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4 Things You’ll Lose and 1 Thing You’ll Gain on the River

A moment of silence for all the hats, sunglasses, sandals, water bottles, Chapsticks, clothes and maybe a little bit of dignity we have sacrificed to the River Gods. Rest easy at the bottom of the Colorado. We can only hope these sacrifices help us be more safe, have better hits and get more air during our victory back flips. But other than the not so willing sacrifices, these are the four things you’ll lose and the one thing you’ll find once you make the right decision to head down river in search of more than the shore has to offer.

1. Your comfort zone. Embarking on any expedition gives you the opportunity to leap into the unknown. To open yourself to new experience and leave yourself vulnerable to what those have to offer. You have to leave your comfort zone. From the way you go to the bathroom to the descend into white water rapids it’s going to be a little scary. Your eyes will get widen and your heart will race (and that’s just when you learn about the Groover!) But you’ll find there is more adventure outside of your safe place. That is where life is waiting for you.

2. Your pride. The river will humble you one way or another. Whether it is in the middle of the night when you wake up to see millions of stars or after you make it through water that is so much stronger than any of us will ever be. Or when you’re on the boat and look up at those canyon walls and wonder how long it took to carve out this place. You’ll realize how small we all are and you’ll understand a little better how incredible that really is.

3. Your insecurities.At first it might feel like the the river is bringing out your insecurities! I felt that, I was afraid I wasn’t strong enough for this gig. I thought I wouldn’t be good enough. But I learned. She’ll push you, this mighty river. She’ll move you through miles of water and sand and you’ll prove to yourself that no matter what you’re insecure about in this world, it can be worked out. You’ll make it. She’ll teach you to be as resilient and stubborn as she is.

4. Your fear.It won’t happen all at once, but bit by bit. You’ll feel that change. All the things you were scared of before your trip: the big rapids, the food, the exposure to the elements, whether you’ll get along with everyone else will fade. Every day you’ll see how good it feels to be out there. To be without cell phones or paperwork or distractions, to be with the people you love in this strange place. That fear will slowly disappear and be replaced with a whole lot of joy.

5. Yourself The thing you’ll find is yourself. You’ll see things that will open your eyes. You’ll have conversations that will open your heart. You’ll experience things that will bring you back to yourself. You’ll laugh like a kid again and connect without the distractions of everyday life. You’ll feel the calm and the excitement. You’ll remember a lot about life you may have forgotten and learn a hell of a lot more than you thought you would. So, go. What are you waiting for?

Abi Scoma

My name is Abi! I've been with Western for 4 years and guiding for 3. I was raised in California and moved to Utah as a teenager, it took me a while to love it but now I can't imagine living anywhere else. I love rafting, climbing and seeing the world. I spend my winters working in a treatment center for teenage boys. I absolutely love my winter life but I think I'll always obey the call to the great outdoors and will always find my way back to the river!

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