To read part two of day six, click here.
I shook my head. I didn’t really know what was wrong. But then I opened my mouth and apparently my mouth knew what was wrong better than my brain did.
“I’m scared of the river. I’m scared of tipping, I’m scared that the water will carry me away. I’m so small and the river is so big and I’m not strong enough to stop myself from being carried down the river and I’m scared. I don’t want to do this.”
A couple of the girls were close enough to hear me and they came over.
“Are you ok, Brett?”
I shook my head – I was not ok. I was so scared and I wanted to be at home, doing orders, listening to music… really, I just wanted to be anywhere but there.
I nodded my head, brushing the tears away. I was upset with myself – it was the first time I had cried. I had been doing such a good job of being strong. I hadn’t cried before – not even when my ankle was really hurting. And the river was making a baby of me.
“It’s ok to be scared, Brett. I’m pretty scared of the river too. But we’ll all be fine – don’t worry about it.”
I said thank you – it didn’t really make me feel any better, and I was still worrying, but the girls had tried to help. Jen told them to get back to work and she helped me put my pack with the other packs in the back of the trailer.
We sat on the edge of the trailer and she asked me a question.
“Do you know why you’re scared?”
“Not really.” I paused for a bit, thinking over my next words before I said them. “It could be because the river is so big, and I’m so small. And we’re going to be going on rapids today, and I don’t want to go on rapids! Flipping scares me to death, and I know I’m going to flip all of the time.”
Jen nodded her head and was quiet for a bit.
“Would it help if we paired you with one of the guys? Maybe Bruce or Bobby?”
I thought for a minute. I didn’t want to split the guys up – they wanted to be together. But on the other hand, it would be really nice to be with one of the guys. It would be good to have one of my stronger crewmates in the boat with me.
“It might help. Do you think they’ll be upset if they have to split up? They were pretty happy to be paired together.”
“I’m going to talk to the other instructors. Go ahead and help the girls load up the dry-bags – I’ll talk to you in a little bit.”
I watched her walk over to the other adults as I headed for the picnic table that had all the stuff on it. I could see a bunch of my crewmates watching me and I prayed, “Lord, please don’t let the rest of my crew make a big deal of this.“
Click here to read the next part of Day Six.
*Everything here is from my own memory and may not be correct. Outward Bound is not responsible for anything I post here. Thanks too NCOBS for letting me use their photos.*