and I have been buddies since I was 6 or 7 years old. It's the reason I hate the smell of croissants today. But that's a story for some other time.

Though anxiety and I have been stuck together like white on rice, I'm occasionally able to tuck it deep into my belly, ignore it, and do the exact opposite of what it's telling me to do. On this day, riding a jet ski in the bluest waters of Aruba was the move.

I'd heard stories of how fun riding jet skis was from lots of folks. My cousins were all excited and as I watched my one cousin skip waves like Flipper herself, with her long black braids flowing in the wind like a beautiful cultural flag, my confidence tanked. There was no way I was about to look that graceful on water. But I was convinced to do it anyway.