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What I Learned About Resilience from Swimming an Icy Canyon Pond

By Maddy Eschholz on 5/30/18 8:29 AM


Photo by Lindsay Nohl.

Limb-numbing cold water drips down my shirt and pants. Uncontrollable, body wracking shivers. Shallow, quick breaths don't quite fill my lungs. Tears that I couldn't hold in any longer rolling down my cheeks. I hate this. I want to go home. Why do people think this is fun? Why am I so emotional? Why won't these tears stop?

These thoughts and feelings all came rushing into my head after swimming through a deep pond in a slot canyon on the sixth day of my NOLS course. It was November, and the water was the coldest thing I’ve ever felt—it was the kind of cold that made it hurt to take a deep breath. This was the hardest moment of my trip, but also the time when I learned the most about myself and who I wanted to be.

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Topics: Live the Dream, canyoneering, Utah, Semester in the Rockies

Pathfinding on an Outdoor Semester

By Matt Kearns on 6/30/15 8:00 AM

Matt Kearns spent the spring of 2015 on a NOLS Outdoor Educator Semester. From backcountry skiing to whitewater canoeing, he did it all. Read about his semester, funded in part with his veterans benefits, and how it helped give him the space and direction to consider a career in the natural sciences.

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Topics: backcountry skiing, Backpacking, canyoneering, climbing, Live the Dream, NOLS Rocky Mountain, NOLS Southwest, Semester, video, Wilderness Medicine