Thursday, July 26, 2012


Chris Hemsworth aka probably the only guy
who should wear a wet-suit.

Two summers ago I did the unthinkable: I wore a wet-suit.

There aren’t many regular folk like me who should wear a wet-suit. If you haven’t experienced this, imagine putting on your wet swimsuit fresh from the washing machine, plus it shrunk. Better yet, imagine crawling inside a deflated yellow balloon. Or maybe imagine those toys that you can add water to and they will expand except it’s the opposite of that and then try to wear that toy as coveralls. Whoa. Anyway, despite the palpable awkwardness it was worth it because (strike another one off the bucket list), I went white-water rafting in the Rocky Mountains!

I even have fond memories. And by fond I mean dread. But good dread. Let me explain. If you haven’t experienced white-water rafting, I will start with this: the first hour is completely awful. Except for the sweat streaming down my back, I wasn’t even wet in that first hour. Heck, I wasn’t even in the raft yet. During the first hour the instructors provide extensive training. And by training I mean this:

1.      Sign this in case you die.
2.      If... [insert Scenario A here], you could die.
3.      If... [insert Scenario B here], you could die.
4.      If... [insert Scenario C here], you WILL die.
5.      Here’s your paddle.

This is not an attempt to discourage anyone. That first hour is obviously the company spiel required for insurance purposes. Sure there’s legitimate risk but as we all know with insurance nowadays, if there’s a chance one might sneeze recklessly then there’s some sort of waiver required.

Anyway, here’s the thing. Once all the death-scenario-izing is over and one’s inner monologue ceases chanting I-am-going-to-die-I-am-going-to-die, once the first set of rapids has been successfully navigated, once one realizes that this rollercoaster on rocks is actually somewhat manageable, something exhilarating happens, something in amongst those sheer blocks of granite along the river that look like they were casually tossed aside by Thor, something underneath those skyscraper cliffs six stories in the air, something in amongst the trees and caves and wildlife many humans never see, something awesome happens: inspiration. It’s like you have superpowers, like you can do anything, ANYTHING. Even wear a wet-suit in public. (But thankfully there are no pictures.)

"Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use." ~Charles Schulz


Symdaddy said...

Which scenario nearly killed you?


Tina said...

:) that talk before the rafting is FAR worse than the actually rafting. It (the talk) had me in tears of fear, literally . . . . and I wasn't the only one crying!

Enjoy your blog! I've been "stalking" it for a while now!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You're a braver man than I, Gunga Din. Both in regard to the wetsuit AND the whitewater rafting.

Vinny C said...

I don't know if I can ever do something like that. I mean, sure, I like a little risk & little adventure, but a wet-suit?! I'll need to seriously weigh my options.

karensomethingorother said...

I love Charles Shulz.

Anyhoo, I blanched at the idea of me in a wetsuit. Very witty post by the way. Love those DISCLAIMERS.

The Defiant Marshmallow said...

Having experienced the joy of wearing wetsuits, I can only say that I sympathize with you.

White water rafting is a whole different can o' pain.

Jim said...

We white-water rafted in Alberta a while back and I don't remember any 'signing my life away'. The ride wasw awesome and we got wet suit!!! lol

Sandra said...

1. I was wishing for pictures.
2. I think you're crazy. The mere word "rapids" makes my stomach lurch.

Michael said...

Does one wear swimsuit under a wetsuit?

Laoch of Chicago said...

Nice, next for you are the blood sports!

dbs said...

@Michael Nope.
@Laoch Exactly! (but no wet-suit required right?)

neal said...

Regarding warning clauses, I was just looking up warning signals in my washing machine manual:

Warning! You can be killed or seriously injured if you don't follow instructions.

and then it one-ups itself, and gives

DANGER! You can be killed or seriously injured if you don't IMMEDIATELY follow instructions.

It's like the DANGER! signal is saying "If you try to go make a sandwich right now, you're definitely gonna die." And it kind of sounds like an angry parent. "I said right NOW!"

I'd much rather have these warnings involved with something that's actually awesome and fun, like rafting.

Mel said...

Great description of wearing wet suit. I wore one. Once. However, the activities that go along with them are the best!

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