First off, if you haven’t seen the Disney Channel Original Movie Johnny Tsunami then the story ends here. You’re done reading my blog. You can go on about your day.
For those of you who have seen the movie, let me continue.
So I won a half off trip from my program to go visit Wales (West of London) and be a part of this adventure program where they take you kayaking, hiking, and coasteering (I didn’t know what coasteering was either but it sounded like something I can say I did and my white friends haven’t so I signed up for it). When I was agreeing to go on the trip I had second thoughts because of the water activities but then I thought this would be a dope time for me to get real outdoorsy ya know, be able to be one with nature and all that. Anyway, I sign up for the trip and went this past weekend. Let me tell you all about it.
Now I’m the only black person on this trip, and since I’m all for not perpetuating stereotypes, when they asked me if I can swim, I said of course. Mind you, I learned how to swim in 2012 and by “learned how to swim” I mean I learned how to not die. I still don’t really fuck with water like that. Even my showers are fairly short. Anyway, they decide kayaking is the first activity. I’m cool with that since were not actually in the water so I figure I’ll be ok. They get us into these wetsuits and give us life jackets just in case shit gets real. Now I don’t know how well you know me but in situations like this I get very over-confident and almost Muhammed Ali-like. I start doing the shit-talking and all that and it gets really funny for everyone. Little does everyone know, in that water I foresee nothing but my impending doom and struggle.
We get in the kayaks and start moving. Well everybody else was moving I was just waving the paddle trying to move in any direction so I can make it look like it was all on purpose. I end up going nowhere fast. The struggle was so real, that the instructor came over and hitched his kayak to mine and just rowed to where we were supposed to be. I was humiliated. Just picture it, me, the greatest kayaker of all time, being dragged along the ocean by some instructor. Pretty quickly, we end up in water too deep for me to stand in but I think I’m all good because I have Aquaman here holding me down. After we get to the spot the instructor tells me he’s letting me go free and gives me a 10 second crash course on how to row by myself. Now I’m mad at him because why in the hell would he try and teach me now that we’re in water too deep for me to stand in??? Anyway I sort of get the hang of it but I’m still the worst kayaker by a long shot.
After this game everyone was playing with some ball the instructor was throwing around the water, he decided to let us all know we could be tipped over at any moment by KILLER WHALES. Now, I’ve lived my whole life on land specifically to avoid animals with names like that. I’m here wondering why that wasn’t in the program description while the instructor is telling us killer whales are actually harmless. I was willing to debate that seeing as the word “KILLER” was in there name but nope, the instructor went on talking about how “cute” they were. I wasn’t trying to hear it and once he told us we could go back to shore I kayaked the FUCK out of that water. I might’ve been the second person to get to shore.
Next that day was the hiking. Now seeing as I just dominated the water, and Aquaman over here couldn’t help me with shit on land I decided to go ahead of the group and went along the path myself and did just fine. No trouble. I even took pictures.
We go back to the lodge after hiking and get dinner then sleep. Next up was coasteering in the morning and I’d seen the videos and I’m not gonna lie, I was scared as shit, but I wasn’t about to let everyone else know that. Shit, they didn’t even know about my swimming struggles, they just thought I was a pretty bad kayaker.
When we all woke up in the morning I felt like I was getting dressed for war. I put the wetsuit on like it was the last thing I’d ever wear. In a few hours I’d be swimming (somehow), climbing rocks, and jumping off cliffs. The way I saw it, I’d be dead before the cliffs so I wasn’t really sweating the idea of jumping.
We get to the area where I’d be dying any minute and all these people over here making jokes. We’re walking along the beach, about to get in the water and these people are actually excited. I’m over here trying to remember the last time I told my nieces I loved them and these people are talking about who can jump off the highest cliff.
We walk into the water and instantly I can hear my own church bells off in the distance. I’m really about to die on Easter Sunday ain’t that some shit. We eventually get to the point where swimming is a must and everybody starts swimming. What did I do you ask? I attempted the doggie paddle first. Once that failed I tried to imitate their breast stroke. When what failed I went and tried to swim backwards. I don’t even know what that shit was called but it worked best so that’s what I went with. I somehow by the grace of the sweet lord above made it to this damn cave I needed to walk through. I didn’t even let the fact I was walking through a fucking cave sink in because I knew at the other end of this cave was a cliff that these motherfuckers expected me to jump off of.
We get to the cliff and I walked to the edge looked down and out loud said “fuck that”. No way was I jumping off this thing. It was way too damn high. The water could be bottomless for all I know. I could end up in that deep dark part of the ocean Nemo’s dad ended up in. Nope no way. Every one of these psychopathic people I came here with line up one by one to jump to their deaths. One by one, they survive but that doesn’t make me doubt my chances of survival any less.
After everyone had already jumped Aquaman looked at me and told me I was the last one so pretty much I’m next. He and I have a quick discussion on why this is a terrible idea and I tell this apparent half man half fish that human beings have no business jumping off cliffs. He tells me I’ll be alright blah blah blah you’ll live blah blah blah and look everybody else was fine. Just as he said this, the girls on the trip start chanting to me from the ocean telling me I’ll be alright and all that and immediately I realize I’ve reached rock bottom. I was the kid that everyone had to chant on. Man I’ve never felt so corny. I look down at the ocean one more time, say a quick prayer (I’m not religious), hope my mother knows I love her and hope every girl that didn’t text me back regrets it once they see my RIP posts take over the IG timeline (I’m petty). Then I took a deep breath and jumped.
And I survived.
And it was actually pretty fun in a fuck no will I ever do that shit again kind of way.
I didn’t write this with the idea that there will be a moral but if there is one I guess its one of those cliché lines about comfort zones.