This time last week I was mentally preparing to take the plunge and go whitewater rafting for my first time. Truth is, I had no idea what to expect, other than the horror stories my mom has told me (message her if you find yourself curious for the details). Nevertheless, my daughter, my fiancé, my mother and I all decided to see what Wisp’s Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking in Deep Creek, MD was all about.
What made our experience even more amazing was my dad who, not knowing what we’d get in to over the long weekend, brought his GoPro camera. I’m sure by now you’re familiar with that tiny piece of tech that is able to capture some incredible footage, but if not it’s a small video camera you can attach to almost anything and get the exact shot you’re looking for. Fortunately for us, the resort had one helmet designed specifically to mount a GoPro camera on top, and it captured our highs, and lows, the whole day.
That night we all huddled around Katelynn’s computer and watched the footage like it was a summer blockbuster. I don’t think my family has ever laughed harder together. The best thing about the camera…you completely forget about it. My dad, who was running around the whitewater course taking pictures, kept frantically shouting, “Is it still blinking red!?” For the four of us, the two other people in our raft, and our guide, it was business as usual. Watching that footage provided us with a different perspective on how we talk, our facial expressions, and the bad habits we might have of biting our nails…right Ava?
After practically reliving the entire experience, I can honestly say, I was proud of the father I was. I encouraged Ava and helped calm her down when we did go under water. I was proud of the son I was, I held my mom’s hand as we climbed up a small rock and jumped in the rough water. I was proud of the fiancé I was, I communicated with Katelynn throughout our trip and we worked great together. Not that I want to disappoint you, but things in our family aren’t always as smooth as peanut butter! And as much as I love my readers, I have a hard time believing your relationships would be like that either. That’s life.
During the quick drive back to Pittsburgh, I found myself meditating on how amazing our experience was, and how we’ll always have that footage. Personally, it made me wonder what life would be like if I always had a GoPro on top of my head? How different might my daily actions, conversations, and experiences be? At the end of the day, would I have a hard time watching, or worse, would I allow my parents, daughter, or fiancé to see my documented actions?
That’d be a tough pill to swallow. I know I’ve yelled at my daughter and felt horrible minutes later. I think to myself I could’ve handled that so much better…but I didn’t. Disagreements with my fiancé, parents or friends where I’ve lost my composure, say a quick remark and walk away. There’s no reason to walk away, other than I was embarrassed of acting out of character.
Don’t ever for one second think I write because I have all the answers, I write because I think I find things that help. And all I want to do is share!
Again, I want you to think about watching what’s on that camera with your children, spouse, parents, coworkers, etc. Would you be okay with them watching the texts you send, the time wasted on social media, how you talk to and treat certain people, or how you’re really spending time at work? You might be thinking those are private moments, or who I am or how I conduct myself isn’t for certain people to see, and that’s fair. I certainly don’t want anyone to act fake. But if you’re rethinking any of your actions because you’re not proud of what would be on that film, I would take small steps that over time will alter your decision making. I know I am.