14 June 2005

row the boat ashore

I like to pretend I'm exclusively an indoorsy, bookwormish type. (Really--not too difficult to pretend.)
Claiming this type of lifestyle comes in handy when explaining my ineptitude at athletic endeavors. (I exercise my mind.) Sometimes, though, I like to challenge myself physically (even more than walking up three flights of stairs sometimes challenges me).

I chronicled one such challenge five years ago in an issue of a Kent State magazine, The Burr.

raft trip00

"On assignment," I went on a weekend white rafting trip on the Youghiogheny River in southeastern Penn. Challenge, indeed. Rafting exhausted me--but also exhilarated me.

Yesterday, I took to the river again. This time with KEWP and BEP.

While I'd succesfully rafted this river before, my innate nervousness set in (thanks, mom!) before the trip. After the first rapid, watching KEWP bounce out of the raft, I thought perhaps my anxiety was well-founded. After the second rapid, losing both BEP and our raft guide to the turbulent waters, I believed in my nerves. These were only two class II rapids and already three people had fallen out. My turn would surely arrive.

It didn't.
Our raft, which included KEWP, BEP, me and five others, negotiated the river well. However, I recalled the last trip's being much more difficult, the waters more tumultuous. This trip didn't sap every ounce of strength like the last one. There's a number of variables: The water depth, the number of people in the raft, the brute strength and courage I've gained in five years. (Yeah, probably the first two.)

It was still a lot of fun. We got to ride a small rapid sans raft, which was probably the scariest part of the trip for me. This rafting expedition reaffirmed that I could, indeed, do something athletic, somewhat risky and, gasp, have fun, too. I want to go on a more challenging raft trip now.

And I just might bike to work tomorrow.

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