|taken by my buddy black swan|
It was an amazing week. I did a lot of things I didn't think I'd be able to do. My right arm held up pretty well during the week, which made me very happy !
The actual First Descents Trip was Sunday-Friday, though with my train travel factored in, I was away Saturday - Saturday. While I realize train travel isn't for everyone, it was good for me to have that time on the train! It gave me time (on the way there) to get that space from home. Some of my kiddos were crying as my train left, and oh my goodness, did that tug at my heart so very much! So the train trip there was kind of my, okay, I'm leaving my family, to go on what may be a crazy trip and I just need a bit of breathing space between the two. And also, it was a lot of time to knit, so that's always a win in my book!
Sunday was the first official day of the trip and when I got to meet everyone. I'm not sure if I looked as nervous as I felt, but I was crazy anxious inside. All for nothing though as everyone was awesome (even if they did tease me for the way I say awesome. ;-) What can I say, if you hear me speak you will not doubt I've spent my entire life in the Chicago area!) Also Sunday I had my first taste of the amazing food we had all week long. Oh my, was I spoiled so much this week, especially with the food. Just thinking about it makes me hungry. And, oh yeah, we had to have nicknames. Um, I've never had a nickname really before so I wasn't sure what to pick, but I ended up going with Stitches, which feels so perfect to me.
|my kayak for the week|
Monday was also the first day on the water. Water. I have kind of a love/hate relationship with water. I like being in the water. I hate getting in the water. And I hate being wet when I'm not in the water. My children can attest to the fact that it takes me a million years to get into the pool. In hindsight, this is probably not the best combination for a white water kayaking trip, but somehow I managed and got all wet. I might have been shivering (naturally, I was cold because I am almost always cold!) but I submerged in the water not once, but several times that day. Including when I practiced exiting the kayak in case I flipped over. I should mention here that the thought of flipping the kayak freaked me out. I was positive I would forget how to get out and die. Because I have anxiety (as if I needed to state that) and can often figure out how things I do will lead to death. But, I did it. And I didn't freak out. And I didn't die. I actually did what I was supposed to and it was fine.
|Surfing a (small) rapid on the second day. Pic by Val|
|the view during lunch on Friday|
|picture by Val|
This was followed by starting to learn to roll. Voluntarily. Me. Wanting to be flipped upside down in the water in an effort to learn to roll myself back over. I mean, really, I can say that on this trip I literally learned to roll with it. Alright, I didn't actual figure out how to roll by myself, but I worked hard on it and made some progress!
|Great Falls from the Maryland side|
|in front of the White House!|
Phew! I'm leaving off there for now, but will write about the rest of the trip later! Apparently, I have a lot to say about this.
Part II is here!
For those of you not familiar, First Descents "offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same.n organization that provides trips like mine to young adult cancer patients." It is an amazing not-for-profit organization that is wonderful. Head on over to their website to learn more about them!