I have to hand it to my mum Sue and my auntie Pat…they each have a giant pair of cahones. In 2007 we all traveled over to New Zealand for my brother Ian’s wedding, and booked to go rafting on the mighty Kaituna River. The river claims the world’s highest legally raft-able waterfall, but at 7 meters, it didn’t sound so bad. That is, until your raft approaches it. Pausing agonisingly short to allow the raft ahead of you to proceed, and just far enough away so that you can’t see the drop, the heart starts to pound. Especially when you hear the screams from the raft ahead as they plummet out of view. But as the river rages around you, there’s no backing out…and down we went.
What a rush. The 7 meters felt like 70, and after the raft and its terrified occupants disappeared under the falls, I doubt I was the only one who wondered whether we’d ever surface again. But we did, and we lived to tell the tale. And I’ll never forget the moment when I high-fived my soon to be 60 year old mother, and she calmly said, ‘You were way more scared than I was.”
And she was right. The moral of the story? When surrounded by older family members, pretend you’re braver than you feel.