There aren't many things worth a 5:00 a.m. wake-up call, but this one sure was.
Instructions were given for everyone to bring moisture-wicking clothes, plenty of sunscreen, and an appetite for adventure.
With a full day ahead, adrenaline might’ve been the primary encourager to slip out of bed at such an early hour.
About 100 sleepy-eyed Groove Life employees gathered early on a Friday morning at our Spring Hill headquarters, where we loaded up on charter buses bound for the Ocoee River.
The three-hour drive through Middle Tennessee, complete with a stunning sunrise on the horizon, was a quick, early-morning trip, with no shortage of shenanigans along the way.
Anticipation rose among those who had never been white water rafting, and stories of those who had gone before set the scene for the novice rafters.
Upon arriving at Quest Expeditions in Ocoee, TN, we enjoyed a delicious lunch buffet and enjoyed some downtime, quality time, and volleyball before we hit the water.
Soon we gathered for a safety chat, filed through an equipment shed to each grab a life jacket, oar, and helmet, and loaded up on school buses to take us up the windy road to the peak of the river.
“There’s only one way down,” I thought as we reached the river, as if I had just been strapped into a roller coaster about to ascend the steepest incline.
We met our instructor, did a practice “dry run” in our raft of the various maneuvers we would perform on our expedition, and carried our rafts to the starting point.
Nerves were surfacing and heartbeats were quickening as we boarded our rafts and launched into the chilly Ocoee River. The first rapid right out of the gate was enough to give us the induction nobody asked for to the frigid waters.
With uncertainty, we paddled forward, listening intently to our instructor who guided us through each rapid, big and small, until we landed safely on the other side of each one.
Navigating through the class III and IV rapids was an adventure like no other, especially for those, like me, who had never experienced the thrill of white water rafting.
Some rapids looked bigger than they actually were. Some were more powerful than we thought they would be. Some made us feel like we were flying, and others made us feel like conquerors of the raging rapids.
Seventeen rapids later we landed collaboratively at the bottom of the Ocoee River with our oars proudly in hand, each with a story to tell.
Whatever your story, you’ve got one to tell and it's unique to your experience. Every experience is different, making your story one of a kind.
Tell your story, live your own adventure, and go inspire others to do the same.
Groove Life®. Ready for Adventure™.