My best bud Matt and I packed up and hit the road to Duluth, MN. We headed up to stay the night at our other good friend's (Rob) place. From there we planned to wake up today (Friday), finish out the 2+ hour drive to the Boundary Waters, and hit the water for two night backcountry camping. We were going to be paddle boarding paired with fishing and winter camping. Both of us were crazy excited about the adventure! Well throughout the night I was having hot/cold sweats. I could tell I was getting worse, but still hoping for the best. In the morning, I woke up sweating yet shivering... Fuck I am totally sick.. Like real sick. Sick to the point I don't know if this adventure will happen. Stood up and the room started to spin. Well that answers that questions. We are not going. Yeah could I have pushed through it? Yes, probably. Should I? Now that's a different story.
Knowing your bodies limitations is huge. Physically I was solid, minus my face, well sinuses. Mentally I was solid too and wanted to keep going, but deep down I knew it was not a smart move. The risk of me getting worse camping two nights in 20-30 degree (or colder) weather is just not worth it. Things could have escalated quickly and being on the water just adds to the risk, especially when I had that dizzy spell. Last thing I need to happen is to fall into the freezing cold water, which is one of many risks already involved with an adventure like this. Plus I have been on the other side of the coin. Being in a group and someone is sick and it progressed. Put the whole group at risk and I didn't want to put that on Matt. Yeah I feel like a total dick that we got this far, took the time off, packed up, drove half way, but I was hoping for the best. I figured another nights rest I would be in better shape. Sadly that was not the case...
The Take Away:
Learn to be ok with pulling the plug. If you don't feel 100% physically and/or mentally think long an hard before diving in. Last thing you want to do is put yourself in a worse situation. Not to mention, putting extra risk on yourself and extra stress on the group. Be smart and be ok to just walk away. You can always come back and try for it again another time. If ya pushed through it well that could easily be your last time doing it. So again, be ok with pulling the plug. Yeah it totally sucks in the moment, but would you rather have that or fall into freezing water, get a upper respiratory infection, or something like pneumonia. Na no one wants that crap.
I'm just very grateful for such and awesome friend! I think deep down he knew I was pushing it as well, but he has seen me push through some intense situations. Like when I broke my back and skied 9 more runs, blown out a wrist, ripped my helmet off my head hitting a tree , skiing with sinus infections, and the list goes on. But I am guessing he was hoping I would wake up feeling better too. Just was not the case this time. Again, he was super cool and awesome about the whole situation, which I am deeply grateful for. Heck on our way back we noticed some of the lakes and rivers were frozen over already, so we might not have been able to go anyways. Then we started talking about the our next potential adventure knowing that mid/late winter Boundary Water adventure is on that list :)