So, this past 4th of July, my man and I decided to go to the US National Whitewater Center (USNWC) for a day of outside fun and ADVENTURE And boy did we have an adventure. I went through the whole gamut of emotions on that day. And I wrote this post in the few days that followed so I could remember each one. Enjoy!
There were three goals we had today: zipline, mountain bike, kayak. Because it was so hot and we knew the lines were going to be long that day, we decided to do the ziplines and ropes course first.
Neither Josh nor I had ever ziplined before so we were excited about flying over the white water river below. We waited in the short line and before we knew it we were harnessed and ready to go! Here are some pictures…
The other thing we did from that tower was a 45 foot jump off the side. I’m sure its NOTHING compared to bungee jumping, but standing on the edge and looking down definitely made my blood move a little faster!
After that we headed into the woods to do a few ropes courses. It brought back the memories of summer camp and other team building exercises from my childhood. The only thing they were missing was a pamper pole! We had a lot of fun and it was a new thing for us to experience together.
By this point in the day, it was 2PM. and around 98 degrees outside. We had just finished eating lunch and were ready to hit the trails on our bikes.
We took the blue trail. The intermediate trail. And let’s just say I wasn’t quite ready for it. I’m not sure if it was the heat, my full belly or my fear of ruining the most exciting part of the day for Josh, but about 5 minutes into our ride, I crashed. It wasn’t a bad crash (although the bruises on my legs would tell you differently), but it was enough to push me over the edge. And then the tears came. The ugly, messy face, I hope no one rides by and sees me kind of tears. Josh did his best to calm me down and boost my confidence, but I was feeling pretty defeated. But don’t you worry… I hopped back on that bike, after requesting that we head toward the beginners trail. So we did.
The ride on this trail was much easier, not as many rocks and roots to ride over, not as many sharp turns and close trees to maneuver around. Please don’t forget that temperatures were nearing 100 degrees at this point, so it was still hot, and I was still not quite able to catch my breath. It became clear to me on this ride, that this was where we should have started. I tried to do something too fast and too soon, and my body couldn’t handle it.
How true is this in everyday life? In our world today, we are encouraged to take that promotion. To volunteer for every classroom party. To stay busy and keep moving forward. How many times have I tried to do something too fast and end up crashing and burning, instead of trusting God’s timeline for me.
The trails at the USNWC reminded me of how God deals with us today. The beginner trails offer easy terrain, a few obstacles to overcome and lots of resting spots along the way. God gives us small things first. He reveals to us the things that we can understand. And the more time we spend with him, the more he trusts us with and the more we can understand. In the same way, the more time we spend on the trails, the more equipped we are to move on to the advanced paths. But we need to know our limitations.
The advanced trail is what we should strive for. That should be the end goal. Everything is greater there. Greater difficulty, greater excitement, greater falls, and greater rewards. But it is something to work towards, it takes time and hard work to get there. Because if you try to tackle it too soon, you will probably end up crashing your bike.
Seeing the parking lot after that eventful ride was maybe the highlight of my day. Who ever thought hot gravel could look so good? We got a quick relief in our air-conditioned car, and headed back out to hit the river on some kayaks.
Even though I was still recovering from the bikes, this was the part of the day I was most looking forward to. Unfortunately, there were too many people on the river, so they weren’t letting anyone out for another hour. Bummer. So we got a drink at sat in the shade while we watched the people take on the waves of the white water. But while we sat, we also watched the storm clouds move in. Things didn’t look promising for us, but we waited an hour and got back in line to get our life vests and paddles.
On our way down to the river, THOR sounded. That’s their weather alert system. Which meant no kayak time for us. Feeling disappointed, we decided we’d rather go sit in our chairs and eat some dinner, than wait around with 50 other people at the dock with the hope that the weather would clear soon enough to get some water time.
It was a good decision. We listened to some great music, at some mediocre food, and did some of the best people watching we’ve done in a long time! Which is one of our favorite things to do. The night ended with a fireworks show, and we got out of there just in time to beat the traffic.
What a crazy day. It was definitely a Fourth of July that will be remembered for a long time!
**Its been 3 months since this crazy day, and I am happy to report that we’ve tackled those trails a few more times. I am confident to say that I am a beginner trail pro now, and ready for the next challenge!
:: This post is part of a 31 day series. You can read the first post here. ::