I went whitewater rafting recently. It's not exactly one of those things I have on my "things to do before I drop dead" list, mostly because I don't have such a list. But I should. Because I realize that I've been missing out on a lot of the really fun stuff. Sitting indoors in front of a computer is nice and all, but it pales in comparison to riding a few rapids.
Seriously, whitewater rafting is an absolute blast. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, and I can't even swim! It's exhilarating... and a little scary - especially if you tumble out! Admittedly I was on a beginner level stretch of river, but I found it to be thrilling nonetheless - and I imagine this level will be sufficient for the foreseeable future.
It all starts off innocuously enough - you push off from the shore and drift along a quiet stretch, admiring the scenery. And then you notice the frothing white water up ahead, and the roaring of the river, and you watch as the raft gets dragged inexorably towards the rapids. The next thing you know you're in the thick of it, the raft is getting chucked about and tilting at crazy angles, icy water's hitting you in giant waves and for several heart stopping moments you see everything through a watery haze. You stick your paddle out and try to row, but you might as well use a twig for all the effect it has. And just as quickly as it started, it's over, and you find yourself in calmer waters, awaiting the next set of rapids with a mixture of anticipation and dread.
There's something strangely relaxing about the whole thing - the burdens of your everyday mundane existence (well, mine is at any rate) are lifted for a while. Your only problems are the rapids, and making sure you stay on the boat. Pretty simple, eh? Yeah, I'm definitely doing it again.
And why stop there? I used to suffer from a complete lack of curiosity and desire to have new experiences... Now, I'm dying to do it all. OK, not ALL... I mean, I don't want to try things like skydiving - I figure flying in airplanes is enough of an act of defiance against gravity; to plummet towards the earth like that is a blatant affront and just asking for trouble. No, definitely not that... but simpler stuff, like trekking through the wilderness, exploring caves, climbing (very small) mountains, and making friends with undomesticated wild animals. Time to live a little...