Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That time I was afraid of water

Deep in my family roots, there is a fear of water instilled in our brains. So why I took a job as a photo assistant on a river trip is beyond me.

The clothing company, Isis, (www.isisforwomen.com) was doing a photo shoot for their spring and summer lines. Besides being SUPER cute clothes, they are functional and technical as well. I love this company and will swear my life on one of their rain jacket's that once kept me dry in 7 hours of consistent downpour. I was hired as a photo assistant to one of the most brilliant photographers in the adventure industry, Chris Noble.

There were a lot of nervous feelings and anxiety before my river trip job. I wasn't sure what to expect and I was waking up really, really nervous every morning prior to departure. The night before I left I really panicked and was trying to figure out how to deal with the immense amount of fear and anxiety that I had about the water we were about to encounter.

Fear is a funny thing. If you don't know how to handle it, it can be crippling. I haven't had to really face something this scary to me for a long time and I kind of forgot how to deal. I kept taking deep breaths and promising myself that it was going to be ok and no matter what, I was still going to learn something. If I didn't deal with my fear now, it would be easier and easier to
back out on some opportunity that could really be beneficial to me. And even though I was feeling regret for signing up for this the night before we left, I am so glad I decided to venture out of my comfort level.

The word 'comfortable' was never in my vocabulary for this trip. But I never felt like I couldn't handle what was going on. I put my trust and my faith in our kick ass guides that were with us. (Really, these women were some of the most beautiful and good-hearted adventuresses I've ever met) They made sure I felt secure and happy always and were really focused on making sure I enjoyed myself. This was just a part of what made the trip so good, but it was a big part.

The models I worked with were fantastic and interesting people, and our entire trip was 10 girls and Chris, the photographer. The conversations were filled with laughter and good stories about mis-happenings on adventures and funny things that have happened in our lives. I swam in the river (by choice), got a lot of sun and really, truly, enjoyed myself and my use of my time.

I slept out under the stars on the beach and during the first night, I knew I was doing something good for my mind and my body. I slipped into sleep, happy and my brain full of positive thoughts.

Leaving a trip that was so good is hard. There is no subtle way to join the veins of the real world again. You feel like you just experienced something so monumental and good, and no one gets it. Sitting here in this rad coffee shop, I'm just looking around at everyone here like,

Don't you understand that I just did something terribly scary for me?
Can't you see in my grin that I just experienced something that you might not ever see in your life?
Did you see those blue herons flying around the canyon walls, and those sparrows diving and coasting like kites?
All of a sudden, the world seems small again. The outdoor world seems far away and unreachable. Despite it only being 2 days, I feel a lot better about dealing with fear.

Bottom line: It's good for you to do something that really challenges you to face
your own mind.

I'm now finishing my coffee and getting ready to skirt around Salt Lake City to do some shooting before I'm off to Colorado again for a final couple days before heading back to my home base in Laramie.

Things are good.


  1. Thats so awesome Digit! This is Erin Landis by the way. I love going on river trips I have acatly been on the green river I loved it! Thats so cool you did something you were scared of! I hoped you got some good photos!

  2. What a beautiful photo! I can almost imagine the crisp, dry air that is such a far cry from the swamp gas we're breathing here in Atlanta.

    Enjoy your life,

    Dr. Roxx