Meanwhile, back at the beach: Are You OK? Yes We're OK, Except The Guy On The Left, Watch Out For Him, He's Not OK, He's DEVIOUS!
I'll be coming back to this tonight, I think, but here were a couple of thoughts about how I got so psyched out I'd left in reponse to a very nice comment from my friend Jean --
Why picking a topic that I know very well actually backfired when I needed to keep it short:
part of the reason for the freeze-up on the classroom talk actually may have been because I picked the topic of "Hypothermia". I have learned a LOT about that topic in the process of all those cold-water workshops where TQ & I have been part of the program - part of why I like doing those is because I learn so much from them.
The problem was that I had to give a 15-minute bullet-point presentation with plenty of interaction, and I hadn't thought it through quite clearly enough, and when I suddenly blanked on where I was & where I was trying to go, I ended up trying to convey every piece of information I've learned from the speakers at all of those workshops.
Left my poor students utterly baffled. No good.
Another point I WILL remember at the ICE: 15 minutes is not very long.
And on psyching myself out:
Boy, was I ever freaking myself out over this one.
I think part of it was that the stories from the last one made it sound like she was pretty hard-core. I should have remembered that none of the storytellers had been through an ICE before - they ARE pretty hard-core by nature, but they are also tons of fun and as far as being physically demanding, Elizabeth and Gordon's was almost exactly on par with the classes I took from Roger & Jan Schumann at Eskape Sea Kayaking and Ray & Margaret Killen at Katabasis.
That is to say, I was tired at the end, but not at the end of my rope. Except during the towing exercise. At least not physically. Mentally, you know you're about done when you are scrambling around in the wreckage of the last scenario, and you've gotten lined up with the swimming IT with the maniacal glint in his eye who has caused all the chaos 50 yards from the landing, and you're carefully keeping his boat as a guard between you and him because he thinks EVERYBODY needs to go for a swim but as long as you've got his boat you're OK, and you are fumbling to set up a sling rescue and then...he stands up and you realize that you've been in shallow water and a couple of yards from a beach the whole time.