Facing Death By Drowning On The Penobscot River
There’s a river in Maine called the Penobscot. And there is a treacherous set of rapids on that river known by whitewater rafting guides as the “cribworks”.
It is a 5+ level rapid and it will kill you if you don’t know what you are doing. It’s one of those deadly rapids strewn with sharp rocks and dangerous eddies. It makes rafting guides nervous as hell.
I remember running those rapids….
We had just run some really awesome rapids and I had too much testosterone in my veins to heed their warning. I decided to run it with about half of our crew.
At the top of the rapid there is a very narrow place between two large boulders… just wide enough for a raft to float through.
They call it the “turkey shoot.”
If you hit it, it propels you across to the other side of the river and helps you miss the most dangerous part of the rapid. If you miss it… well… not good.
I went down those rapids…
…but we missed the “turkey shoot.”
When you miss that little path of fast moving water, trying to get across the river with paddles is like paddling the Queen Mary with a teaspoon. The river takes control.
We headed straight for the sharp rocks in our little rubber raft.
What happened next has impacted everything I’ve attempted in my life…
The raft crashed sideways into a giant boulder and stopped us with a crash. When you hit a obstacle like that, your first reaction is to lean away from those sharp rocks. You want to push off from the rock and get back into the main flow of the river as quickly as possible. We all started to lean away from the rock and that’s when Jim (an old college friend and our guide) yelled, “HIGH SIDE.”
As we were leaning away from the rock, (the low side of the boat) water started gushing over the tube. If too much water filled the boat, it would flip it backwards and throw us into the rushing water.
Even though it made sense logically to shy away from the danger, the big rock, the thing Jim was telling us to do was to lean over to the high side of the boat TOWARD the rock, toward the danger.
He’d been giving us orders all that week on different rivers around Maine and we were used to doing what he said. We all went to the high side of the boat.
When we did, something miraculous happened…
The low side of the boat, the side that was taking all the water, floated up above the flood. The crushing weight of the river slid harmlessly under us. A couple of us even put a foot out of the boat onto the rock to steady us.
We then were able to reposition the angle of the boat and with a collective shove of our feet and paddles, we launched ourselves back into the flow of the river making it possible to bypass the sharp rocks.
Going against conventional wisdom may have saved our lives that day. Leaning into our fears turned out to be the only way we could succeed.
I expect you are seeing where I’m going with all this.
If you want succeed at something you’ve never done before. If you want to do something that most people shy away from. If you want to ride the flood instead of walk the trail, you better be ready to face your fears.
Everyone I teach comes into my program with fear. They don’t know if they will be able to do what I teach, they don’t know if they will fall flat on their face. But they do know that by doing what they’ve always done, they will get what they’ve always got.
I had a good leader on that river trip. I had someone I trusted to keep me safe and tell me what I needed to do to survive. Everyone needs a good teacher, a good mentor, someone they can trust to guide them and keep them focused on the things they need to do to succeed.
If you want to build a real estate investing business, I can do that for you. Come ride the flood with me. It’s a glorious ride.