I discovered and fell in love with a new hobby some years after, which is jet boat racing. It was during a visit to my favorite beach I saw jet boats for the first time; though I have always seen it in movies, I was never interested in indulging in the jet boat races anyways.
Surprisingly, it seemed more interesting, and attention was arresting to watch people race with jet boats in my presence. “I must try this out before I leave here today,” I said to myself. I requested to try it out, and I was told it is mandatory to be accompanied by a supervisor. I had no choice but to oblige, even though I would have preferred to be taught and left to explore myself. It was less fun, but I believed it would have been fun I was left alone to explore.
I have always loved watching swimming competitions and movie scenes of swimming, but I never visited anywhere close to water until I was 18 years old. My dad would take me anywhere in this world, provided he has the means, but would always elude my requests to visit a swimming pool or beach. However, my love for swimming kept on escalating, even though it was oblivious to me.
Finally, I visited a swimming pool a month after my 18th-year-old birthday, only because I went with a host of classmates. This was the very day I learned how to swim – I still have that vivid memory of how elated I was. I knew Dad wouldn’t love what I did, so I kept him unaware, and he continued to become unaware while I was visiting swimming pools and beaches subsequently.
I went home, and I was keen to watch youtube videos and blog posts, with the intent to be acquainted with jet boats and how to race with them. Indeed, I learned a few things but it wasn’t enough for me to put to practice and I was still mandated to be supervised.
Gradually, I started gaining more confidence and expertise until I could ride alone. My interest and reason for learning were not to race with it, so I never saw the need to challenge anyone. Besides, none of my friends knew how to use jet boats or even had interest, so there was no one to challenge.
Since I am now worthy to be called an expert jet boat racer, why don’t I try something new? This was the idea I conceived that drove me to know and wanting to try the jet spin. Told my friend about my intent and we went with cameras to the beach. It was a magnificent day for me because the video made caused me a social media trend and increased my fame.
Moving at a considerable speed, I did a jet spin that even had me baffled on how I could pull that stunt. The spin was fabulously delivered and unusually long. I saw myself almost everywhere on social media the subsequent days with lots of incredible comments. My followers increased gradually, and this started driving me to see jet boats racing as a good career for me.
Few days elapsed and I was at the beach when a young white man, named Iris, approached me and confirmed if I were the one in the popular video. I answered in the affirmative, and he challenged me for a jet boat race. He demanded that we wagered $10,000 each and the winner takes the whole money. I told him I was not interested; I was confident I would defeat him, but I never saw the need to do so and I didn’t even have that huge amount of money. We exchanged contacts because he wanted me to give room for reassessment.
While going back home, I pondered about it, and my interests became stimulated, but the drawback was how to get the money. “I will think about how to get this money” was what I said to myself while knocking before Dad finally opened and said, “I am disappointed in you.” “What are you talking about Dad?” I replied with a disconcerted facial expression. I could see through his minds that he was ferociously angry.
He yelled at me and said a lot of incoherent statements before I deciphered that he had seen the popular video of me that trended. I didn’t say a word because my temperamental father’s anger will inflame in a fleeting period if I queried him. I stormed into my room, and he came in an hour after. I could perceive his calmness, and he told me a sad story. The story was about how he was the only survivor in a boat crash that involved my mum, two of my aunts and three of his friends.
Tears flushed out of my dad’s face and mine, while I promised him to quit jet boats racing. I decided to oblige my dad, who was the only one that showed me love, support and cares right from the time my brain can store memories.
Two weeks after, my dad became hospitalized, and he battled for his life dearly. The doctor informed me he was between life and death and we needed $17,000 to save him. I wouldn’t get that money from McDonald’s where I work, or anywhere I know. I spoke to my dad about the jet boat race challenge, and he still repudiated the idea. I pleaded and cried for three consecutive days before he agreed reluctantly. I dashed home to put some of my properties, Dad’s furniture up for sale, including a gold pendant my mum left for me. I fixed a day with my challenger, trended on social media again, and a lot of people gathered on this fateful day.
A day that was supposed to be momentous and memorable became abominable for me. I propelled the boat with so much confidence at the initial phase of the race. I maintained a reasonable speed and greatly maneuvered the throttle, while I was less than one meter ahead of Iris.
I could feel the heavy drawing of water into my boat’s pump-jet. Surprisingly, Iris’ boat flew through the water at a great speed and drove past me. My hope didn’t dwindle until the gap started becoming tremendous. Memories of my dad in the hospital bed summoned up and triggered my increase in speed. I drove at almost the maximum speed until I became very close to Iris and was about overtaking him.
A phantasmagoria of a big fish appeared to me, and in my bid to swerve the boat, it became a complete disaster. It was a terrible capsize, and I plunged into the sea. I battled to save my life, but the angry waves made it elusive. I was later rescued and given first aid.
A lady, who was also there to watch my performance, insisted that she would take me to the hospital in her car.
She did took me to a nearby hospital, paid all the bills, and was available to hear my reason for accepting the challenge. It was emotional and saddening to her, and she promised to pay for my dad’s surgery. She happened to be a Godsend to me, and I can’t thank her enough. We became friends, fell in love, and we are now happily married with two kids.