You Have To Get In The Water To Learn How To Swim

The river is calling, and this morning we will answer! We’re headed out on our first trip of the spring semester in an hour. The water is high, cold and fast, and we’re headed to a winding, small river with plenty of challenging water. It will be the first time poling in moving water with the group, and it will be a baptism by fire.

I spent ten years trying to prepare people for poling in fast water by doing drills on flat water. It never worked. I now think of it like trying to teach people to swim while never getting in the water. To learn it, you have to get in it. It will be a little scary and uncomfortable, but without getting out of the comfort zone, there is no growth. The challenge for the instructor is to figure out where the line is and knowing how much is too much. And it’s always different.

We had a question about our portable shave horses, so the photo above shows them from another angle.


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