Last week, I had the opportunity to cross another item off my bucket list and go white water rafting on the Truckee River in Nevada. It was something that I had wanted to do for a very long time, but the occasion never presented itself and it wasn’t something that I actively sought out. However, given that I was doing stops in California and Nevada, I decided that the time had finally come.
The night before the event I was excited and full of questions. I read reviews on the internet, researched the river and looked for any picture I could find of people doing the same thing. The morning of the event my mortal fear set it and I was wondering if I would go through with it. All the questions of the unknown started to surface. Would I tip? Would I hit a rock and hurt myself? Would I drown? Would I die? Would I, would I, WOULD I? At the last minute I wasn’t sure that I could go through with it and almost backed out.
Despite all my doubts, when the time came I put on my big boy pants, suited up for the ride and made the drive down the mountain to the starting point. I assembled with the crew, got my boat and guide assignments, went through he safety briefings and before I knew it I was on the river and the journey began. The minute the raft set sail on the water, I knew that I had made the right decision.
The first part of the journey was more like a lazy river. As the raft took the bends in the river, surrounded on both sides by majestic mountains, my soul began to fuse with the nature surrounding me. It was as if around every bend a new artist picture had been created and one more spectacular than the next. The surroundings, stillness of the air and the sound of the rushing water combined to produce a symphony for the senses that was just incredible.
Then came the white water. Class II and III rapids that we had been well prepared for in our safety classes, but become a little more daunting when they are right in front of you. However, the feeling that takes over you as you enter the rapids and the adrenaline starts to flow is really unexplainable. Your survival instincts kick in and before you know it every thing you were taught comes to the forefront of you mind. Paddle forward, stop. Paddle backward, stop. Somehow in unison, the entire boat reacts to the command and before you know it you have maneuvered through areas that flip boats that come after you. Then, in a flash it is all over and you have mastered the river.
There is something about conquering the fear of the unknown that is amazing for the soul. It gives you a sense of accomplishment that other things that may have been out of your reach are now possible. Floating down that river reconnected me with the beauty of nature, the beauty of living and the beauty of reenergizing your soul. There were people of all ages on that river, which tells me that if we dig deep enough within ourselves, anything is possible at any point in our lives. If you have never experienced white water rafting and have the opportunity, do it. Your soul will definitely thank you.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.