Sunday, July 1, 2012

the falls

I like to be adventerous.

Well, I like to think I am.

Two trips down this series of three waterfalls yesterday and I was seriously questioning my capacity for bravery.

You might know I like plans. I like to know where I'm going and what's waiting for me at the bottom, say, of three waterfalls. So when I asked, I was informed that there were steps off the side leading back up to shore. I can handle steps.


Nobody mentioned the fact that the current would be so effing strong that after baling out of my tube, I would be struggling to just stand upright on a sharp rocky ledge in the middle of the river, much less get my ass to unseen steps by the shore. A spry-looking woman just in front of me was struggling too. And when I say struggling, folks, I mean that had we stopped fighting to just stay standing, the current would have swept us down the river so fast we'd be gone for hours. She had a husband. And husband managed to get their kid to shore and then she begged him to come back for her.

We were reaching near crisis mode, and this thought flashed through my mind:

"I would never last on Survivor." Eff that shit. I wanted my feet on shore, not on the sharp rocks that had now deeply cut the bottom of one foot. I knew it had to be bleeding profusely. Sharks would be there any minute.

My peeps were on the shore telling me to come on, and I was yelling that I couldn't. My little brother came to get me, and told me I'd have to swim just a little ways to the rock ledge.

But I can't swim across this current!! Pretty sure I whined that out.

I mustered whatever swimming capability I had and prepared for the long haul. Two strokes later, I could touch again.

"Wow, really. Two strokes? Why didn't you tell me?" And then I felt like the person who was drowning in two feet of water (Stand up, just stand up!) I turned back to my water-friend who was still waiting for hubby (taking forever!) and I encouraged her that once you swam like two strokes, you could touch again.

So, I survived that round.

Let's go again.

First waterfall flipped me out of my tube, which sent me headfirst into the water and through a maze of death, I swear. Primarily, I could not breath, which is always concerning for me. Secondly, the water through the falls is shallow and there are big-ass rocks waiting, taunting. I imagined my face (the one still underwater.....God, if you love me, bring me to the surface!) being smashed into an underwater rock. Maybe I would pass out and drown. Maybe I would need plastic surgery. But since breathing was still a top priority at this point, I didn't dwell on it.

God loves me. I could breath again. And just in time to hear my brother yell that the next waterfall was coming and to plug my nose.

Eff my life.

What nose? I didn't even have time to touch it before I was plunged and pinned underwater again.

How is this fun?! I think I made a lot of promises I knew I wouldn't be able to keep while I was swirling around in the crevices of water-darkness. Now I know what toilet paper feels like when it's flushed. So not pleasant.

I found the surface again and just before the third waterfall. I did not fall off a watermelon truck yesterday. There was no way in hell I was tumbling over a third one.

The ravage woman-survivor in me reared up and clawed my way out of the path of the most heavy current and to big rocks, cutting in front of a fellow tuber who did not appreciate me interrupting his ride. Dude, I'm sorry. I've escaped death three times today. I'm no fool.

And then, while I'm on my hands and knees, completely not caring if the people in front of me were getting a full view of the girls, crawling my way out of the water and muttering, "That was not fun, that was not fun," I realized: You are not brave. You are a little bit of a pussy.

I did not go down the waterfalls again. Instead, I nursed my wounds (seen here):

and threatened to go find one of the little paramedics on four-wheelers for a first aid kit. I was advised not to do that, for the sake of honor.

I stared death in its watery eye, folks.

I lived. Limping, but surviving.

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