It’s confirmed! I will be joining cancer fighters and survivors for a week of white water kayaking in Vail, Colorado this summer through First Descents (a non-profit started by Nike kayaker, Brad Ludden). Though the program is exclusively for cancer fighters and survivors, FD works closely with IA and has offered me the chance to volunteer, capturing the week via video and snapshots for participants and IA friends.
The kayaking programs are booked for 2010, but it appears that there is climbing availability in Estes Park. You cover transportation to Colorado and FD takes care of the rest, including professional training, lodging and equipment. Free climbing lessons and the chance to meet other cancer fighters and survivors sounds like the ideal summer trip to me! Check it out! Can’t make it this year? Registration usually begins in January.
To piggy back on Brad Ludden’s post today- First Descents JUST opened enrollment for their Colorado summer kayaking programs today! These programs are FREE and available to any and all young adult survivors and fighters! Whether you are new to kayaking, or aspiring to hit the water like Brad, check it out.
This link will lead you to the application, as well as a description of the Colorado location where you will learn to battle the rapids with the help of Renaissance Adventure Guides.
I’m up to challenge the river this summer and will be volunteering/blogging for a week alongside cancer fighters and survivors! Hopefully that will be YOU! Please pass on this information to anyone that you know in the cancer community who loves Colorado, outdoor sports, new challenges, meeting new people, relaxing, getting some fresh air and/or celebrating their cancer journey! For questions, you can reach out to Brad Ludden or send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know that you are coming!
I stay positive by simply going outside. Over the course of my life I have realized that if I can just convince myself to put down my work, life, tv, book or car and force myself to wander into the outdoors I will be completely present and the worries of everyday life seem to fade. I attribute so much of this to the fact that nature doesn’t care about my troubles, my work or my challenges. She treats me the same as everyone and everything else that comes along. There is something very rewarding about that. Because of this I have spent the better part of my life fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking, skiing, hunting or just simply sitting outside. When I’m there, I’m present and when I’m present, troubles are not.
It is for these reasons that I started First Descents. I wanted to create an outlet to share the positivity the outdoors brought to my life with others whose troubles were probably far greater than mine and their access to being outside might not be as available as mine. I figured that if nature treated everyone the same and that treatment could provide a place free of troubles then maybe young adults with cancer could really benefit from being out there together.
At the end of the day it’s not always the easiest thing to do- force yourself to leave life as you know it and go outside, but I can say that I have never regretted my decision to go and always come back a happier, healthier, fuller and more present version of myself that I was before I left.
Young adult? Got cancer? Get outside! First Descents has free spots available on a variety of outdoor adventures. Check out www.firstdescents.org or email email@example.com for more details!