Feeling the Worry: By Sarah Burwick, about her journey kayaking and how she faces her challenges and feelings of worry.

Getting on the plane recently I’d no expectations. I’ve found out that when I’m going into a brand-new circumstance it’s best to see it with fresh eyes and an open mind. I began planning this journey at the end of my radiation sessions in November. Searching the internet I found a kayaking camp in Colorado. I believed this kind of journey would be ideal. I’ve actually never ever been to Colorado and I’ve never ever been kayaking. This would be my opportunity to step outside my convenience zone and practice my yoga off the mat.

On the drive to the resort watching out the windows at the landscape, a sense of excitement and nervousness embeddeded in. Seeing the tall red rocks, trees, and broad open highways resembled a breath of fresh air from my usual Boston scenery. When I reached the lodge I satisfied the 15 other campers I’d be investing the rest of the week with. We all seemed so different that first night.


My very first day on the water in a kayak was exceptionally frightening. The water was freezing and the damp top was too snug around my visit pull it over. My head was still sensitive from radiation. When I was out on the pond and hooked into the kayak I’d to discover how to turn myself over. While under the water, I needed to unhook myself from the boat and push myself out while water was soaring my nose and I’ve a hard time to hold my breath. I did it hesitantly 3 times. I marched out of the water, tore of my wet clothes and laid in the sun. I was done. Being under water was too much like having a seizure and I was reluctant to relive those minutes on my getaway. I went up to my space that night and cried debating whether or not I need to take the next flight house.

The next day I woke up still immobilized with worry about the water. A brief yoga practice by my bedside helped me understand that my fear was limiting me. This realization made me mad, developing simply the correct amount of motivation to alter my mind. I love the water. Something inside me knew this journey would enlighten me I just had to get back to my yoga mind. In the water that day I looked around at all the other campers. Their faces looked bright with anticipation for the day. I hadn’t been rather there yet and I couldn’t utilize my cancer as a reason this time. All 15 campers had cancer! I was surrounded by the most unbelievably strong individuals and I was among them. This fear of mine had to go away quickly or the trip would be destroyed.

When I became part of the very first quick of the day my viravidrasana (warrior) came alive. I leaned forward and paddled, keeping my hips loose I repeated over and over in my head ‘just keep paddling’. I clinched my teeth and brushed tough and through the rapids I went still paddling hard at the end. A rush came by me but I still did not trust it. I understood at that moment that I was going to show up and suck at this or I was going to show up and shine in either case I was going to appear for myself.

Each night all 15 campers would gathering and talk about the day. I’ve never chuckled so hard in my life. At the same time I was hearing these amazing cancer stories about other individuals with brain growths, a young mom newly diagnosed, people who got cancer means too young and had actually numerous surgical treatments coupled with radiation and chemo. It was the best conversation I’ve actually ever had. For the first time when I told my story the feedback wasn’t ‘you are the strongest person I understand’ or ‘you’re so brave’. For me going with cancer isn’t brave. It’s something I needed to do. I did not choose it, it chose me. I spend a great deal of time holding my breath and crossing my fingers praying that I’d survive this. Right here at the camp everybody shared their own experience. No person said the words strong or brave. It was understood that we all have an unspeakable power within us.

By the last day I’d broken with my wall of fear. I do not know at what point it occurred. Maybe it was the power of the pack, the rush after making it through the rapids, or maybe it was when I finally stopped paddling in the middle of the river looked up from the water surveying exactly what was right in front of me, peace and peace. On the last quick I explored it without any trace of worry, fleeting images from my past flashed in front of me leading up to this minute in my life. If none of it occurred I’d not be here to experience this sweet moment.

When everything in my life feels upside down I go there, literally. I turn myself over and see my world from a different perspective. Once I’m settled in the posture I’m able to see that absolutely nothing has altered, everything exists as it should, I simply need to discover it once more. This calms my mind and I’ve the ability to come back to the world and show up whole heartedly. This week I did not have to go upside down to obtain a various perspective. This week the only means around my fear was straight through it. When the aircraft took off to house at the end of the week I looked down at the river below thanking it for its lessons and for making me even stronger than I was in the past.