You Know You’re Obsessed with Whitewater When…

You know it when it happens. It’s that craving, itching feeling when it starts to rain–you’re like a dog scratching at the door. It’s that gnawing sensation in your stomach after a few days withdrawal so noticeable people think you’ve tried to quit smoking. No, it’s an addiction so much worse, and only other afflicted people can understand what you’re going through.

The obsession is whitewater–a passion so strong you come home to your wife (or husband!) already exhausted. But she understands–well, pretends to as she and most your other nonboater friends roll their eyes. That’s okay, we paddlers all understand, and this blog will even post some of the biggest signals to whitewater obsession.

  1. Almost Crashing to Check the River : This one came from a number of people and got a lot of likes on Facebook. C’mon, we’re all guilty of it, especially when we’re the ones driving while everyone else in the car is “oo look at that!” and “oh man that rapid looks sweet!” Meanwhile, you know for the most part what the road looks like–it’s at least going forward–so you turn your neck just a quick second to see what’s happening. The one to top this will be if someone actually crashes because of looking at the river (am not advocating this!)
  2. Choice of Work/School is Determined by Nearby Rivers : Well damn, I am guilty of this one. It was this or Michigan State University, which has one of the top journalism graduate programs in the country–and some of the flattest water, too. 
  3. A Hurricane Puts a Smile on Your Face : When the rest of the country’s counting cost of damage, you’re tallying days on the river right after a big storm. Some people may call us crazy for that (in fact, most), but I say we paddlers just look for the silver lining of things. 
  4. Pets and Children are Named after Rivers, Features and Boats : I know at least a few are guilty of this one…We’ve got children named Rio, Grand, Jackson (for real after the boat company), and dogs named Tallulah. So many more, too. 
  5. You imagine all the Lines a Squirrel Might Take on a Stream You Drive By : Okay, this one I do, but a lot of answers were similar. Basically, any and every body of moving water catches your eye, and you try to read it all. Throwing a stick to see where it goes, if it gets recirculated, if it catches an eddy also counts.

    Boof it squirrel! Boof Niagara!

So here are the top five signs of whitewater obsession! There were many others, and I have to add real quick that another whitewater obsession might be your long list of obsessions that you were able to give me when I asked the question (cough cough Louie cough cough). As for the obsession of all things whitewater, in the words of Martha Stewart, it’s a good thing. 


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