Why Are Adventures Always Fun… Afterwards
I am not by nature, the adventurous sort. I am, in fact, rather timid and cautious. Then throw in a dose of introverted.
I hit retirement age and decided I need to push myself more, to stop living or doing adventures in my head… it was time to do them in real life. A lofty goal, an even loftier demand of myself.
I started last year when we took a road trip with our son (read it here.) I pushed my anxiety and my fear of heights boundaries when we went on hikes and off-roading on the Last Dollar Road in Colorado. It was the best vacation and the most fun I had ever had. I somehow managed to convince myself I could do it… and I did. And would gladly do it again.
RVing in itself is a test for me. Filled with constant changes and new locations, I am testing myself daily and teaching myself to put myself out there and just go with the moment, to encourage my hidden adventuress to come to the surface, rather than just dream about it.
Today, I won’t say I “conquered” my fear, but I did give it a gentle nudge. Testing the water (pun intended) I chose an adventure that I had always wanted to try, but was too fearful of doing — river rafting.
We rafted down the Truckee River in California, just outside of Lake Tahoe. Five miles of gentle drifting, throw in a few rolls and easy dips, and end it with a rapid (supposedly a Class 1.) It is a self-guided trip, you sign up, they give you a raft, a paddle, a life jacket, and a few instructions and off you go — Alone, without a group, without a guide… just the two of us.
As a child I was always afraid of water, thanks to my mom. I didn’t mind swimming pools, as long as, I could touch the bottom and keep my head above water. So this was a challenge for me.
Having never done something like this, learning to paddle was a new skill for me. For Tony it was second nature, even though it had been over forty-five years since he last utilized that skill. About half way I started to get the hang of it, at least a little. Another new skill was learning to trust myself and let go when we were just drifting along, to just flow with the moment.
I will be honest and say I did not enjoy (not then and not now) the rapids part — the rolling, sometimes spinning, bumping over rocks, the fear of flipping. It was like feeling out of control, something that is high anxiety for someone who needs control. I am not, nor do I really ever want to be an adrenaline junky, but I do want to test myself and find adventures that push me just a little, then walk away and say, “I enjoyed that.”
Now that the ‘adventure’ is over, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it…except for the rapids. :-)
Truckee River Rafting Has Been Family Owned And Operated Since 1973. Free Parking & Shuttle. Yellow Paddles. Fun For The Whole Family. Services: Tahoe City to River Ranch, Family owned & operated, Reservations recommended.