By Haley Strand
One of the top reasons we human beings don’t experience things in life is because of fear. That small four letter word has a giant impact on our lives and the choices we make. Whitewater rafting can be scary to some. Frightening, daunting, or terrifying even. I know because I’ve been there. And honestly, each time we approach a rapid on a trip my heart starts beating faster and faster. But after so many whitewater rafting trips, the fear quickly turns into thrill and excitement.
Here are some tips to help splash those whitewater fears of yours in the face!
Take a chance: This is step one. You aren’t going to overcome any of your fears unless you try it. This is a great chance to take if you are hesitant about whitewater rafting. It doesn’t take any skill, all you need to do is enjoy the ride.
Yoga breaths: You know when you’re in yoga class and the instructor tells you to take a deep exhale in and out? Yoga breaths. This works wonders on a nervous person. Focusing on your breathing rather than your fear will help you overcome it.
Laugh: Crack a joke, make the situation funny. Laughing will surely help take your mind off of your fear.
Your guide: Take a look at your guide. I assure you they will look confident, strong, and very trustworthy. You are in great hands and they have done this many times.
Listen: Before each trip, your guides are going to tell you what will happen and what can happen while rafting. The best thing you can do is listen to them. Once you hear how smooth it will all go, you’ll be ready to hit the rapids!
Get wet: Don’t try and avoid getting wet. This just isn’t going to happen, period. If you’re scared, aim your face right for a wave. Trust me, the splash will knock the fear right off your face and you’ll be left with a giant grin.
Adventures are scary. Going out into new territory is scary. Pushing your comfort zones is scary. If you don’t push yourself you aren’t going to grow. If you feel uncomfortable, that means you are growing. Fear is something we all experience, but you should have limited fear when it comes to whitewater rafting. If it’s the water that intimidates you, get in! If it’s the rapid that intimidates you, get wet! You’ll get splashed and then crave more!
At just under 5 years old, Haley took her first river trip with Holiday River Expeditions and has been rafting with them ever since. Haley is now 23 years old with a bachelors degree in Communications from the University of Utah. A newcomer in the marketing industry with a bright future ahead. When she isn’t working, she is working out or playing with her pups Stella and Stuey. She loves playing in the beautiful mountains and rivers of Utah but her other love is mother ocean, from Baja California to St. Croix, Maine and the Carolinas. Haley is a true water baby at heart.