Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Kyle and the boogers
When I was training to be a white water raft guide out in Colorado, one of the regiments consisted of a 3 day course taught by local firefighters called swift water rescue training. On the first day of the course, we were taught how to navigate a class 2 or 3 rapid by foot with the help of one, two or more people in order to get to a person who was caught in a foot entrapment. We started with the big group first, 5 of us interlocked arms and moved in a counterclockwise fashion across the rapids. At least two people would always be anchored with their backs against the current which provided support and created an eddy for us to move through. As we gained confidence in this technique, we dropped the number of people in the groups until it was just me and Kyle. So there we stood, arms interlocked, feet shoulder width apart and boogers streaming down his face and dripping onto me. He was 6'3" tall, and I had to maintain eye contact with him the entire time, boogers or not. It was a matter of life or cruel swim down the rapids. There was no wiping of the boogers, he couldn't release his arm long enough for that. There was no escape from them, I just had to go through that portion of my life smeared with mucus. After half an hour, we made it though. I felt like a slugs wet dream, covered in slime. After this fiasco, my friend Jen could tell that I was not right, she kept asking me what was wrong and I kept trying to tell her, but the thought of it, the very utterance made me want to vomit. After a week, I was able to get it out..it took one breath, and the cliff notes version, but I got it out. I guess life just gives us those inescapable moments, but with enough intestinal fortitude, we can make it to the other side.