Weekend Adventures: Conquering Fear

August 28, 2012 at 6:00 am 11 comments

I had a fabulous weekend playing in the Sierras with D and friends. The fun involved several fear-busting water activities.

On Saturday, after my long run (3 miles!) we went to Emerald Pools, a spot on the Yuba River about an hour away, where a small but powerful waterfall feeds a small canyon, for lack of a better word.

Where the waterfall empties into the pools, cliffs rise 80 feet high, and there are at least a half dozen ‘platforms’ for jumping ranging from 40 -85 feet, depending on the water level.

There was no way I was jumping off a 60 or 80 foot cliff, but I was willing to find a smaller one, so my girlfriend and I climbed down to a ledge about 40 feet high. That felt really high and standing up there I almost had a panic attack but there was no way out than down. After my girlfriend jumped I hesitated, took a deep breath and went for it. I didn’t want to have to jump and climb back up the rocks alone. The fall itself was fun, compared to getting up the nerve to jump it was not a big deal. But, did I mention how cold the water was? It was shocking. Took my breath away. But I did it. I know it doesn’t look very high with the angle of this picture but it was, and it was the highest thing I’ve ever jumped off.

Bucket list 2012: jump off cliff into Emerald Pools. Check.

On Sunday I fulfilled another bucket list item when we went out on a friend’s boat. We’ve been boating with our friends since last summer but I hadn’t sufficiently tried my hand at wake surfing. Wake surfing is like wake boarding but with a shorter rope, you’re not strapped into the board, it’s much less intense (in terms of speed) and you have to use your whole body and subtle movements to work the board. D is an excellent wake surfer and so is everyone else I’ve gone boating with for the past two summers, but I had only tried it once with no success. Embarrassment and fear of failure–I really don’t like doing things I suck at–prevented me from trying again, until Sunday. I knew it would be our last day on the boat, and I didn’t want to go another three seasons regretting not trying.

So, I tried, and failed at getting up about a half dozen times.

I was getting ready to throw in the towel when D got in the water and showed me more clearly where to place my feet on the board. After that I got up like it was nothing and then had to practice staying up, which is much harder than it looks. By the end of the day I had progressed a little bit, but I still have a ways to go before I am actually surfing the wake, but that will have to wait until next summer. For now, I am just happy  that I finally did it.

The accomplishment was not without a little bit of pain though. I worked my back a little incorrectly, and now my lower right back is really, really sore and inflamed. The rest of my body is a little sore, but that’s to be expected. My back, however, is in pretty bad shape, but hopefully with the yoga I did tonight and will do the rest of the week, the epsom salt baths I’ve been taking, and the compression tights I’ve been wearing, it will work itself out over the next few days. I’ve also got a Thai Massage scheduled for Thursday and that should help. I’ve never had that style of massage before, so I’ll be sure to report on what it’s like.

Tomorrow morning marks the start of my second week of 5k training; it will be interesting to see how my back holds up with the increase in running.

Stay tuned…


Entry filed under: Weekend Adventures. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Wouldn’t It Be Lovely? « Grackle & Sun  |  September 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    […] want to start doing), and I also love reading about her growing enthusiasm and progress.  And her post on conquering fear is awesome.  Thanks, Steph, for sharing this award with […]

  • 2. grackleandsun  |  August 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    :D Awesome post!

    • 3. Steph  |  August 30, 2012 at 9:20 am

      :) Thanks!

  • 4. Jane Fritz  |  August 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

    You are soaring, girl!

    • 5. Steph  |  August 30, 2012 at 9:19 am


  • 6. Chatter  |  August 28, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Cool adventure. Glad to see someone else considers 3 mile a long run!!!

    • 7. Steph  |  August 28, 2012 at 9:30 am

      haha I know–it’s easy to think 3 miles is no big deal when you read a lot of these running blogs, but it definitely still is for me!

      • 8. Chatter  |  August 28, 2012 at 9:32 am

        I actually have only gotten to 2.5 so far. Blood pressure issues halted my 3 mile attempt this weekend. Takes me 43 minutes to do those 2.5 miles. Awesome job.

        • 9. Steph  |  August 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

          Slow and steady is my motto. It’s so important to slowly build strength and work within your limits!

  • 10. Cassy  |  August 28, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Looks like an awesome weekend adventure! Congrats for getting over your fears and trying new things!

    • 11. Steph  |  August 28, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Thanks! It was super awesome!


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