And I was
A few seconds
It is clear
has a bigger
It is a
The Tohickon Creek release was this past weekend, and it is my favorite creek. It is challenging without being terrifying (most of the time), easily accessible, and a solid class three creek. Yesterday I hit most of my lines that I wanted to, and when I didn’t I was able to avoid the obstacles I didn’t see coming. I even hit my line perfectly at the notorious Second Ledge, which is in my opinion is one of the hardest rapids on the whole river because it’s pretty manky and technically challenging. It is such an amazing feeling when you hit a challenging line just right. This is true in life as well as paddling. You feel like you can conquer anything.
The rapid after Second Ledge is called Race Course, which is tied for first and second place in my opinion with Second Ledge in terms of technically challenging. It is also significantly longer than Second Ledge. I was doing really well, hitting the lines, and cutting when I needed to to make the necessary moves. This was until there was an unexpected obstacle in my normal line. A kayaker who had come out of their boat, which is called swimming. It is not usually a favorable situation to be in, and I have swam Race Course. It is not a fun swim. So I dodged the kayaker, and thought I was good to go. However, I did not see the rather large hole in front of me when I turned. Luckily I was going mostly straight, but did not have enough momentum to push through. And in I went. I learned two things, my drysuit is not dry and I deserve to work on my brace this boating season.
Lower Yough oh crap moment (I did not swim there, but thought it illustrated the moment)
Life is going throw obstacles at you, and some of them pop up like Whac-a-Mole. Unexpected and random. Three things to do in that moment: identify the problem, set-up a solution, and execute. Sometimes those three things need to happen very quickly, like in a rapid or while driving. Other times, you can take a little time setting those things up. You will either come out victorious or you will come out wet (meaning you failed). Crucial part of this: both of those outcomes are perfectly fine. Feeling on top of the world is the best high ever, and instead of living in that moment build on the momentum. Don’t stop for anything. Failure only becomes a mistake when you fail to learn from it. Meaning if I don’t work on my brace when the weather gets warmer, because I will be getting wet from practicing that, than when I flip next time due to no brace, than that becomes a mistake. Choose your poison and evict the word mistake from your vocabulary.
I figured out what love is. It’s taken me 36 years to figure it out, and I’m not letting it go. It is loving yourself enough to own your identity, and it is the scariest thing I have ever done. The handful who know me really well and who I’ve confided in know what I am talking about.
I’ve hidden myself in one form of another since I was around 10. It was first because being weird in middle and high school is quite honestly just plain brutal, as some people know. It was much easier to be quiet and meek than smart and bold. In college, I found myself and surrounded myself with like-minded weird people of the best variety. It was rare when I was unapologetically me, though.
These are some of my favorite people on the planet. Who helped show me that I was enough.
I reached a point last year where I was on top of the world, so to speak. There was something missing that I couldn’t quite identify. I finally figured it out and told my best friend. She said literally, “thank God.” It’s the final piece of accepting me. The final piece of accepting who I am, and loving myself for everything that is me. It is scary and amazing. I am ready to do this. To own myself, and more importantly to love myself on an entirely new level of acceptance. This is not the forum to announce such things. If you’ve read through the lines, great. Just know that I am ready, I am coming, and most importantly, I AM ME. If you don’t like it, I honestly pity you. Acceptance is a human trait, and also the cause of the worst travesties of human history have occurred when not allowed.