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Old 07-20-2009   #21
Mt Hood, Oregon
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25
""We just had a baby the day before I decided to go run Esca this year. That was me upside down in the gorge and it hasn't gotten any easier since...""

Please tell me I didn't read your note correctly. Did you do boating the day after your partner had a BABY?! Or did you decide to go boating?

If it is the first, yes your head is screwed on wrong and you might want to rethink your parenting role. If it is the second, you may still want to rethink your role a bit.

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Old 07-20-2009   #22
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 794
Originally Posted by rg5hole View Post
Now I get a feeling of relief when I stomp a big one, not exhilaration. That my friends is NOT WORTH IT.
That's what I'm talking about.....lately that's the feeling that has dominated....even before the tragedies of this season and last. DAMN I love runnin' the stuff and that feeling of exhilaration.....but it's been more relief.....maybe it'll come back, maybe it won't. But I certainly don't worry about it because I know the same feeling can be achieved by taking my wife down a IV+ that she's been dreaming of running.......that's even MORE exhilarating to me. And the thought of taking our kids someday???? Even better.

As for running Esca the day after your kid was born....I don't think you have a screwed up head. I'm fairly confident my wife would have shoved me out the door....."no sense in you staying home with me while the kid is on the tit...nothing you can really do"...... I love my wife. (Yes, she really has said that).

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Old 07-20-2009   #23
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
"A life without risks,is a life not worth living"

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Old 07-20-2009   #24
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 67
I really appreciate blutski's post. I've thought about this topic as much as anyone, imagined reading the tribute threads, attending my husband's funeral. I haven't a lot of experience with death but what strikes me is the finality of it. The loss that those family members left behind will feel for the rest of their lives while everyone else moves on. Sounds real cool to say, "at least he died doing what he loves" and not in a car wreck or whatever. Please don't say those words to me, if the time ever comes. It's utter bullshit. Is that what a mother tells her child as she grows up without a father?
Don't get me wrong- I know what I signed up for and I would never issue that ultimatum. Running class V is part of my husbands soul. I have to trust that he wants to see his liitle girl grow up and that he will make the right decisions. But then someone like the Count dies and I realize, Jesus, that's Nick 4 yrs ago- I can't make up some excuse as to how the same thing couldn't happen to him. It's so fucking arbitrary and unfair.
I have no answers that's for sure.
I intend to raise my daughter on rivers, they run in our blood. I agree with what someone alluded to in another post- running rivers builds character in a way no other activity can parallel. I know that it's worth the risk. Just be careful about tossing out the cool guy cliches.
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Old 07-20-2009   #25
3, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 89
Anything you do in life must be done with respect, but I think you should still do what you want. Other wise you look back on a life full of fears and sometime regrets only to have never lived.
Scotty V
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Old 07-20-2009   #26
yourrealdad's Avatar
185 lb. waste of space, Keeping Glenwood Springs real
Paddling Since: 1864
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 917
Is it worth it? Only you can answer that question. In order to be a good class V boater I hope you ask your self that before you put on the river and when you run a drop. I hope that only you influence the decision of whether to run the drop or not. Does it take skill to be a class V boater? Yeah. Does it take balls or ovaries? Yeah. What rounds out a solid boater is the ability to make rational decisions based off of knowing who they are personally.
If you look at MOST river deaths they are either A: Custies or ill-prepared/ill-knowledgeable people or B: Good boaters who are dealt a bad hand. Very rarely is it a good boater boating something they should have no business on. Because of that I say I would rather die in a freak kayaking accident than die in some accident not kayaking. Nicole I respect your opinion, but I had a friend die when his hotel room in Mexico leaked gas all night and killed him and his girlfriend in their sleep. That is unfair, I would have rather heard about how he died doing something he was passionate about. Does it mean I am happier about his death? No, but at least there would have been something noble and beautiful in the way he went.
I also agree with Paul, if I died I would want my friends to charge hard for all the times that I won't be able to. Will it be easy for them? Probably not. But I hope they continue doing what we loved together.

Is it worth it? For me it is. I do not have a wife nor any kids I know about. Besides family and friends I only have one love in my life, and that is kayaking. If that was taken away then I would sit brokenhearted, and a part of me would die.
I like to think that that is why we all do it, because we love the rivers and I made a vow until death do us part. If the river is the cause of that parting then I would like to think that I was engulfed by the most intense passionate love affair, and it consumed me until I could no longer handle it.
970-217-21 six six
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Old 07-21-2009   #27
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 67
I believe the crux here is the difference between knowing the risk, deliberating over it, and then taking it anyway as in the death of an experienced kayaker on the river, and an utterly random, lethal accident. I meant that hearing cliched comments about death is likely poor solace to many- that it would be for me anyway.
And yes, this conversation changes dramatically when you have children. In fact, if you don't, the people you're hurting most are your parents with your death. And you won't appreciate even the levity of that unlss you yourself have children.
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Old 07-21-2009   #28
Loveland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 118
Is it worth it? Only you can answer that. What is the experience worth to you. I have been in Emergency Medicine for almost 15 years now-in the field as an EMT and in Emergency Rooms as an RN. I see it every day and let me tell you-you don't have to die to have a life changing injury. You don't need to be running the gnar, shreddin' the highqual, or leading 5.13c to have your life forever and irrevocably changed by something completely unforseeable and beyond your control. Shit you don't even need to leave the house to have a little blood vessel go "pop" in your brain and then, my friend, you have lost some very valuable real estate and life will never be the same. Even injuries that you recover from leave you changed. There are a million and one ways to die. Life is so precious! It begs to be enjoyed. Pain is short. Joy is eternal.

I have to agree with Nicoleg though. I absolutely abhor the saying , "At least he/she died doing something they loved". As I think about the friends that I have lost I know they died fighting for their life. I don't think they were enjoying the moment. It gives me no comfort. Stephan Venables once wrote about expedition mountaineering "The one fear that I rarely admit, even to myself, is that I may be taken, lonely and unprepared in a violent and ridiculous death". While I like to think that I could be brave and face my own death I shudder when I think about my own wife, child and family and the effect it would have on them.

Be carefull, take care of each other, and watchout!
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Old 07-21-2009   #29
Flushing, NY, New York
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2

"Teaching them love and respect for the outdoors is something they will cherish long after you are gone...and something they will hopefully pass down to their children as well."[/quote]
Although my parents were from separate small towns in PA, due to a lack of work to be found (came from a family of coal miners) he came to Urban NY. The thing to do was baseball, football, ect. which I was lousy at. I was good at climbing ropes and stuff in yhe gym but thats not what kids do on the weekends. Being lousy and hating sports I soon found another activity, a pitfall. A lot of the people I ran with got killed or ODed. I was lucky. Had my dad been a kayaker, mountain climber, or something mabey things would have been different. When I found kayaking, I finally found something I pretty decent at and love. Later in life, after mom died, I took my dad hiking. We went a lot. He was not in shape really for kayaking but he really liked going for a hike. Hiking provided a lot of found memories the last three years of his life. I think it is awsome when I see dads bringing these young boys and girls on the river. I wish it were my story. The CL5 stuff? Thats something you have to ans for yourself. Perhaps, tune it down but not give it up? Only you know. Everyone's got to choose for themselves. I know I will hit a CLV when ready. I also dont wanna push the enevelope too much and leave my wife behind to fend for herself.
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Old 07-21-2009   #30
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700

Some insightful responses. I will boat. That is not a question. How often I will be on my game to hit the V's is a different question. I no longer have the flexibility in my life to boat 5-7 days a week.

My concern is for my kids, and most specifically my boys. If I bring them into this sport they will progress and one day test the class V water that has taken a couple of my friends and many of my acquaintances. I hope I will be able to equip them with the sound judgment of knowing when to not just go for it. I agree with the articulate responses on the positives this sport has brought all of us, and how those will help form and shape young men and women.

Having grown up in mountain towns, I have lost friends to addiction, and the other pitfalls of youth. I have lost far more to climbing falls and rivers. Funny that those things are so central to who I am. Hopefully I can temper what I show them to not emphasize the machismo so prevalent in my teens and twenties.

Thanks all.

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