Play Day at the USNWWC
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I just spent an amazing day at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC! It was one of the best days I can remember in recent years. It was amazing for a couple of reasons:
1. My hubby and I both took a much needed vacation day and really enjoyed the outdoors and all the activities together. We had recently moved both our son and daughter back to their respective colleges, so this was a fun play date that we were able to share!
2. We shared the day with a couple we have known for years who are just incredibly fun! Jim and Kathy have been real inspirations for me over the years - both maintain fabulous fitness levels and are adventurous sorts that make me want to try new things!
3. I was able to do things today that even 2 years ago were not possible. My weight loss of over 100 lbs has given me freedom to participate in these types of activities without feeling winded or wondering if people were staring at the "fat chick" on the courses. I felt confident and fit going through all the activities!
So what did we do? Well, we started on the zip lines that ran over the white water course. This is the course the US Olympic team used to qualify for and practice for London. My heart was racing a bit. As a cadet at West Point, I had a really tough time with heights and I haven't really done anything since graduation that would put me back in those situations. So the high zip line had me a bit anxious, but I didn't want to let on to the others that I was scared. I went down the same time as my friend Kathy and it was actually really fun - as a matter of fact, we went right back up that tower and did it a second time!
On to the ropes courses - oh boy. As nerve wracking as it was at times, I could feel my confidence level climbing with each new obstacle - I can do this! Kathy always went first and gave me super helpful hints on how to navigate each wire. She is a USNWWC experienced athlete and had done all these courses several times before. I was so thankful for her leadership throughout the day - it so helped me in just doing it without thinking of how I felt!
After lunch (best seared tuna salad I've ever had in my life - and I am picky on that dish) we hit the flatwater kayaking on the Catawba River. I paddled mostly with Jim who pointed out to me so many turtles on logs, a gorgeous heron, numerous nests and gave me hints the whole way of how to navigate the boat. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't get tired despite going for a really long time. All those hours of cardio and strength training paying off.
In a nutshell, the day was about regaining confidence and realizing I've come a long way! I feel so empowered with a much improved fitness level that I can do just about anything I put my mind to! I'm grateful to my husband and our friends for this adult play date and I hope to go back soon - hey, there's mountain biking and white water rafting I want to try next!