Go Deep

Applying River Tips to Life Struggles

“If you’re stuck in a hole, balling up and letting yourself go deep instead of fighting the water should help you flush out.”

–Quote from Irene’s Kayaking Blog

I used to raft quite a bit. Rafting is an interesting sport. Normally the term “swimming,” usually invokes images of happy summer days, splashing around a pool, possibly while sipping drinks with tiny umbrellas. In rafting and kayaking, swimming is a very very bad word. You don’t want to swim. Swimming means you’ve been ejected from the safety of your raft and are more than likely fighting for your life, possibly getting hypothermia, risking a head injury hitting your head on a rock, or getting pulled into a hole you can’t get out of.  A hole is a powerful, churning whirlpool that happens in an eddy, where the water rushes in and gets trapped, pulling any debris (or swimmers) down into it’s depths. It’s hard to get out of a hole. You can’t tell which way is up, gravity makes no senses, and you suddenly realize how important air is to you. Holes are nasty.

I was thinking about river holes today. I kind of feel like I’m stuck in a hole right now. I don’t know how to get out. This diagram and the preceding tip are a reminder that I can’t just tread water forever. At some point I’m going to have to ball up, go under, and try to shoot out to other side. When I do, I might not have enough oxygen to make it out the other side, but if I stay in this hole, I’ll eventually drown.

When Things Go Wrong on the River – And How to Get Out of a Hole