A phrase heard often in a Power Yoga class, specifically when holding a long Warrior 2! This phrase whispered in my ear last weekend while kayaking with Jared on the Lower Youghiogheny in Ohiopyle. Jared and I meet seven summers ago in the quaint tourist town of Ohiopyle. We worked alongside each other while raft guiding on the Lower Youghiogheny for about three years. Since then we have rafted or kayaked together on a number of rivers. As any kayaking couple will tell you these “dates” can either be the best of times or the worst of times! Kayaking brings out a lot of my fears (if you flip upside down you can’t breathe being number one) and stories I have about myself (I would be a better kayaker if I would have started younger being my favorite story to tell myself). Kayaking has also given me the ability to conquer and face those fears. Being on or near the river is something I absolutely love. I grew up in Ohiopyle and first rafted when I was 5 years old, although I wouldn’t start kayaking till I was 25. The river is part of me; her smell, her energy, and the way she can rinse away my day in one quick second constantly draws me to her shores.
When we put on the river last Sunday I could feel the fearful Amanda sitting in my boat. The river was higher than the State Park gauge and as we put on Jared threw me a lot of love by saying “I don’t have to stop here and surf, let’s go through Entrance Rapid”. He did this because he knew I was nervous and sitting and waiting would have only made me more nervous. Great I thought, once I get through Entrance everything will be ok (how you do anything is how you do everything, Amanda). In the middle of the rapid I notice Jared floating through the waves like a duck, looking around and enjoying the view, trusting his boat not to flip upside down. His carefree mood was soon extinguished by me saying “Get going babe, you are in my way”. Here I am paddling with everything I have thinking the faster I paddle the more control I have and the less likely I am to flip upside down (how you do anything is how you do everything). Jared simply laughed and paddled faster and at the bottom of the rapid we laughed about my Speedy Gonzales paddle strokes. On my drive to school the next day I realized there I was paddling so fast to get through the rapid, why? to get to the next rapid and get through that one? And there’s Jared; floating, smiling, trusting. Even when I snapped at him to get moving, he wasn’t mad, he laughed! Wow, what a wake up call for me
Part of my inspiration in writing this to say thank you Jared! Thanks for loving me in spite of my need to control and rush the process. More importantly thank you for reminding me that it is okay to go with the flow of life! You Inspire Me Every Single Day.