It’s again been a long time since I’ve written. This time, not because I don’t have any material, but because I’m so busy with the season kicking in that with time off I’d like to get ON the friskies rather than writing about them. So there lies the conundrum. However, I had so much fun today that I just couldn’t help myself.
If you remember the premise of my blog, it’s based on the fact that I love to do activities which, in some circles might be considered “risky” (eg surfing, mountain biking, skiing, whitewater paddleboarding, etc) but I like to do these activities in an accessible, moderate way. With whitewater paddleboarding it’s been rare that I paddle without my boyfriend Sam. Lately however, I’ve been hugely inspired and challenged to paddle without him…with women! And it’s been amazing. Not that Sam isn’t still my fav to paddle with. He’s awesome, encouraging and we have a standing rule that we make out on the flat-water stretches and since he’s hot, that’s a big plus…haha.
But here’s the deal…a little about Sam. He’s a champion whitewater kayaker. Literally. He teaches the teachers/instructors, rescuers how to teach swiftwater rescue. He’s been doing this for decades. Therefore, when we go out on the water I have a sense of security (whether I should or not). A comfort level that allows me, in some ways, to trust and follow. It’s a fabulous way to learn how to read rivers and learn the necessary skills of paddling and I’m hugely grateful to him and can’t wait to hit the Grande Ronde together next week (and so many more rivers after). But have you tried lately to find an address without using the GPS on your phone? Guess what?! You have to THINK. You have to pay attention. It’s on YOU to figure your shit out. Not only have I been paddling new rivers I’ve never paddled but I’ve been doing it with women who have also never paddled these stretches and many with less experience on a board than me. It’s fun and challenging and scary and wonderful. It’s scary in a way that makes me pay more attention, use my paddle skills and force myself out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it means portaging something because that’s the reasonable thing to do. There’s challenge in that too!
By the way, can I rave about the ladies I’ve paddled with recently? They’re amazing. Christie, Megan and Erica. All exceptional humans that I consider fortunate to call friends. It’s a different experience with these girls. We laugh. We stop and take time if we need to. There’s “girl talk”. Yup, guys we DO talk about you. And Brad Pitt. We talk about him too. It’s just a whole bunch of awesome.
I feel like I’m gushing…and I am. Because here’s the deal. I’m lucky enough to be able to experience one of my favorite things in the world with great women AND the awesomest boyfriend ever. I am full of gratitude.
A bit of beta about the river we ran today–the Metolius. Riverside campground to Lower Canyon Creek. Class I/II. We did two portages: one around a river-wide log and the other, to be extra cautious in the canyon. Could we have run it? Yup. Did we need to portage based on our boards and level of experience within the group? Well, we decided to, and we were happy with our decision but agreed next time we’ll run it. So remember this, all you people out there (I use the word “all” pretty liberally here, as if I have tons of readers…haha…) You can choose to engage in whitewater paddleboarding (or whatever your activity might be). There is no shame in being moderate, cautious or fearful. Do what makes you feel great. Do what gets you off the couch (save that for when you get home from your adventure!)
Thanks for listening…and happy paddlin!