Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I learned something while white water rafting down the Nile river.  (Can we pause for a second?  Isn't that a fun sentence?  White water rafting + Nile river = One memorable day.)  Anyway, back to my lesson:  There's nothing graceful about getting back into a boat.

Before hitting the more ferocious parts of the river, a group has to practice flipping over and getting back in their raft.  I entered the drill as a fairly confident adventurer.  Our guide said the trick is to grab the safety cord on the edge of raft, take a superman sort of position in the water, keep your arms locked, and use momentum from kicking your legs and pulling your arms just so to jump back in.  Easily described.  Easily watched.  Not so easy to do.

I failed miserably.

No matter now much I tried to readjust my posture, to kick my legs, to pull with my arms or to follow through with my momentum, I just couldn't do it.  I could barely raise myself out of the water, much less get all the way back up into the boat.

I had to be fished out the Nile by my guide.  Who literally grabbed my shoulders, wrenched me up and over the wall, and dumped me on the floor of the raft.  My outfit was discombobulated.  I still had to find my center of gravity and untangle myself from the floor to return to my seat.  It was not my most graceful moment.  At all.

It would be really easy to compare that to my unintentional sabbatical from blogging.  So I'll pause and acknowledge the parrallel.

Have you ever had to have one of "those" conversations?  The awkward ones?  The ones involving tough love?  Sometimes, no matter how perfect the form, how protective the gear, how determined the swimmer...a person could use a hand.  (Wait for it...wait for it...especially if that poor little swimmer is in denial.)  And if someone is floundering in the water, they'll never be able to survive the ferocious bits of the river. 

So if you're strong enough, if you have the foundation and buoyancy under you to support it, reach down, grab a shoulder, and pull.  It's not graceful.  Most likely there will be some discombobulation to sort through.  But once everything settled, the embarrassment passes leaving only gratitude in its wake. 

And then the fun begins.

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