I have to admit that, before deciding to write this post on the craziest thing I’ve done so far, I turned to my husband and said:
“Ok what’s the craziest thing I’ve done?” Meaning of course, what’s the craziest thing we’ve done hoping he would remember something suitably PG but instead I got this response:
“Dunno but we have had a lot of crazy s***t happen to us.”
So to be clear this post is not about the wackiest, craziest things that have happened to me but rather one crazy mad thing I got up to with some intention. (The other stuff will have to come later)
I suspect I have done crazier things. I once quit a job without having another one to go to for example. But this particular adventure stands out because I remember thinking I was going to die and trust me you never, ever forget a near-death experience.
If you’ve read most of my posts you’ll no doubt have gathered that I like water. I like it so much that at last count I have more photographs of bodies of water than I do of my own sons. I like everything about water. I like the way you can move through it like you’re moving through silk. I like it’s fickle nature. I like it’s power. I like the fact that water talks and gurgles and murmurs and roars.
The water understandsCivilization well;It wets my foot, but prettily,It chills my life, but wittily,It is not disconcerted,It is not broken-hearted:Well used, it decketh joy,Adorneth, doubleth joy:Ill used, it will destroy,In perfect time and measureWith a face of golden pleasureElegantly destroy. – Water by Ralph Waldo Emerson
So after years and years of swimming in oceans and lakes and pools and jumping off jagged cliffs into deceptively deep and dark pools (there’s another crazy thing!)I went white water rafting with a group of adrenalin junkies. Looking back I think I did this because I was in my early twenties and because l didn’t have a date that weekend.
My friends and I were all properly outfitted. We had lifejackets (PFDs), helmets and a paddle each. We set off on a perfect Summer morning with an experienced guide in an orange inflatable raft down the Vaal river – a wide, brown river in South Africa (the word “Vaal” is Dutch for “drab” or “dull”). We paddled along for the first hour or so. The river a plate of glass. Someone passed around snacks; dried fruit, nuts…We ate, we drank. We paddled past floating islands.
The first rapids were easy. We managed those with laughter. I don’t think we even used our paddles. But then after another hour or so we found ourselves riding “Big Daddy” (yes, that is the name of one of the rapids) and suddenly we were all paddling furiously. The guide was shouting instructions. The river was frothing and in parts the rocks jutted out like teeth. I was so sure we were all going to fall into the water and drown like rats in the spin cycle of a washing machine. I think I screamed. I can’t remember. It was like one of those fairground rides with no foreseeable end.
But there was an end. A few of us struggled ashore and kissed the ground.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done so far?