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Oakdale, CA 95361
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Ready for Anything: Our Way of Life

August 08, 2012

Stephanie Kidd invited Bob, order Tricia and Alison and I to accompany her kayaking friends on a trip down the Tuolumne River this past weekend.  I’ll tell you up front, viagra 100mg I’ve never rafted before.  I would go tubing as a kid with camp, but that’s about it.  After hanging out at Knights Ferry and Orange Blossom, I thought I knew what to expect from a rafting trip: lots of sun, a few drinks and some paddling.  I was WAY off!


First, my hat (or helmet) is off to Stephanie for leading on this adventure.  After putting the raft in the water, Steph began a safety briefing that was a little more involved than, if you fall out, we’ll pick you up (which is what I was expecting).  The night before, as we packed, Steph made sure all our gear was packed in water proof dry bags.  As I would find out, this was “just in case” our stuff got wet.  Everything got wet!  We donned our helmets, and within 5 minutes, we were fighting rocks and river.


For those of you who know Steph, you’ll recognize bruises, dings and injuries on a regular basis.  I GET IT NOW!  Steph and her kayaking friends (or boating buddies) attack the river like I attack workouts.  And the river is mean. It was great to see Steph in action; she was in her element and making stuff happen. We can’t thank you enough for such a great trip.


Over the next 2 days, we traversed rapids and paddled until our bodies were exhausted.  The amazing thing is, if you make a bad decision, or don’t paddle hard enough, you get caught on rocks.  If you get caught on rocks, you have to work harder to get yourself out.


It was an exhilarating trip.  Physically, it was like running a Tough Mudder two days in a row.  Everyone of our 5 man raft was tossed, and had to be pulled back in.  I had a hairy moment early on that effected me throughout the entire trip.  Alison had been tossed from the boat on the second or third rapid, and we were struggling to get her back in.  As she held on, rapids were smashing her, and I saw a second of panic as fatigue and awareness of the situation set in.  I jumped from my spot to pull her in, and Bob gave Al an atomic wedgie to pull her in the raft.  After that, it really set in the you needed to treat every rapid like a critical event.


A few observations:


This type of trip would not be possible if you did not have A) River experience or B) a pretty high level of fitness.  What we lacked in A we made up in B, although Steph has a ton of river time and Bob (with little rafting experience but a ton of boat knowledge) picked up operating the raft very quickly.  This trip would have been tiring for anyone, and we were up against time and darkness.  We had to hustle, and in areas that we could chill, we had to paddle and work.


Fitness pays off in more ways.  Being fit, we had a good attitude through all the challenges.  Lots of laughing, and enjoying the challenge.


As fatigue set in late in the trip, you could see how our decision processes changed.  When you’re tired, hungry, hot, cold, etc. you may not be thinking as clearly as when you’re fresh.  Knowing you’re body is fighting you, you need to be extra vigilant: know you’re tired, and adjust accordingly.  You need to talk about and be honest about your fatigue.  This may be the most important takeaway.  An exhausted or hurt team member means more work for everyone.


Carrying a boat out of a canyon absolutely sucks.  But it helps to be strong.


I still suck at rowing, whether it’s with a paddle or on the C2.


Nature is a bitch.  When things go wrong, they can go exponentially wrong very quickly.  Ask questions, listen, be humble, and be prepared.


Ready for Anything is more than a slogan.  It’s a way of life, and I’m really proud of it.


Knight’s Ferry Info: Make sure you have sunscreen, sunglasses (that you wouldn’t mind losing) and shoes that will stay on your feet if you fall out of the boat. We will be starting in Knight’s Ferry, floating down to Orange Blossom and then shuttled back up to Knight’s Ferry where we can lunch…bring snacks/lunch food. Alison will have more info for you tomorrow.


Workout of the Day



Back Squat

5 sets of 3, 65% of 3 RM

Rest 60s between sets.  We’ll need to move quickly and work together to get this done.



For time

50 Toes to Bar

Run TL Davis Loop

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