Any family and friends who read this will probably be able to predict the story line of this blog post. In fact, just by reading the title, you probably have an idea of what the quotations may indicate.
For those who don’t know me well, let me preface this post: I was excited to “ski” down a volcano in Guatemala but instead rolled down into a prickly bush. I broke my leg in high school diving into a grass yard. I had to hitchhike on the way down from my first 14-er because my raynauds got out of hand. I fall every time I try to ice skate. Most importantly, any time I try to do something “fun,” something any average Joe can do, something goes oddly wrong.
So yesterday when my fiancé and his friends wanted to go tubing down Clear Creek, I had a strange gut feeling telling me that trying something new would also mean having a story to tell.
And I do.
For one, I am not a good swimmer…at all. I have gotten to the point where I can tread a few seconds to survive, but I will never (by choice) go into water where I cannot stand, especially not moving water. Secondly, I am somewhat uncoordinated. And three, I have horrible luck (when it comes to these types of things).
So there, I was. In my strapless swimming suit. Carrying an inner tube to the top of the creek. A little nervous.
I got into the water (which was freezing…not the best for my raynauds) and sat in the tube. The creek had a combination of calm spots and rapids, but the water was constantly flowing downward, and at a very fast pace. Apart from the actual rapids, the water was really shallow and the bottom surface was all rock.
After about 5 minutes of fun, I fell out of my tube in the middle of a rapid. Unable to swim and in the one spot where I couldn’t touch, I tried to get out from under the water to get some air. Once I peeped my head out of the rushing water, I tried grabbing my tube. I could hear my fiancé from behind: “Watch out! Get in, the next rapid is soon!”
I tried to stop myself to stand, but the rock was too slick and the waters were too strong. I quickly grabbed the tube and rode on the top of it…as my knees and ankles banged onto each and every rock at the bottom.
My strapless swim top was now resting at my waste. I was basically naked on my torso, and I was too mortified to stand. The rapids continued to pull me under the water, more downstream, and each second my legs smacked a new stone.
I was in so much pain. As I was screaming and saying, “Save me!” to my fiancé, I also started to cry. I just wanted to be done…
So, of course, the man that he is, Adam managed to save me. I was so disoriented that I don’t really know the extent of what happened, but one of us dropped our tubes, and I ended up laying on one as he stuck his shoe into the rock and held us secure. We made it to the side exit, I was able to pull my swimming suit back up before standing, and I was overwhelmed by what had just happened.
Scary? Yes. Painful? Yes. Worth it? Hmmm…
It seems that every time I consider trying something new, I also recollect the memories like this. I wonder if I am meant to “play it safe” and skip out on the things I already know I can do without getting into a dangerous situation.
Another part of me wonders if life is really lived when we don’t take risks and try to be bold.
In all honesty, I may not ever go tubing again…or I may go in a very calm body of water before ever making a second attempt at Clear Creek. However, I am glad I tried. My fiancé had said he was proud that I even gave it a shot, and as horrible as I felt for being that girl who tries everything and typically epically fails, I also knew he meant it.
For someone who has had as many crazy experiences as I have, it would be easy to say no right away. But how would that teach me anything? How would that give me the chance at no regrets?
Adam did grab my arm and catch me when I rolled into that prickly bush in Guatemala, and he also saved me in a creek. I suppose I am just giving him more chances to work on his rescuing skills.
Life is short, and even though some moments are painful and absolutely terrifying, it doesn’t mean we should sit on the sidelines.
If I can try something new, so can you. It may not be worth it in the moment (if all goes wrong like it sometimes does for me), but it will be worth it in the end because you will know that you pushed yourself to the limit and went beyond your comfort zone.
…You may need to remind me of my own words come winter when my friends also encourage me to try snow skiing…
Until then, I will remain confident in this lesson.
Go for it.
And make sure you have someone with you, someone who has your back no matter what 🙂