Thursday, September 22, 2011

First Descents: Life Challenges, Lessons Learned

As some of you know from one of my previous post that this summer I had the opportunity to attend a week-long adventure camp sponsored by First Descents.

Ever since I have returned I've wanted to write something about my time at FD and the impact it made on me. I have started writing many times and the words never came. The other night however, I couldn't sleep and as I was lying in bed, suddenly I knew what I wanted to say. I grabbed my crutches and hobbled across my room and got my laptop. As soon I started typing, the words began to flow from inside my heart, my soul, my spirit, through my fingers and then onto the page.

I did not have a predetermined list of things I wanted to say or have any idea how it would start, what parts I would include or how long it would end of up being. I have to admit it is more like a term paper than a book report, but it is from the heart. I know that I was meant to attend that particular kayaking camp this summer, just as I was meant to write these words about my experience.  I invite you to click on this link and read "Reflections From On the Water". 

I hope that by reading these word you will be able to get a glint at what this experience has done for me and for those that know me personally, may be able to see the changes that has happened within me and see the differences in the Alli you know from before and after camp.

In my recap of camp (see above link), I mention a series of pictures of my time on the water. I have included them below.

First day at FD camp. Getting ready for my first roll in a kayak on Bowman Lake. Really freaked out. It was such a mind game. One of the biggest challenges I have ever had. Of course, that was before we got on the river!

Start of the action pictures. I'm getting ready to start the roll. Scared to death and Pleasa has to talk me down from panicking.
Action shot going into the roll. It's cold!!!
Can you say "Most uncomfortable position ever"?
Almost done.......
Wow - Look at my expression - such a relief I can breathe again.
All smiles now, but thank god that is done! It seemed like it took forever, but in reality was only a few seconds.
First wet exit - was not as bad I thought, but still scary while going through it. Thanks so much to my awesome guide Pleasa.

First Descents camp is free to all young adult survivors and they had approx 25 camps in 2011 It costs about $1,000 to send one young adult with cancer to camp for one week. Additionally, I received a travel scholarship, so because of generous donations I had one of the best weeks of my life and all it cost me was my willingness to step up to the challenge. Will you help me raise $1,000 to help another young adult with cancer have what could be the experience of their lifetime?

It is easy to donate, just click on the following link to access my FD Fundraising Page.   Even a small donation of $25 goes a long way to making a difference in the life of a young adult survivor.


David Dorfman said...

Tell us more about camp. I had a great time too!

Alli said...

David - thanks for your comments. Not sure if you saw it, but I attached a recap of camp through a link in the blog. Just click on "Reflections from on the Water"