KEEP YOUR FEET UP! (read time 1:09) I guess a lot of people have had this experience and now I can proudly add my name to the list. My wife and I rode the rapids down the Rio Grande River in a rubber boat (it was her idea). To this day I still don’t get it; sharp rocks, rubber boat...hellooo! At one point, a few folks decided to get out of the boat and go down the rapids in just their life jackets—same thing, canvass jacket, sharp rocks...huh? I really didn’t want to do this but I just couldn’t dispel my wife’s belief that she married a “manly man.” So I reluctantly volunteered for this potentially suicidal mission. For anyone who has ever done this, you know that the first rule is never put your feet straight down when you slip into a rushing river—always keep them up in front of you. So what did I do? I put my feet straight down and immediately went tumbling head over heels like a Cirque du Soleil contortionist!As I was ferociously swept away by the merciless current, there was definitely a vulnerable feeling of being totally out of control. And the more I fought it, the closer I came to the sharp, jagged rocks. However, once I finally relaxed, put my feet up, and let go of fighting and resisting the strong pull; and once I began to “trust” my own instincts, and just go with the flow, it only took the slightest coaxing of my body, to avoid the rocks and actually maintain control, even though, I was still totally out of control!      Perhaps the big lesson I walked away with (rather, survived) will resonate with you too: That often I feel like all of my gallant dreams, schemes and projects are being ferociously swept away by my own petty circumstances; money, time, my ego, the voices in my head, distractions, you name it. The only real choice I have is to release my grip on the situation, resign my righteous position, surrender to the gods, and ever-so-slightly coax my way around the rocks and boulders of life. When I’m able to do this, I usually wash up on some sandy beach with a smile on my face and a story to tell...a story about surviving one more of life’s challenging adventures. The other lesson I learned: always keep your feet up when you go down the rapids without a boat.Have you ever had that “in control/out of control” felling? Ever gone down the rapids without a boat?
J Michael Dolan

KEEP YOUR FEET UP! (read time 1:09)

I guess a lot of people have had this experience and now I can proudly add my name to the list. My wife and I rode the rapids down the Rio Grande River in a rubber boat (it was her idea). To this day I still don’t get it; sharp rocks, rubber boat...hellooo! At one point, a few folks decided to get out of the boat and go down the rapids in just their life jackets—same thing, canvass jacket, sharp rocks...huh? I really didn’t want to do this but I just couldn’t dispel my wife’s belief that she married a “manly man.” So I reluctantly volunteered for this potentially suicidal mission. For anyone who has ever done this, you know that the first rule is never put your feet straight down when you slip into a rushing river—always keep them up in front of you. So what did I do? I put my feet straight down and immediately went tumbling head over heels like a Cirque du Soleil contortionist!

As I was ferociously swept away by the merciless current, there was definitely a vulnerable feeling of being totally out of control. And the more I fought it, the closer I came to the sharp, jagged rocks. However, once I finally relaxed, put my feet up, and let go of fighting and resisting the strong pull; and once I began to “trust” my own instincts, and just go with the flow, it only took the slightest coaxing of my body, to avoid the rocks and actually maintain control, even though, I was still totally out of control! 
   
Perhaps the big lesson I walked away with (rather, survived) will resonate with you too: That often I feel like all of my gallant dreams, schemes and projects are being ferociously swept away by my own petty circumstances; money, time, my ego, the voices in my head, distractions, you name it. The only real choice I have is to release my grip on the situation, resign my righteous position, surrender to the gods, and ever-so-slightly coax my way around the rocks and boulders of life. When I’m able to do this, I usually wash up on some sandy beach with a smile on my face and a story to tell...a story about surviving one more of life’s challenging adventures. The other lesson I learned: always keep your feet up when you go down the rapids without a boat.

Have you ever had that “in control/out of control” felling? Ever gone down the rapids without a boat?

COMMENTS


Posted By mark grove
Totally Out Of Control
Huh, doesn't sound much like fun Mike. Although you can learn something, even from the wife. I think though I will not go on the rapids anytime soon.


Posted By joe
go with the joe
well the famous saying rhymes with my name so it's always been part of me.. the only place i won't go with the flow is musically.. i'm headed for the ultimate complexity (for those of you who have read Shantaram)which is headed upstream.. if you go with the flow musically you are indeed headed for the rocks with your legs stiff (and your ears deaf).. but hey.. don't worry bout the small stuff :-)


Posted By Victoria Schultz
Feet Up
Michael, I always love your posts and you have a great way of putting a life lesson idea to every experience you have However, I just couldn't help wondering on this one. . . . Maybe you should check the insurance policy your wife has on you before she suggests the next manly man outing :)


Posted By Vamplified
UNDER'TOE CURRENTS
Someone has a Flicker account & put a photo of someone's toes on their site under my registered trademark. Those aren't my feet! Must have been payback from my 4th grade Christmas when every classmate was given a $5 budget. We drew a name out of a hat for gift exchange. I drew Steven Spears! How Cool! He was my Alice Cooper record collector friend who built a coffin and turned it into a bookcase. I went to Spencer's and found a big toe key ring! Looked authentic like a Hollywood Horror 'Saw' prop! You shoulda seen the look on his face when he got it :) Years later, I learned if you get caught in an Under'toe, ride with the current rather than fight it. It will carry you back to shore after one helluva ride!


Posted By Suza Leon
Going with the flow!
As long as the current isn't leading to Niagra Falls going with the flow sounds like a plan! :^)


Posted By Scott Ragotskie
Go with the Flow
Brilliant Analogy ! Confirms that old cliche to just "Go with the Flow" yes! Glad you survived as you are an inspiration to many. Cheers!


Posted By Queen V
Small stuff
Couldn't agree more. Said another way, "Let go or be dragged." Or as David Lee Roth said, "Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff."


Posted By Tom Seufert
Rapids
In the National Gallery in Washington DC I came upon a small exhibition room with four paintings, one on each of the walls depicting the "Four Stages of Life." In the first painting there was a long row boat on a placid lake with a baby wrapped in blankets. The next painting showed a teenage boy rowing the boat and the lake water was a bit more rippled. The third painting depicted a man standing up in the canoe with a crazed wild look on his face, the wind raging and huge waves about to capsize the boat. The last painting showed a white long haired man with a flowing beard, also dressed in white, slowly rowing the boat towards a gorgeous sunset.


Posted By Mike Gormley
Feet Up
I go down the rapids without a boat every day, or so it seems. Those jagged rocks to my left and right are in the form of office politics, sour clients, amateurs who think they are professional and friends who might not be friends. But then I find a boat...that true friend or loving family member, a business triumph or just a good day on this plant. Corny? Not on my feet.


Posted By Roslyn Fleischer
Kern River
I took a big swim in the Kern River once when the rapids were over a class 5. An accident; my friends were stuck in a hole near where we had put in. I had stuck my oar in to try and help us get out of the hole and was immediately tossed out. At first I panicked, then I also gave the experience up to the Gods and eventually found a way out before I got to the dam. Damn. I found the oddest part of the experience to be what I thought about when I thought I was going to drown...I wasn't praying for my life, I was thinking hey, maybe I shouldn't get married. Turns out I should have stuck with that instinct. Life lesson learned.


Posted By Chris VonTanner
Keep Your Feet Up
My husband and I were camping in WA State. One afternoon we took our inner tubes down to the river, held on to each other's tube with all our strength and let it rip. We screamed, we laughed and we landed. Washed up on the dock of a very nice wine and brunch place. The people there said they heard us screaming all the way down and then told us this section of the river is rated (I think) a 4 and is much to dangerous to go down. Especially two guys on two inner tubes. It must have been the 'feet up' and the laughter and screams that delivered us safely.


Posted By Robbie Walters
Flowing with stinky feet
I have gone down the rapids without a boat and I did stand straight up and immediately flipped over backwards a few times. But then like you say, as long as you just let go and flow with it, you really can avoid all the big rocks. A great life lesson indeed.

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• THE KOBE IN ME (read time 1:13)
• READY, SET, GO! (read time :47)
• EVE OF DISTRACTION (read time 1:29)
• KEEP YOUR FEET UP! (read time 1:09)
• JUST ONE MORE FOOT (read time 1:57)
• MY MUSE DOESN'T CARE (read time :39)
• MISUNDERSTOOD (read time 1:19)
• DUMP IT! (read time 1:19)
• IS IT WORTH IT? (read time :49)
• THE 24 HOUR RULE (read time 2:21)
• MONK ON THE MOUNTIAN (read time: a lifetime)
• “IT” (read time 1:37)
• BORN TO SHOW (read time 3:37)
• THE STING OF REJECTION (read time 1:13)
• LESSON FROM A ROCK STAR (Read time 0:27)
• THUMB POWER (read time 1:59)
• EXPOSING THE WIZARD (read time (1:13)
• HEY, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? (read time 1:37)
• THE WAITING WARRIOR (Read time 0:41)
• PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK (read time :57 sec)
• AUTONOMY HIGHWAY (read time :35 sec)
• LIMPIDITY (read time :45 sec)
• WHY I MEDITATE (read time 1:00 min)
• YOUR SHADOW AGENDA (Read time 0:59)
• WHY I SOLD MY BUSINESS (read time 6:33)
• BARENAKED PROBITY (read time 1:47 min)
• THE FANTASIES OF POSSIBILITY (read time 4:17 min)
• THE TUG OF WAR (read time 5:09 min)