On Monday, I went white water rafting with some friends. I went mainly because there was a good deal on groupon for 60% off the retrail price. The deal was unmatched, and the deal was for the Penobscot River. I have done the Kennebec twice, and had a great time both times, but wanted to tackle something with a bit more adventure. I knew there were class V rapids, and wanted to give it a go.

After our first rapid (about 10 minutes into the day), 5 of us jettisoned out of the boat. It was only a class IV, but it was a 14 foot drop. When I opened my eyes, all I could see was brown, and as I reached up, my stomach sank as I felt the bottom of the raft. I started panicking despite the fact that they tell you not too — I was in the worst possible place to be on a raging river. After what felt like 10 minutes, I was able to crawl to the side of the raft, and as disoriented as I was swim to the boat. After being lifted in, I knew I had a new, “scariest moment of my life” memory. We proceeded through the day, and after a few hours loaded the raft to start the upper part of the river — where the class V rapids were. I started getting anxious and thought, “If that other rapid was only a class IV, what the hell am I in store for?” We were all a little nervous, as the first class V was literally 5 minutes from where we put in. Exterminator came up around us, sloshing and raging. We all stayed in, and it was one of the funnest rapids I had ever done…until we hit our second class V, “Cribworks”. This rapid was just downright fun! It brought us around a cove and was a very technical rapid.

When doing something like WWR, one obviously takes a calculated risk — people go out all the time and are not hurt, but there is a % who do.

Well, just today, I heard a small story / proverb that really resonated with my journey over the last year. I know a year ago, despite have been WWR, I would not have taken this adventure on my own accord (went with a group last time). Partially due to the anxiety of it, and partially due to the physical aspect of it. The story went something like this ::

He told a story of a man that wanted to be successful. The man met this success guru at the beach. All the man could talk about is how successful he wanted to be and how bad he wanted it. So the guru brought the man out into the water , clothes and all, the man kept getting a little deeper until finally the water was at his chin. At this point the man thought the guru was crazy and was wondering what the heck this had to do with success. All of the sudden the guru shoves the man’s head under the water. He holds him there, 20 seconds go by then 30 then 40. Finally the man starts flailing his arms around and right when he is about to pass out the guru lifts him up and says you just learned the first principle of success. The man gasping for air shouts “What the hell are you talking about?” and the guru says:

“When you want to be successful as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful….”

Obviously, it reminded me about wanting to breathe under the raft in general, but really made me think about the last year of my life, and how wanting to change my habits and my health have been greater than going to the gym, being active, starting to run, and change the way I eat and perceive my own health and body. It is also a good reminder to note that change doesn’t happen without a lot of work. I have known people to just want that change to happen without the work, and, honestly, it all comes from within — you have to find that place to dunk yourself underwater and realize your goals. This little story is a great note for this coming week when I start insanity. It is time to start shaping and toning, something i’ve been needing to start for awhile, but believe it is the next step and with a diet plan and workout plan — will be a good addition.

So many times in the last year and a half, I have doubted my ability to achieve new goals, and, I think this is normal to a certain extent with 26 years of lethargy to back those thoughts, but I have learned if I just throw myself underwater, and try, it is better than not having started in the first place.

On another related note, when I went rafting last month, I learned how to go underwater without physically plugging my nose, something I never thought I could do – these water metaphors work in many ways!

So, for the coming month I am signed up for 2 races – the Duo Duel that I will do with my friend Jamie on the 25th, and on the 28th a 5 mile in Ellsworth. I need to do some practice running this week, as it has been awhile since I have done non-race running. Other than that, fitness skate is every Tuesday, and I feel like I am getting good enough on skates that I am able to really take benefit from the deeper fitness aspects of the cardio — especially when I get my own skates soon!

Overall, I am feeling great about this next section of goals — sometimes, almost drowning helps you realize you are on the right path!