My 2011 gorgeneering experience has guided me in recent weeks.
In my need to find adventures a few years back, I thought I found the perfect one: it was advertised as “gorgeneering” and I pictured myself wading through the low and slow waters of a rocky gorge. I didn’t know I would first need to rappel into the gorge, alongside a raging waterfall. For some unexplainable reason I forced myself over the edge, easing myself down the face of the cliff, sometimes more of a jerking motion than easing motion. Screaming the whole way, I sincerely thought I was going to fall out of the harness to my death on the rocks below. But I had started my way down and there was no going back, no one coming to rescue me. My husband still laughs at the story. I am still disturbed by my frightening experience.
Our two guides were brilliantly patient and helpful as we navigated through the gorge, shimmying over smaller yet not insignificant waterfalls that were over-filled due to the opening of an upstream dam in advance of aptly named Hurricane Irene, which was due the next day. We used ropes to swim across the freezing rapids, our wet suits keeping us warm enough. We paused for a break here and there, our guides moving ahead to scope the gorge and determine the best, the safest way forward.
I continually mustered my courage to proceed on this adventure in the only possible direction, the only way out, the only way to the exit. I made it to safety, exhausted, but stronger and wiser with lessons learned and stories to tell.
We haven’t chosen to be in this moment of time, but we are here together, mustering our collective courage in this gorge, helping one another navigate through to safety on the other side. I have no doubt we will be exhausted. I have no doubt we will be stronger and wiser. Most certainly we will have lessons learned and stories to tell.
We are writing some new rules as we go, one day at a time, as we try to grasp what our workplace will hold for us next week, next month, and in the year to come. Let’s figure them out together.