I don’t always think things through…
In fact, it would be fair to say I often act on impulse and then panic later.
This weekend was a good example of this impetus behaviour.
I found myself on Saturday, stood on a river bank, over a hundred miles from home, armed with a paddle, coated in a life jacket, and with an unflattering bright yellow helmet plastered on my head.
I am trying to commit to living the life I want, to trying new experiences, to not sitting back and growing old gracefully.
So I had signed up for a day kayaking, just because I wanted to.
But of course, I didn’t think it through.
As I arrived and met for the first time, a bunch of strangers who were to join me on my trip, I noted that they seemed to have wetsuits under their clothing and were wearing waterproof clobber.
I had on a nice fashionable pair of cream trousers, matched with an outdoor sweater and my hiking coat.
It wasn’t hard to spot the novice.
Within moments the chatter turned to talk of capsizing, and my knees started to shake. It had never once occurred to me, during the process of booking my day trip that I might actually end up swimming rather than sailing. I have an aversion to cold water, a serious one.
Shoving my nerves aside, because, really I had no choice. I switched out of my cream trousers into black, plonked the helmet on my head and secured myself in my buoyancy aid, all the time preying that none of the kit would be needed to perform.
Then we hit the open water.
Tied into my kayak, armed with a paddle, I cruised over ripples, waved at the swans, raced a new friend and marveled at the beauty of nature that surrounded me.
Living the life you want has amazing benefits. Last Saturday afternoon, I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
We kayaked for a few hours, under bridges, past pleasure boats. We broke for lunch on a jagged beach, I chatted to people I had never met before like we were old pals. We were united by our desire to simply get out and do things.
Then our instructor stopped us as the day started to draw to a close, and explained the last part of the river tour, was to tackle the rapids….
I sniggered with the woman next to me, ‘rapids,’ I guffawed, ‘who is he kidding.’
She looked at me seriously, ‘he is not kidding.’ she stated.
I may have let out a bit of wee in my knickers.
I was a novice, a beginner at the sport of kayaking, who was I to take on rapids?
And I was scared….
So of course I volunteered to go first.
The rapids were rated Grade Two, which at the time meant they were monstrous waves, but really, in kayaking terms, they were cute little swirling ripples.
Cruising through the monstrous waves was both tremendous fun and terrifying as the cold water teased at the boat, trying to get me to come swimming.
I survived, I made it through, I officially faced the rapids and won. As did every single other person in our party.
Put simply, Saturday was a good day.
Why live the life you think you should when there is so much fun to be had!