Today the team took a break from field hockey and instead enjoyed some of the natural surroundings Canada has to offer. But before we could do that, the team underwent some early conditioning.
With a team jog to the waterfront, we arrived back at the same park from the first day. We quickly stretched and then turned our attention to Coach Cox and Cory to find out what was in store for us. For the team conditioning, the coach staff planned out 6 stations that each involved intense workouts to complete ranging from wheelbarrow runs (harder than you think, I promise), mountain climbers, 5-10-5 sprints, and squats. In teams of three, we spent 2 minutes at each station pushing ourselves and our teammates to give it their all in their sets. After going through each rotation twice, we found out that there was still more running to be done! I could hear it in my head, just like an infomercial – “But wait, there’s more!” We were shown a whole new rotation with drills like bear crawls, pyramid sprints, up-hill running, and burpies. Once again, after two rotations the team finished, drained and sore. The Vancouver residents walking around us must have thought we were crazy as they passed by girls crawling around in circles at 8 AM.
We rushed back to the hotel for a quick breakfast and grabbed our bathing suits for whitewater rafting on the Chilliwack River. The drive was around 2 hours, but we passed the time watching an all-time favorite rom-com “Never Been Kissed.” We arrived at the site a little early, so the team jumped on a nearby beach volleyball court and started playing a game. We came to the conclusion our athleticism would be better spent on the hockey field after we discovered that our volleyball skills were subpar. Finally, we were called in for a delicious lunch provided by the rafting services before we suited up and headed out.
The first challenge of our whitewater rafting trip was fitting into our wetsuits. Each girl was provided a wetsuit that took blood, sweat, and tears to put on. Girls were rolling on the ground to pull it up while others waddled around trying to fit their legs in. The skin tight suit was necessary though for the cold water we were about to encounter. The rest of our outfit included a skintight wetsuit jacket, a life jacket, helmet, and booties. We knew immediately knew the wetsuits were bad when one of the guides looked at us and said, “These things are terrible, eh?”
Once we were all dressed to go one, of the head leaders gave the group a spiel on the different types of rapids we could choose. One tour was the ‘classic,’ which included type 2 rapids and some 3’s. The other choice was the ‘canyon tour’ that included almost all type 4 rapids and could only be done by athletic-type people. With trepidation from a few, the team finally decided that the canyon tour was for us. We all got onto a school bus and drove to the starting site.
Before we could enter the water, one of the tour leaders gave us an in-depth overview of the safety protocol. The way the guide explained the ride basically made it sound like we were destined for either broken bones or death. Basically left terrified, the team buckled up and entered our rafts to begin our tour. Piling in, we were taught commands from our group leaders such as forward paddle, left back, and move to the left side! Once we took off, we realized we were in for a lot of fun. From the beginning, there were great rapids that had us bouncing, turning, and soaking wet. Whenever we would get stuck on rocks, we had to maneuver around the raft to loosen ourselves. The paddling was tiring, but we had the instant gratification of continuous rapids to make the hard work worth it. Girls were thrown around the boat as we hit waves and were splashed in the face as we headed head first into rapids. The whole time we were able to embrace the surrounding greenery, as all around us were thick forests and high mountains. Lastly, the air was noticeably clean and the water was so clear and fresh!
Halfway into our tour, we stopped on the side of the river and climbed up some rocks. From there, each person jumped around 20 feet off the rocks into the moving water. As soon as we got back to the surface, we swam to the side and grabbed the rocks for dear life. The water was cold, but definitely refreshing. It was such a thrill! After we all jumped twice, we got back into our rafts, continued down the rapids, and stopped once more for a quick snack of oranges. The tour ended on a major rapid and left us all satisfied.
Through all the rapids, we did have some team members fall out of the rafts. The first to go was Megan Reilly. When looking out to the nearby raft, we got the sight of Megan being pulled back into the raft by her teammates after she was thrown out due to the rapids. Bryn Bissey and Bridget Gibbons both fell out too. At the end of the tour on the last rapid, Cory was the last to go as the huge final rapid threw him out. With all these overboards, you can tell how strong these rapids were.
At the end of the tour, we piled onto the bus, went back to base, and changed our clothing. Everyone was completely drained and exhausted when we headed back into the city for dinner. Tomorrow we have yoga, led by Cory’s fiancee Ashlee, a hike over a suspension bridge, and a game against the Vancouver Jokers.