Erin Weed's Blog

Monday, July 16, 2007

Whitewater Madness

Today was the second time in two weeks that I hit the rapids in Colorado. I'm quite hooked on the whitewater rafting thrills and challenges, all the while being submerged (sometimes literally) in the wonder of nature. On my first trip, nobody got tossed into the river. Today, however, I was in for some surprises. I was sitting in the very front, and on the other front position was a girl about 12 years old. I thought she was a bit young to be running the front of the boat, but figured it wasn't a trip that was all that challenging. Then about 30 minutes in, I look over to see the girl getting chucked over the side of the raft as we dipped down a 5 foot drop. She was gone. My years of lifeguarding kicked in as I jumped out of my seat and leaned over the edge to find her. She held onto her paddle, so she was able to reach it to me. Contact was made. But boy, she was freaked out. Her eyes were big as full moons with an unblinking gaze that said, "Get me the hell outta here!" It was true fear...and if facial expressions could speak, she was saying, "Am I gonna drown in this river? So I verbally said to her, "You're gonna be alright." Soon after I ungraciously grabbed her by her life preserver straps and hurled her into the boat...ending up on top of me somehow. But she was safe...and wet. And we all laughed. Later on, my mom commented on how surprised she was at how calmly, slowly and deliberately I fished her out of the water. Funny, I thought I was a complete spaz with all the adrenaline pumping. But I realized this skill of taking my time to do it right the first time was something I had learned during my Model Mugging, IMPACT and RAD self-defense courses. Taking the time to breathe, to think and to combat the panic button that just wants to send your muscles into a flurry. It's a skill that helps you out of many situations, not just violent attacks. Learning to manage our adrenaline and harness our fear brings us power, control and usually good results. So don't delay...take a self-defense class. The results will spillith over...

Click here to find a women's self defense class near you.

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