I love to kayak on a river or the ocean on my sit-on-top kayak, it is flat so you don’t have to sit inside of it. I sit on top dangling my feet over the sides of the boat loving the cool water on my feet and ankles and feeling the strength in arms while I paddle. I wait for the wakes of the speed boats and I ride the waves, yes I know I'm a real dare devil lol.
So when I decided to white water river kayak with my husband and daughter for father’s day I was calm and looked forward to the experience.
Edward my husband actually did not feel well that day so he came with us however decided not to paddle.
This kayak was different, it was tiny and my body fitted in it like a foot in a shoe and it had a full skirt (a wet-suit type sleeve that goes around you and the kayak to keep you in it.) the instructor showed me what to do in case I capsized on the river and how to get of the boat and needed to remove the skirt for a quick exit. I was now beginning to have some reservations however a little voice inside me told me to go ahead.
I entered the river and climbed in my boat with help from one of the guides and as soon as he let go of me the current immediately started to take me quickly down river. Now I am thinking I need to turn back however everyone was now in the distance I could only see my daughter way out in front paddling like a pro and the current was too strong for me to be able to paddle back up stream to where I started.
My boat starts to spin out of control and I am terrified I feel like I am on a merry go round and I am saying out loud what the f—k am I doing here? Now I am not sure of anything was the voice just my ego, me just trying to prove something to me and at this point it really did not matter I needed to focus. I needed to oxy breathe. I allowed a breath, dug my paddle in and turned my boat in the direction I needed to go in keeping my eyes on the river, reading it, feeling the strength in my arms again, tears flooded my eyes, snot ran from my nose and yet I started to trust myself in the midst of this fear. I continued to breathe, feeling fully present . I now see my daughter and the guide about 200 ft in front of me now who have stopped waiting for me to catch up, they where laughing having a great time and I felt a quick wave of anger at their joy however by the time I caught up with them I was just glad to see them. We continued down the river this time I can keep up. I am now enjoying myself, I am present and I am trusting myself, the river, the journey.
We came to what I thought was the end of river run and there was a waterfall which about 10 ft however it looked like a 100 feet to me. The guide yells to me hold on and have fun we going over the fall. I came a full stop as I see the guide disappear down the fall. My daughter yells "lets do it Mom allow the fall to take you just put the tip of your boat on it." I put my boat on fall and the fall guides my boat down and it was thrilling, I felt so alive.
I did not honestly think I was going to make it down the river that day. I didn’t know I could trust myself to finish and yet I did, that river was my guide, a wise teacher and I learned to look forward and come from my core. I felt scared trust.
The picture I have included here is one of my favorites of myself.