Lessons from the bikini contest

They don’t tell you that solitude can be a weapon, a way of making a body feel it must just be me when there were signs all along that

The contest was never what it seemed to be

Resembling a stock show more than a beauty contest

Told to line up

The hand-picked female handler writes numbers in permanent marker

on our haunches

And maybe don’t question too much what the girl in the high heels, glitter, push-up top

Is doing giving free twerking lessons

To doe-eyed coeds

And a heifer like me

Careful to keep my cloven hooves

And rising ire

Under wraps

Kicked out, part 3

If you read either part one or two, you may notice that the kicked off part is not there.

Hence, part 3:

I did not realize that the ropes were separating from the handles on a regular basis until I was riding and two riders-one very good, one pro, hollered at me from the water–I lost my rope!

I was not sure what they were talking about so I let go of my rope and asked them.

They both told me the same thing-they had been riding when suddenly the rope separated from the handle and they were left in the water with only a handle.


I then quizzed a group of good riders, the cable operator, the cable manager, and one of the owners about how the cable rope was affixed to the handle.

The answer is-like a Chinese handcuff the rope is threaded through itself.

Which means that threading it right is crucial.

The cable operator told me his safety policy was to let everyone know they should expect to lose the rope.

The owner said the manager sometimes said stuff without thinking it through.

The manager said I was being a troublemaker.

The owner said I brought too much drama and was taking up too much of his employees’ time.

But by the time I had quizzed a dozen people I realized that 80 percent of them had a rope-loss story within the last two weeks.

I realized I might have had one as well…

There are falls and losses in wakeboarding all the time.  These things often happen in isolation.  A rider, even a good one, may not realize that a fall is due to operator neglect or park negligence unless they know that it is happening to other riders, sometimes with alarming regularity.

Within the two weeks following the refunding of my family’s membership the ropes continued to separate from the handles while in use.

I hope that someone remedied the situation eventually.

Kicked off the ranch part 2

It is a basic tenet of writing lists–of you have a part one you have to have a part 2.

So this is it:  how I went from dragging my kids to the Texas Ski Ranch every day –to-how I was told to leave no matter what.

First, the bikini contest-reminiscent of nothing more than a stock show.  A stock show to sell price inflated Corona?! Treating beautiful young women like commodities?

Then there were the poorly attended juvenile detention peeps.

And last there were falling ropes.  It seemed to be clear that either through operator negligence or rope defect the ropes were separating from the wooden handles–off the dock, in mid-air, on structures riders were falling because their ropes had failed them.

Safety has to be a paramount concern in extreme sports.  When it is not taken seriously, people get hurt.

So that is how I was kicked off the ranch.  But just as interesting as that is the waiver that TSR and Springloaded require participants to sign.

Worth careful perusal.

The parable of good wakeboarder

Years ago I had my first encounter with the way the parable of the Good Samaritan might need to be imported to wake parks, or at least my home park at the time.

A young man dangled in the water at the point of the pond furthest from the dock.  He cried out in pain.

I say this with no pride–I did not want to stop riding to help him.  They were about to close…I would have to stop riding for the day…there were so many other riders, surely someone else would stop and assist him?!

I stopped and so did his friend.  He had hurt his foot and ankle and he definitely needed help.

The first of many times that God would remind me that wakeboarding is not as important as your soul.

There were other ways to remind me of this–picking up trash along the shore, letting people cut in front of me even if it really bugged me, helping others to ride.

And after that first time it seemed good to just make the rule to stop and help anyone who needed help.

So when a Christian-labelled group started a Bible study at the Texas Ski Ranch, some of us discussed the way Jesus’ parable about an outcast who saves the day for a crime victim could be adapted for wakeboarders.

The guy who got beat up would be a new rider in need of help.

The priests and religious leaders would be the “really good riders” who become so focused on their tricks or their ride that they ignore the person in need.

But who was the Good Samaritan? Who would he or she be?

I am not going to fill in that blank.  You should.  If you are a wakeboarder you should find out who the “Good Wakeboarder” is. (Hint: He is much more famous as a Barefooter, doesn’t even need a rope.)

One day we will all need him, no matter how many trophies we have or tricks in our pocket.

And if you are not a wakeboarder you can pick your epithet for the good “guy” in Jesus’ parable.

The good reality TV star?

The good politician?

The good evangelist?

The good drug dealer?

The good alcoholic?

The good snob?

We get pretty hung up on our labels.  Jesus knew that and exploited the discomfort of his listeners to force them to see Him differently.

No one can be good the way Jesus can–God in disguise.

Kicked off the ranch–part one

I find the sentences which include when I did the bikini contest or the bikini contest I was in require explanation.

Explanation because I do not believe in body image competitions.

Explanation because I am a round, soft, almost-50 year old mama.

So the fact that I participated in the Texas Ski Ranch Cablestock Bikini Contest of 2016 is as worth noting as are the varied consequences of doing so.

So first–why?

I had been going to TSR for several years and was acquainted with their bikini contest because they ran promos for it on an infinite loop. An avert your eyes kind of loop.

Efforts at dialogue seemed to be unproductive.  Prayer, Bible study, and a remarkably specific fleece led to my reluctant decision to sign up for the bikini contest.

Much to my own consternation.


I told you

This was a two-part answer

Ironically framed

By the disembodied voice 

Selling cars in the next room

It’s like calling

A cathedral 

A room with four walls

And a ceiling


I think as I finish

Stuffing variegated laundry

Into the high efficiency machine

That is true

You my darling 

Are no mere room

With four walls and a ceiling 

You are a cathedral 

And should be treated as such

Tear down this temple

And I will raise it again in three 


He said

Evoking all

The foundations in the womb

Baby pictures and toothy grins

Girls whose smiles light up the room

Do not be content to be

Measured the way a man will

Span an ordinary room

Know instead 

It takes a lifetime and a fortune

To raise the extraordinary 


Flying buttresses

Stained glass windows

Columns and impossible


All to the altar

Rising incense

Gaze of the Infinite