Good day, Paddle People!
The Extra Give is only 5 days away (https://extragive.org/designee/susquehanna-valley-team-river-runner) and I’d like to share with you a testimonial by Jenn, one of our non-Veteran volunteers. She is responsible for our Kids are OuttaSight! (KAOS!) program which continues to spread to more and more chapters around the country.
Her testimonial is not about KAOS!; rather, it is about how TRR has impacted her life. It is a story about how TRR Veterans build relationships and brings healing to our non-Veteran friends and neighbors.
How I found Susquehanna Valley Team River Runner (SVTRR) isn’t important; however what I’ve learned about myself, others and what I’ve accomplished since finding SVTRR IS.
No matter how one becomes a person with a disability, we all have strengths, abilities and needs. SVTRR is a place where all three of these characteristics are met on a personal and individual basis. What people outside of the organization may not realize is that there is much more to SVTRR than paddling. Recently, someone told me “I know you’re having fun but don’t lose track of other things in life”
Sure, I’m having a blast but there is much more happening beneath the surface that helps me with life. For example; SVTRR provides me with encouragement to go beyond my comfort zone, but not without my permission. SVTRR reminds me that I am strong and capable of much more than I realize. SVTRR has taught me to stand up and advocate for myself. SVTRR has taught me that everyone deals with “demons” throughout life, but it’s how you deal with them that makes a difference.
SVTRR reminds me to never give up on a goal. Most importantly SVTRR has given me strong friendships that I hope will last a life time.
Jenn on her first whitewater run down the Lehigh River.
Recently an SVTRR instructor pointed out and I concurred that I have a fear of failure. That has stemmed from previous life experiences. Placing that idea on the bow of my kayak was a true eye opener. Now it’s time to face that fear head on, and with SVTRR by my side I know I will come to terms with my fear.
As I continue to grow and develop my skills I have and will have days where things don’t go well on the water, but SVTRR always ensures that the day ends on a positive note. This one simple act will keep me coming back for more every time. I started this journey by turning a large rec boat in circles, and now I can complete an Eskimo roll. That’s something not everyone can say.
Never before have I found an organization where participants are treated as equals, and I am truly appreciated for who I am. SVTRR is a place where I can simply be me in a judgment free zone.
I am truly thankful for SVTRR. This organization would not exist without the foresight and leadership of it’s Chapter Coordinator Bill Butler.
In closing SVTRR is leading me down a new river where along the way I’m collecting my self-confidence which I temporarily lost in the river called life. (Jenn E.)
Susquehanna Valley Team River Runner
#SVTRR #TRR #TeamRiverRunner
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