How do we engage with the world?
Are we timid in our embrace of life?
Or are we full throttle?
Yusuf and I recently had the chance to hop on a jetski together in Florida.
The rental facility had recently purchased two brand new jetskis. The owner offered to let us use these brand new babies, but he cautioned that we would only be able to operate them at half throttle.
Yusuf shook his head back and forth. He confidently said, “No thanks. Full throttle.”
Like only a boy on the verge of his teenage years could say.
Keep in mind that the boy had never been on a jet ski in his life.
But full throttle was fine with me.
The instructor had some additional rules for us to remember.
For the first ten minutes of our jetski trip, we would be in a no wake zone and had to limit our speed to 1 or 2 miles per hour.
We had to stay in the channel with the green buoys on our right and the red markers on the left.
The other instruction was more of a reminder. There are no brakes on a jet ski. In order to avoid a collision, you actually have to give the jetski more gas, not less and turn out of the way of incoming traffic.
Okay, all set.
As Yusuf is only 12 years old, I served as pilot and he served as navigator.
The sun was a bright blue and white clouds gently littered the sky.
Once we reached the end of the channel, I pulled the throttle halfway towards me. The water could not have been any calmer. We glided across the bay at about 30 miles per hour.
Yusuf – a/k/a Mr. Full Throttle – held onto my shoulders. He liked half throttle so I gunned it harder.
Some other jetskis and speedboats were in the area. I decided to give Yusuf the ride of his life.
At first, we continued flying across the placid water surface. Yusuf held on a little tighter.
Then I began looking for the wakes of other vessels to jump. Yusuf couldn’t believe it.
Riding on a jetski at 50 miles per hour over mildly choppy waves is the closest thing to flying that I have ever experienced.
Mr. Full Throttle, on the other hand, kept begging me to slow down.
We were counseled not to go under the bridge. We went under the bridge and over to the other part of the bay.
Yusuf was yelling and laughing the entire time.
If there had been brakes on the jetski, we wouldn’t have needed them. The bay was basically ours.
About 10 minutes before we had to begin heading back to the dock, we had this 3 minute run across the glassy surface of the water at full throttle.
Sun out. Water splashing my face. My son holding onto my shoulders.
I thought, this is what happens when we live life at “full throttle.”
No fear, no regrets – a beautiful life.
We each control the throttle of our lives. We can lead small, timid lives or we can go all out.
Let me hear you gun that engine.