Whitewater Rafting Lessons

August 7, 2014


Can you imagine that I almost missed out on the most fun family trip of the year? Fear makes us stupid; it stops our logical thinking. The truth is: you can’t argue with insanity. I tried it, but it didn’t work.

In our family we plan things at the last minute. When the idea came up to go rafting, I was very excited. We booked the trip the next morning, and it all seemed like a great idea to me. Little did I know what whitewater rafting actually entailed.

If I had stayed in that place of not knowing, everything would have been fine.

As soon as my sons showed me a video of whitewater rafting, I freaked out. Not a little bit, but I freaked seriously to the point of thinking that I should stay home. I told myself, ‘I am not the kind of girl who enjoys this kind of activity’. I envisioned how miserable I would be for 4-1/2 hours. It was bad.

In my mind I went into EVERY worst-case scenario.

I even called the organization and told them of my trepidation. I asked them if the boat could flip over and if people could fall out… They told me that there were no guarantees and that anything can happen. Phew, I thought. It sounds a lot like real life. Why did I even call?

The morning of the trip we were all instructed at base camp. They showed us a video of all the worst-case scenarios, and we went over what we must do in case of emergencies. I didn’t watch it. I could not listen. I just prayed. And I shivered…

And when I set foot into the boat, everything changed. Reality kicked in. I became present again.

Nothing that I had anticipated or feared was true. I loved it from the first minute I got onboard.

And YES, we almost flipped in the first five minutes in the biggest rapid. Our guide Dustin saved us. And YES, all of us almost fell out. And YES, it was fun and amazing. It was a wild ride like no other. I loved it!

So what did I learn?

• I learned that I don’t know myself very well. It turns out that I like whitewater rafting! Who knew?
• Don’t anticipate the worst-case scenarios. Focus on what will be fun.
• Stay in the not knowing. That’s a much more powerful place.
• Be surprised. Don’t over-analyze what you do or don’t like.
• Laugh at yourself. Don’t be righteous about your fear.
• Trust that everything works out in the end; it always does.
• Never chicken out on family trips, no matter what!



P.S. What did you freak out about this summer? I’d love to hear!

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