Monday, May 6, 2019

Stopping the Leak

White water rafting equipment has evolved over the past 40 years since I started running rivers. One of the significant advancement has been the development of the self-bailing raft. To describe it simply, a self-bailer has a floor that is not water-tight, but instead is secured loosely to the bottom of the boat to allow water to run out, but is also inflated with air to rise up tight against the boat to hold water out.

In my world, I have the old style “bathtub” rafts  that have a sealed floor that must be bailed out whenever too much water get into the boat. The weight of a fully geared 16 foot raft full of water is way too much for one person to maneuver. 

Holding on to that idea of an extremely heavy boat for a minute, a few years ago we attempted a trip on the San Juan River in the 4 Corners region of Utah. The reason I say attempted is because the water was very low when our launch date finally arrived. 

The BLM Ranger who checked us in for the trip suggested it would be a low water run but doable as long as the water didn’t go down any more than it already had. We planned to raft two days to Mexican Hat and then 4 days to the take out at Clay Hills Crossing, just above the point where Lake Powell backs up to the river. 

On the second day while running 8 Foot Rapid one of the boats got hung up mid-rapid on an exposed rock and was really stuck. The surprise for all of us was two of us were able to walk back up on opposite banks and walk out into the rapid from both sides of the river and help get the boat free and through the rapid.

The son Rob who was rowing said that no matter what he did the boat would not respond well and he couldn’t navigate around the rock he hit. We discovered later on in camp that there was a gash in the floor of the boat. This allowed water to flow in at a steady pace and continually make the boat too heavy to maneuver very well.

The most important thing you can do at that point is fix the hole by patching it. This means completely de-rigging the boat and patching it on both the inside and the outside because the floor bears a lot of weight when people are in the boat. 

If we decided it was too much work to de-rig and just keep bailing, it would really end up not working very well if the hole was even just less than the length of dime. Constant bailing by the passengers isn’t fast enough to keep the water out enough to be able to maneuver the boat properly. The floor really must be patched in order to continue the trip.

So we de-rigged the boat at our camp and we were able to get back on our journey. We ended up cutting the trip short at Mexican Hat because the river was just too low to run and we discovered another hole in the floor of a second raft. 

In life, we can find ourselves confronted with negative thoughts and ideas flowing into our minds from others and even from our own internal conversations. Too many of these negative thoughts can really weigh us down and slow our momentum. 

Like a raft, we can try and remove them as they come in and if we have a lot of negative thoughts it’s good to remove them. But wouldn’t it be wise to also put a patch on the “floor” of our minds and improve our ability to repel negative thoughts and eventually no longer even let them in?

There are excellent ways to do this. Affirmations, declarations, vision boards, and more are great tools. 

To learn more about how to remove and repel negative thoughts, check out the programs provided by DTE Consulting at where we help you Do The Extraordinary!

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