On the Water: Skiing lesson | AspenTimes.com

On the Water: Skiing lesson

Nate Peterson

Age really is nothing but a number. This became apparent to me last weekend while waterskiing with my older brother and his soon-to-be father-in-law at Rifle Gap State Park.Bruce, the father of my brother’s beautiful fiancée, is 61 years old. Apparently, no one has mentioned this to him.Forget golf. Bruce plays a few times a year, but he much prefers his dirt bike to his clubs. He also loves to snowmobile in the winter when he’s not tearing down the slopes on his skis.As for waterskiing, Bruce isn’t content to just hang behind boat’s wake for a good ride. As a boy in Michigan, he spent his summers waterskiing with this friends all day.”We’d go for so long, sometimes you’d have to whistle when you were tired because people would forget you were back there,” he said smiling.When it came his turn to hop in the water, he gave both me and my brother a lesson. On the slalom ski, he swung back and forth behind the boat so he could catch air over the wake.I’m not talking about cute little jumps. Bruce kept telling my brother – my speed-obsessed older brother, that is – to push the throttle to the limit so he could get more speed, thus allowing him to jump farther.If that wasn’t impressive enough, Bruce pulled out an old pair of trick skis for his second ride. More jumping ensued, then an attempt to spin around and ski backwards. Bruce almost had it before one of the skis caught, and he took a nasty tumble.”I hurt myself pretty bad,” Bruce said after we swung the boat around to pick him back up. Turns out when the ski caught, it yanked his right leg forward while the left leg flew backward, forcing Bruce into the splits.When he got back in the boat, his hamstring was so tight he couldn’t even walk. We worried that it was torn.Of course, the ladies were upset when we showed back up at the house and Bruce came limping in, nursing a beer.”Dad, let me guess, you were trying to do something crazy,” my brother’s fiancée said, shaking her head.Boys will be boys. Even at 61.I can only hope Bruce will be back to full strength in a few months to walk his lovely daughter down the aisle. If not, I blame my brother. I don’t think he was driving fast enough.