Crying on the river? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-02-2008   #1
 
chellebelle's Avatar
 
Longmont, Colorado
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Crying on the river?

I've been paddling for 3 years, stepped up to solid Class III+ this year and on more than one occasion I've completely lost it and cried. Anyone else have this problem? My skills are solid, roll is solid...just HATE river running. Got into the sport for playboating, which I absolutley LOVE! Never cry while I'm playboating, just river running! Any advice? Please don't tell me to stop river running as this is NOT an option. I've gained some solid water reading skills from rivers and would like to get over this fear I have.

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Old 09-03-2008   #2
 
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There was an entire article in American Whitewater about a year ago that would be very helpful and encouraging to read on this very topic. Hang in there. It's a very emotional sport.
One other resource would be Darren Livingston
He cries all the time
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Old 09-03-2008   #3
 
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In addition to that article, Doug Ammons wrote a series of three articles for AW about the psychology of paddling and dealing with fear on the river in the last three issues. I'll see if I can find a link; it is both fascinating and very helpful reading.
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Old 09-03-2008   #4
 
San Diego and Frisco, CO
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Yo dude, all we girls cry on the river! There is a great segment on a vid (maybe one of Anna Levesque's???) about crying on the rio. It is mostly girls, some guys, but it makes the point clear....lots of folks cry!
That said....ummmmmm, I say play more, down-river less if that makes you happy! One pro I know HATES downriver stuff, is never comfortable, but she can throw down tricks that are the envy of ever dry-eyed guy on the bank!

KJ
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Old 09-03-2008   #5
 
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Go here for the 2008 AW Issues:

American Whitewater - JournalYearBrowsing

You're looking for "Fear in Whitewater" Parts I, II, and III which are in the Jan/Feb, March/Apr, and May/Jun issues, respectively. Excellent reading.
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Old 09-03-2008   #6
LSB
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I've had some girlfriends that cried after sex. But the only time they cried on the river they were usually screaming "I AM TRYING YOU ASSHOLE" Either way I take full blame.
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Old 09-03-2008   #7
 
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
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low water practice

I admire women kayakers. I think they're generally graceful and inspiring. Having several gal friends over the years that became comfortable in class V, and having two daughters that are rapidly excelling in the sport, I believe it is important to not try to hone your skills at river running at too high of water. Now is the perfect time. You can easily be doing class III and IV without the fast action intimiation factor. One thing about becoming a skilled river runner is to know how to slow the action down. Now is the time to be honing your slalom skills on the river. Get out there and slice and dice the river to pieces. Learn to catch tight micro eddies and then dart to the next one. To be able to stop anytime, calm yourself, collect your awareness and confidence, then look over your shoulder at what is coming up and be able to determine what you will have to avoid and where you will have to be getting to next. Learn to lean into rocks, how to use them as pivots or the wave cushion to deflect your trajectory. Boating with more skilled boaters that can dice the river to shreds and following their lead is a great skill builder. Fast water is all about be able to make quick decisions under pressure. Knowing that you can quickly opt to slow it down by catching eddies or deflect off a wave or rock in a bit of absorbing the speed effort and deflecting towards the next safe target is a skill practiced in low water first and early in the season. Then building upon those skills as the water levels increase through the season. It is always good to slow the action down and laugh in excitement about each success or fumbled attempt. Do it when the water is slow and the consequences are reduced. Practice, practice , practice. Keep smiling.
Cheers!
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Old 09-03-2008   #8
 
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I'd say get to the root of the problem. What is it that stresses you out the most? Is it the speed things are happening, like Ken says above?

A lot of people starting out are scared of swimming whitewater. Some people are scared of certain things like rocks, strainers, holes, etc. If it is fear of swimming, a good way to help with that is to get some whitewater swimming done in a controlled environment. A great way to do that is in Swiftwater Rescue or Raft Guide school (new raft guides flip lots of boats in training dumping everyone). I used to be pretty stressed about swimming whitewater, even easy stuff, but after having very capable people around you while you are swimming rapids, ferrying accross fast moving water while swimming, or just getting flushed downstream, the experience helps you work on that. The hard part is looking at some class IV- section and saying "1-2-3 go!" and taking the plunge while training.

Also for me, I used to choke on water and stuff. It is hard to swim whitewater when you are out of breath from just "fighting" the river beforehand. The cold water makes you carp, and you suck in some water and do the Larenzo spasm choking thing which is kind of scary in the river. Focus on relaxing and timing your breathing while swimming (if this is where your stress comes from)
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Old 09-03-2008   #9
 
San Diego and Frisco, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSB View Post
I've had some girlfriends that cried after sex. But the only time they cried on the river they were usually screaming "I AM TRYING YOU ASSHOLE" Either way I take full blame.
That was incredibly misogynistic... AND hilarious! I sent it to all my paddling gal pals!
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Old 09-03-2008   #10
gh
 
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One entry found for misogynistic. Main Entry: mi·sog·y·nis·tic
Pronunciation: m-säj--nis-tik
Function: adjective
: having or showing a hatred and distrust of women


Yes, I had to look it up. I didnt really see it that way but I did think it was damn funny.
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