Lessons from Water Skiing

There are two rules you absolutely must master if you are going to become a decent water skier. Rule One: Bend at the knees. Rule two: If you fall, let go of the rope.

Pretty simple stuff. You need to bend at the knees to stay flexible, because water skiing is bound to take you over rough water, over the wake of the boat or you might have to maneuver quickly to stay on your skis.

If you fall, let go of the rope because if you don’t you will be dragged around and beaten to a pulp by this one incident. Let go and you can either rescue yourself or have the boat come get you…either way, you can get on with your life.

Turns out these things are important in life, as well. Staying flexible gives us the ability to bob and weave with the daily changes of events that come our way. Stand still like a stick man or stick woman and we will all get run down by those same events.

But here is the tough one…letting go of the rope. I have friends that were wronged…I mean really wronged…decades ago in their lives. They have just never been able to let go of that rope…and it has dragged them around like a rag doll.

Are you still holding onto the rope? If you really can not just lay it down and get on with your life…get some professional help. The past does not ever fix itself…it is what it is. But your life is too valuable…and all of our lives too short…to spend the rest of those lives being defined and thrashed by events that will never change and are way back there in our wake.

The present and the future…will be a whole lot better when the past becomes the past. And my thanks for that message that we got at Christmas Eve service tonight. We can all use the reminder. Aloha.





  1. Kathy on December 25, 2018 at 4:17 am

    thanks for this lovely and instructive parallel. I’m sure we have all been wronged by people whom we thought were friends and your family. This is extremely painful and it times I’m sure we all feel the rope has been tied around us rather than we are holding the rope. So I really like that aspect of holding your own power rather than being the victim. Thanks! This is a new habit to learn, holding ones on power i.e. a rope.

  2. Steven A. Engelhardt on February 4, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    A very wise old client of mine was a great source of “life lessons.” Probably the most profound thing he ever told me was, “Don’t don’t drink the poison and hope the other person dies.’ Hate is poison. When you hate you are hurting yourself with little if any consequence to the object of that hatred. Ditching the hate is an example of, “dropping the rope.”

    • Don Hurzeler on February 4, 2019 at 3:08 pm

      Great advice. Thanks.