Today we took our annual church trip up the mountain to go tubing on the New River in NC. This is mostly a youth trip and that was our first year as youth leaders, so last year was the first time Drew and I had gone. Last year Ben went with us as well, so I followed the toddler around instead of tubing on the river. I did get a brief idea of what tubing is about. It may seem pretty obvious to some, but it wasn't to me. Tubing is simply floating down the river in an inner tube. I have to be honest. I wasn't really disappointed last year that I didn't go tubing. Why? The risk of sunburn? No. The hassle of keeping up with teens on a river? No. The embarrassment of wearing a bathing suit in public? No
I was happy not to go because I don't like doing new things. I'm a bit of a coward. Okay a lot of a coward. I'm always afraid of what might go wrong. In this case, what if I tip over? What if I lose my tube? What if I get cut by a rock? What if a fish touches me? What if I get lost? The list could go on and on. Most of the issues are laughably unimportant and nearly impossible. Get lost? On a river? You go in one direction! How would I get lost? Or if a fish touches me? So that is what 2 seconds of creepy? Get over it! Get cut by a rock? The rocks are in the water that is moving over them all the time. There is a smaller likelihood of sharp rocks in a moving river.
So this year my son wasn't an excuse. I had to go. I was dreading it for all of the above reasons. I just knew I was going to do something wrong and mess something up. We were warned the river might be a little cold and the wind might be problematic because of Hurricane Irene. The water was pretty comfy. Of course when you first got in, it was cold. Only for a minute maybe. The wind held off while we were on the river. We were blessed with great weather. Even the great weather couldn't abate my fears of getting it wrong. However with the pressure of the youth and other chaperones, I went in with a brave face and some minor complaining. Guess what happened? I LOVED it!! It was so much fun and not hard at all. So my fears were baseless. I did get stuck on the rounded off rocks a couple times, but that was just funny.
So even though I am a coward about new stuff, I will put on a courageous face to fool the crowd. Peer pressure will convince me to get over myself and get on with life. I think the worst that happened was that I bumped into a few rocks and had wet shoes. The best that happened is that I had so much fun and discovered something else I can do! I'm glad I gave up my cowardice and had the courage to try something new.