Butterflies before the rapids - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-16-2010   #1
The Russian
 
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Butterflies before the rapids

I was talking to a friend of mine about the upcoming trip and she was telling me she is getting butterflies already. So I was wondering, are the butterflies in your stomach right before the rapids, is that the feeling of the adrenaline pumping in your brain or just fear?

Do those butterflies ever go away? I've been boating for 5 years now or so and those butterflies don't seem to ease up at all, am I just a noob?

Alex
(friday, bored at work)

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Old 04-16-2010   #2
 
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I think those butterflies are a natural part of our fight/flight resposne to danger. They shouldnt go away, until maybe after you run the rapid. Healthy fear is a good part of boating.
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Old 04-16-2010   #3
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go watch mats summer time video when your board at work i squish butterflies
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Old 04-16-2010   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hartle View Post
go watch mats summer time video when your board at work i squish butterflies
link?
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Old 04-16-2010   #5
 
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Guess I'm a noob too then. But I actually am - about 24 days in an oar frame total.

I'll tel you exactly how it works for me. I start researching the river I'm going to run long in advance - collecting up the river guides, maps, and watching the videos. It's the videos on YouTube that often get the anxiety started - they're often showcasing pretty intense situations at high water. Sitting in front of our PC we couldn't feel further from the river, so we give those vids lots of attention and they start to dictate how we feel. So, I've found that it's important to put these vids in perspective and try to learn a bit from. I even skipped a Grand Canyon trip after watching too many videos - now I wish I had gone!

As for the actual rapids and scouting, it causes the same excitement level for me. But almost every time I get through I think "that was great - what was all the concern and adrenaline about!?". I'm far from cocky about this stuff - humbled at all times. I realize the power of the river and the potential of it to do harm.

But here's a big difference for me - whether or not the kids are in the boat. Take 'em out and the anxiety level drops so much lower. I'm not as concerned about my safety, but their safety. I've attributed a lot of how I feel about raft trips to their presence. To deal with this we're keeping our trips around Class III and even at that level I usually give consideration to rapid walks. I want them to have a fun time.

I'm confident because nobody should be on the river without some self-reliance, but I keep a healthy fear at the same time.
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Old 04-16-2010   #6
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its on boaters form
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Old 04-16-2010   #7
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You mean this? https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...ilm-29764.html

Ya, that was a total killer video. Gave me butterflies just watching it! lol. I wish I was younger and less wiser so I could actually get into extreme kayaking. I am old, married and have a family now, so it's all about big fat rubber for me. Great to watch others enjoy the extreme stuff though.
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Old 04-16-2010   #8
 
Louisville, Colorado
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I used to get the butterflies pretty badly during highwater when I was guide in the mid-nineties. The water was big and cold, and I was afraid I'd kill someone if I didn't hit it just right. Now I get the butterflies when I am with the little guy (7) in meatier rapids - because I don't want to hurt him or give him a scary swim either! We are only running class three with him so far.

In general though, I am at peace with my fear. Which is a little strange given the amount of river death and carnage I was around last season. I will say that the terrible teens on WW last year had gave me butterflies at the put in, but by the time I was on the river there wasn't time to think about about butterflies - just avoiding "too" big hits, or hitting them straight with the oars in the water and pushin' if I couldn't miss them. Hubby is still pretty new to rafting (at it for three years), and got himself pretty worked up about the Salt, I ended up rowing the 4's since we were in the same boat.

I think if you aren't a little scared sometimes you are probably ignorant of the bad things that could happen. Peace comes with accepting that bad things can and do happen, and realizing you still want to be there. The drive was most dangerous part anyway.

Oh yeah - I am definitely due for some carnage - it has been *way* too long since I was forced to swim.
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Old 04-16-2010   #9
 
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I get butterflies just before the start of a big rapid, or when I scout just about any rapid. I'm a lot less nervous if I don't scout something right before running it. By the time I'm actually in a rapid though, the butterflies are gone - I'm too busy paddling and having fun!
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Old 04-16-2010   #10
 
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That's a good point, catwoman. First, right on about the presence of small kids - couldn't agree more.
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