August 17th 2019 the day I did the most adventurous,nerve wrecking activity of my life so far, I went canyoning with my hiking group,organized by The Extreme Dominica team. An activity as the team suggest was quite extreme but so worth the fun.
We assembled in the town about 7:30am and after about 20 people gathered we were transported to The Extreme Dominica’s training grounds to prepare for the canyoning experience.
We were greeted by about eight team members who after signing to the terms and conditions had us suited in Wakanda like water suits with matching long sleeves,helmets and life jackets. My God I could hardly breathe and before long I was sweaty and really hot,one team member aka Noodles assured us that once we hit that water we’ll be grateful for the warmth.
A mini training was given in the yard where we were descended via cables around our waist from a height of about 4 feet. One hand behind our back,with the rope that feeds(releases) the cable while the other hand holds unto the metal clip attached to the main rope. As you feed the cable you descend,your feet extended on the edge,drop your bottom and move your feet lower gradually,simple and to the point.
After the first group of us were trained we took a bus and head out and so the adventure began.
We walk a little through some bushes and shallow streams and before I can say wow at the view we are told we’re about to descend this tall moss covered rock,must have been about 35-40 feet.
The first woman who goes on,losses her balance and she’s hanging unto the edge and I’m terrified,quickly the crew calms her down and tells her how to get back her footing,she does what they say and she is back on her feet. Now I am afraid of heights,now tell me how on earth or why on earth did i agree to do this??
I’ve paid my money and I can’t back down now, knowing this I step forward and it’s my turn,when I observe the height properly my heart sinks and with all that moss on the edge I almost cried. They adjust the rope unto me and remind me of what to do, I am on the edge and I am being descended slowly. I try not to look at the 35 feet beneath me and the fact that my heart is burning and going wild with fear. The guys are great and cheer me on but I can’t think of anything else but falling. My friend Ovie is being descended next to me and on the other side is a mini waterfall,my feet begins sliding against the mossy rock and I feel like I am turning towards the waterfall. I feel embarrassed and scared that I am losing control and begin second guessing my ability to do this. The guys of Extreme Dominica try calming me down and immediately tell me what to do to gain back my footing. I obey and I am on my knees now and that’s where I remain till I reach the bottom,whew a distance that felt like forever and I wish I could just release the rope and reach below faster.
But that water was amazing ,refreshing and worth basking in, I floated around and rejoiced that I made it down safely. As we continued heading downstream we arrived at a cliff where we were required to jump,a height of about 9 feet. Arrgh the adventure never ends i thought as I hate jumping, I remember the last time i jumped into a river it took me about 45 minutes to do so. But unlike that last time I had no other option but to jump,either I jump or sleep there,and I wasn’t about to sleep out here in the woods.So after a couple of minutes and the cheering on of Oviee I jumped even though I was scared as hell. The adrenaline rush was insane and my heart kept bursting in my chest as I jumped, i couldn’t wait to hit that water.
The water was crystal clear, chilling,refreshing and deep as I floated,quickly sucking in my breath,trying to calm my heart as I looked up at the blue sky and the green trees canopying above us. The journey continued downstream and the canyons wined into arty rock formations,many dark caves and amazing pools that engulfed us. The second rock to descend via cable was about 20 feet and this time I didn’t want to be so afraid and lose my footing, so like the lady who fell from the beginning she screamed and cheered herself on. I decided to follow suit and tried eliminating fear out of my mind. I cheered and motivated myself as I descended reminding myself that I could do this,after all I am a life path 5 aka adventurous babe.
I realized that I was more calm and did a much better job this time, Self talk is so important I thought. The second jump was about 17feet and I decided to descend via cable instead which I was getting better at. We proceeded to lower jumps and easier descending and more natural pools. My country Dominica is super blessed I thought,so much nature,fresh air,crystal clear waters free of parasites and great terrain and great flora and fauna.
The climax of this event was to zip line across a mini waterfall and unto the other side,while persons were being zip lined across i noticed this strange formation in one of the rocks near by. It looked like a new born baby suckling on its mother, the head and arms so defined,I pointed it out to my friend who also saw it.Weird and that was the moment I wished I had my phone the most to take this amazing photo.
It was eventually my turn to be zip lined across and it definitely looked easier to do while watching,I screamed with my eyes closed the entire way down lol. The canyoning was over and we passed through a trail to return to where we started.A wet and tedious trail that proved my lack of stamina and need for a better diet.
Overall the experience wrecked my expectations on adventure,it exceeded what I thought was possible as a tour and as a person.I never would descend a 40 feet rock if given the choice or jump off into a 8 feet cliff unless I was being chased for my life. The built up adrenaline rush was insane,that feeling like you’re going to fall or slip but being in total control was nerve wrecking. Having to jump because you have no other options or if there are it is not any easier or less scary. You were forced to face your fears,do it afraid,no looking back but pressing forward no matter how scary or how terrifying it looked. You jumped and faced your fear and realized that you did OK,you made it without hurting as much as you thought. You embarked on a scary journey but guess what you were not alone,you had people,friends,family strangers cheering you on unto the end,assisting you and helping you get back your footing.
Today’s canyoning experience had many life lessons and I hope you too reader can get some encouragement from it too. Be encouraged to know that life can most times be a scary and lonely journey where it’s only you and God against the rocks with a slippery fall.But know that if you trust and believe in yourself you are most definitely going to make it.You may get some bruise and scratches,pee on yourself,lose your footing,get near life heart attacks and feel you are going to capsize with fear but you do not stand still. You keep going,keep pushing,climbing and if you look up you notice God,His angels who are reaching out to assist you,you notice the water as it cleanses you,the trees as they protect you,. You realize you are never alone and you are going to make it to the end.
Last year I was a caterpillar,crawling my way up the tree life.
My great pillar, a place I will cherish forever.
Every branch was a hand reaching out to me, a hand that
Trusted my soft skin and appearance.
One day I observed the beautiful world that existed outside my home.
creatures that seemed so free and the trees that were taller than mine.
I wanted to be apart of that world. I wasn’t satisfied with my life.
I wanted a change.
My only job was to eat to survive, to become fatter than the birds that consume my own kind and so I did, I smiled at the leaves that sheltered me and ate them. I exploited the tree of life for my own benefit.
The time came when I evolved into a cocoon of emotions,I eventually blossomed into a beautiful butterfly. My presence paused the world for a moment,every creature admired my beauty,every flower wanted to kiss me. I never felt this way before. I was high on confidence as I flew pass the green pastures. I was the best tattoo the world ever produced.
I was happy with my life. I was free, i could go wherever my wings
wanted me too. Then something struck me like lightning. I was trying to
fly as high and fast as possible, when an eagle came like a jet and
flew over my head. I was astonished, I never saw anything like that
before. He was better than me in so many ways. I admired and envied him.
Just when I thought my change was the best I could achieve,that eagle proved me wrong. Once again i wasn’t satisfied and life didn’t allow more changes for me.