Teamwork and Whitewater Rafting

Hola from Reno!

The calendar on my wall says it’s getting close to the beginning of school, but that hasn’t put a stop to my adventures during the weekend. And actually, between rafting and my half Ironman, this has been the best seven days of my summer!

Whitewater rafting has always intrigued me, especially having grown up in and around pools, lakes, and rivers, and so the chance to raft it with some awesome friends was too good to pass on. We headed out into California toward the American River and met up with our guide from Whitewater Excitement for four exciting and fantastic hours. I found it much more enjoyable than skydiving, especially since I wasn’t rocketing toward my death for 60 seconds!

My favorite part was the teamwork and cooperation that a successful rafting adventure required. Our pre-rafting briefing consisted of “follow directions” and “don’t do anything stupid.” Can’t be that hard, right? Well, there are few things less thrilling than being buried by by twelve feet of water! Overall, it was a wonderful experience and really brought the six of us closer together (you don’t really have a choice when you’re all being tossed about like bowling pins). Here’s a few quick thoughts:

  1. Teamwork – Practicing teamwork doesn’t have to be dull. Rafting would make for a great icebreaker, especially since you can go from unfamiliar strangers to BFFs in just a few rapids. It was neat to be able to say that as a team we conquered the south fork of the American River. Clearly, none of us would have made it on our own!
  2. Follow instructions – Fortunately, our guide knew exponentially more about rafting than we did, and so it was up to us to follow his directions, even if they didn’t make sense to us. He got us through just fine, and I was only slightly disappointed that someone didn’t get thrown into the drink O:-)
  3. Embrace the adventure – Without a doubt, whitewater rafting has become my new annual trip. I had so much fun being outside with friends and creating our own adventure that I will certainly make time to do it again. Sure, it was a little scary and slightly intimidating flying down a river at some ridiculous speed, but really no one was in any immediate danger and we are all that much closer now. Doesn’t get better than that!
Hello Meatgrinder

Next time you think of doing a team building exercise at work, think about taking them out on the rapids. Just tell your “non swimmers” to make sure their PFD (personal flotation device) is extra snug :-)

What adventures have you been on that brought you together as a team?

Picture credit 1. Picture credit 2.

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