I woke up today non-stiff and ache free for the first time in almost 2 weeks. I didn't even realize it until I was almost completed with an activity guaranteed to not allow that to happen twice in a row, at least this week. We had a little mini- Nelson family reunion last week here. For some reason, all the sitting and trying to sleep in the car while driving all over the state for various activities was not pleasant for my body. (I'm sure it had nothing to do with doing things like sliding on a slip and slide at Youth Conference two days before!) Tonight I got to go tubing with the Mia Maids (14-15 year old girls), Beehives (12-13 year old girls) and Teachers (14-15 year-old boys). The girls classes are combined right now, we weren't excluding the Deacons (12-13 year old boys).
The aching comes because I had naively assumed the activity would be like my most recent tubing adventures- the lazy rivers at various water parks. I was 16 the last time I actually tubed on a REAL river and it's not as lazy as the others. There were a lot more motions- like paddling and kicking- and slippery rocks in the real river than the lazy rivers I've encountered. I'm not saying it wasn't fun, I'm just saying that I'm stiffening as I speak. When, exactly, is it that all the exercise and push-ups correspond into non-stiffness during other activities? Isn't that supposed to be a benefit of regular exercise?!
Being the pre-novice that I was (am) to real river tubing, I was excited and a bit nervous. I was also suddenly very much more aware of the strength of a river current and the very noticeable lack of marked exits. The water was also F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G. I was told today it's about 52 degrees. All I know was it didn't take long for feet to be numb. I kept a little prayer running through my mind that went something like, "Please just keep me on this tube all the way to the end."
It wasn't to be. I did a pretty good job managing the "rough" (Hey, you don't get any water like this at Sunsplash, ok!) water. I was in a spot I thought was pretty mild when my tube suddenly flipped me into the water. It wasn't very deep- less than 18 inches- but the current was so fast and the rocks so slick that I couldn't get my feet under me. I was immensely grateful for the required life jacket I had on. I'm not sure I would have kept my head above water, otherwise. The whole experience was not long enough to be life threatening, but it was more than a little scary for those few seconds. I just held onto the tube and tried to get on it while scraping along the rocks for a bit.
My prayer changed. Now it was something like, "I can't stand up. This is hurting my shins. I don't want to do this anymore." Finally I remembered, "Help me." Then, I realized the rocks could do some pretty hefty damage if I stayed on them long enough. I still couldn't catch my footing and I just said, "Heavenly Father, I need to stand up now." And I did. And I eventually got back on the tube and made it to the end of the ride. And I really enjoyed it.
So, tomorrow I'll ache. And probably the day after and the day after before it fades away. But, I'll also know that when things were completely out of my hands and I had no where else to turn that the help I needed arrived when I needed it most. And hopefully that knowledge never fades away.