Always do what you are afraid to do. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everyone is scared of something and it is these fears that hold us back. Most often these fears are irrational and related to lack of experience. When you aren’t familiar with a situation, we feel anxious and tend to avoid them. This inhibition prevents us from moving forward and growing as a result of them. The problem is the situations in which we are fearful of, thus unfamiliar with, provide us with biggest opportunities for self growth.
This year for me has been a year of self discovery and self growth. I have done things I’ve never done before, stepped out of my comfort zone and trusted my inner self. It has led me on plane rides by myself to other provinces, it has allowed me to confront situations I would shy away from and most recently, it allowed me conquer my fear of extreme sports: White Water Rafting!
Wilderness Tours Rafting and Kayak Resort
A few weekends ago, the Travel Mavens set off for the Ottawa Valley for an epic rafting adventure. Only one out of the four of us had been rafting before, but we were all eager to give it a shot! Wilderness Tours Rafting and Kayak Resort has been operating for the past 40 years with an exceptional safety record. It was obvious that although this was an exciting and fun tour, safety was number one priority.
We participated in the Classic Resort package. This package is perfect for first time rafters! You receive 2 nights of camping (cabins are available too!), one day of high adventure rafting in a traditional 12 person rafts and one day at the resort with access to all the resort facilities. Our experience was set up with the resort day first and the rafting day next. The signs on the way up, the beautiful river view and the excited buzz that moved around the resort, made me pumped for rafting when we first arrived. Unfortunately, as we were flooded in the resort for a day, I had a lot of time to think about what could and might go wrong on the raft. The morning of the big adventure, I was terrified. Luckily, my pride was bigger than my fear!
The day began with a briefing presentation. We were told what to wear, what to bring and how the day would progress. It was reassuring hearing the confidence in the instructor as well as the excited atmosphere from the other rafters. We then loaded a bus and were shuttled for 10 minutes to the equipment locker and launch site. The staff was very knowledgeable and helpful. I loved how they cut the tension with jokes (i.e. left handed vs right handed paddles!). After equipment check and a short hike, we found ourselves on the base of the river. It was breath taking. I think at that point I was more excited then afraid. We loaded the boats and our adventure began!
Our guide, D.P. was hilarious. He had a great sense of humor and was very knowledgeable about rafting, the river and the individual rapids. He provide us with a ton of information such as how the rapids flowed, where the currents were and how to escape the rapid if you should fall in. We began with a brief paddle up the river, a ton of instructions and a few basic drills like “get down” that we would need when we approached the rapid. It wasn’t until I saw the first bit of “White Water” that my fear kicked in once again. My senses were heightened, my adrenaline was pumping and although I was faced with a scary situation, I was excited.
I can’t describe the feeling of tackling my first rapid. It was exhilarating, amazing and I was so proud of myself for conquering my fear. I think it was confidence of the instructors and their knowledge of the rapid that gave me the courage I need to tackle this fear! The rest of the day was filled with laughter, fun and more rapids! We stopped halfway through the trip for a BBQ luncheon and continued on our way. The minute we were off the rafts, I wanted to do it again. Maybe I’m a closet adventure sport addict or maybe it was how well run the rafting experience was, but I highly recommend it to everyone! Next time you are faced with a fear, charge towards it and you may find you love it!