Monday, September 3, 2012

A Weekend of New Experiences

My last Labor Day Weekend in Ithaca turned out to be a great one for me, in terms of new experiences. I think after all the time abroad and traveling around the world, I decided at some point that I never wanted to stop trying new things or seeing new places.

While this weekend wasn't about jetsetting, it did turn out to be a good one for the 'trying new things' part of my philosophy. Saturday was the annual Honors whitewater rafting trip. Liz and I woke up at the god-awfully early hour of 5:45 am to board the bus with the rest of the participants and head out to Watertown to the Black River. Now, I have never been whitewater rafting or done anything remotely like it, so I was a bit nervous. The guy adjusting my life jacket didn't help when he said that this was a "pretty aggressive introduction" to the world of whitewater rafting. My nerves increased.

Thankfully for me and my nerves, the water levels weren't overly intense this year, as there's been a massive drought over the summer. While it wasn't easy, it wasn't as rough as it could have been. I was a bit sore afterwards, especially in the shoulder area, but it was great fun. We got to stop and swim in a couple of nice places and did some crazy stunts in the rapids. You really have to work hard and do your part though, even if it is hard. It is rather difficult to paddle with all of your might as the river guide is screaming 'HARD FORWARD!!! HARD FORWARD!!!' (which means paddle with everything you've got!) while you're being lurched about in a rapid. Nobody fell off our raft though, so that was an accomplishment.

Many a Titanic- "there's a boat Jack" references were made.

My next adventure came today. Casey invited Andrea, Liz and me to her house to go tubing on the lake. Now, I've also never been tubing, nor have I ever been on a motorboat. So today was another big new experience day for me. It wasn't the most gloriously sunny day by far, (in fact, it rained on us a couple of times!) but the poor weather made for a pretty deserted lake. The better to tube on, my dears.

Tubing was a blast! I think I swallowed a gallon of lake water though. Apparently my first, er, dismount as I call it was spectacular. Unable to hold on any longer, I released the inner tube. According to Liz, I barrel rolled off and through the air a bit before rolling on top of the water and finally under. Not the lease painful activity, but it was great! On my second run I felt sure that I was going to flip at least 6 times, and the waves crashing over nearly drowned me! (Ok, not really, but I got quite soaked).

Both were definitely activities I would do again, if I had my awesome and experienced friends with me. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try both, especially since I'm not an overly huge outdoorsy person. My paralyzing fear of bees tends to forestall any outdoor activities, but that fear, excluding a terrifying 30 seconds with a bee on my back while rafting, was avoided this weekend. I'm grateful for these opportunities and hope to continue doing/seeing new things.

So far so good. Senior year is gonna be a blast!

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