As I was making my way down the Upper Gauley through class V rapids on Monday I was reminded again how good it feels to be strong! This time it was not only empowering it was also very reassuring. Me, my pal Ev (a fellow exerciser), our husbands and a few others woke up very early Monday morning to prepare for our river ride. All of us were visiting the upper Gauley for our third or fourth time but still…..I was a little nervous; it’s that fun kind of nervous but it definitely keeps you on your toes!
If you’ve never been rafting this is sort of how it goes: Get up at dark o’clock, don your wetsuit, booties and gloves. Make your way to the loading area to sign your life away and pick up your flotation vest and helmet. Stand around for what seems like forever then board the bus to the river. Our ride took about 15 minutes.
Once at the river we met our guide and found our boat. After a few stupid jokes we’re ordered to grab a handle and carry our vessel down to the water. Those in the front hop on and the rest of us follow. Then the fun begins!
“Paddle three,paddle back, paddle one, lean left”… our guide yells out to us. As we approach each big rapid we’re told where to swim if we fall out. We’re warned over and over again: Never try to stand up if you fall out of the boat.
So this is where the empowering, reassuring feelings come in. For each two-hour stretch (we did the double upper!) my quads were pinned so hard to the side of that boat that they had to be practically pried away each time we made it through and over the falls! And my shoulders are a little tired today from all that paddling.
I know for sure that without my BbG exercise I would have no business being on the river. Ev and I were the only two women and I was definitely way older that most everyone there!
So that’s why we exercise; not only so we can stay healthy but also because we can keep up with the rest and continue to do the fun stuff that makes life that much more exhilarating! Be fit, be happy, have fun.
Here’s our crew after a long day on the Gauley! Fidge, our guide, is just to my right.