Thursday, August 4, 2011

My First Descents Journal: Day 1!

After my first FD camp my life changed. Not because of circumstance, but because I was a different person than when I got to that camp. I learned things about myself that in any other situation I wouldn’t have learned and the people I met touched my heart and made me a better person. So this year, as I return to camp, I am anxious, mostly because I’m worried that nothing can top the previous year. Not to mention the anxiousness I feel about kayaking on the Flathead River. But I was nervous last year too, and I overcame every obstacle. I have never been more proud of myself as I was then. I’m hoping this year leaves me feeling the same way.

Last year I just wanted to answer some questions I had about my life after cancer so that I could begin to move on. I spent the week in a lot of solitude just writing and thinking about things. I needed that time to process my emotions. This year, there are still several things I am hoping to get out of camp. As far as kayaking, I’m hoping that I will leave camp with a solid roll and feeling confident that if I flip over I can get myself back up… it would be nice to be rid of the constant nagging voice in my head telling me to just focus on not flipping over. I want to feel more comfortable on the water. Second, I really want to make some solid friendships that I will actually maintain. I’m bad about keeping in touch with people but usually it’s because we never really made a real connection. This year I want a relationship worth maintaining. Third, I really want to discuss fertility with someone. That is the one thing I’m struggling with right now… I really desperately want to be ok with not bearing my own children. Not that I’ve ever been huge on kids, but that is for another post.

So today, after leaving Mobile yesterday at 2pm and making the 5 hour drive to Atlanta, sleeping in the Atlanta airport, and then flying out of Atlanta at 7:30am, making a connection in Minneapolis, I am now in Kalispell at 1:30pm. It’s been a long trip and I’m exhausted, but it has been great to see everyone. Clicks and Johnny from my camp last year are here with me again and it has just been great to reconnect with them. Especially Johnny. She really gets to me… I don’t think I have ever met a better person. I don’t know how to even explain it but I just sense her spirit is truly beautiful. She has a really good heart and is one of those people that I wish I could be more like.

There are a lot of people here that I can tell have a ton of kayaking experience so I’m a little nervous about tomorrow, but I keep telling myself it will all be fine. It always is with FD J

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting..... 'WHAT A RIDE!'"