Facing Fear while Rafting on the Youghiogheny River


“Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.”
― Seneca

If someone had told me that I’d be rafting in one of the most dangerous rivers in Pennsylvania in January, I don’t know that I would’ve believed them.

I created a vision board at the beginning of this year with a vision of kayaking in whitewater. At that time, it was just that, an idea. It wasn’t real.

It took me an entire summer to realize how powerful vision and action can change the perception of my own reality. In the spring I started asking the questions of myself and asking others to help me in moving the vision of being someone who wanted to kayak in whitewater, to someone who actually did it.

I trained to learn how to be a whitewater rafting guide this summer. After an intensive six-weeks of learning, I guided five trips. As a new guide, I made mistakes. But I didn’t give up. I continued to learn. And the more I became familiar with the waves of the Lehigh River, the better I felt when challenged with high water rapids. At the end of the summer, I wasn’t as fearful about being in the water and knew I’d be able to get back in my kayak if I found myself in the river.

I met people who I became really good friends with and learned to depend on when I was out rafting most recently in the Youghiogheny River on our employee rafting guide trip.

The biggest takeaway from this amazing summer is that I will never stop trying. No matter what is stopping me from doing what is scary.

Do the scary thing. Whatever it is. Because if not, you’ll regret not trying.

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