When I was around 15, I decided to go on a youth group trip. I’d been with them before and had a fun time, but this was the first time I would go to Fall Creek Falls, a beautiful state park in east Tennessee. They had planned a day when we would kayak down the Hiwassee river, which sounded like a blast to me because I’ve always loved all things water and swimming. The Hiwassee is known to be slow-paced and easy for beginners, but our youth group leaders recommended not getting in the water as the river was shallow and had sharp rocks at the bottom. Looking back, I think they just told us this so we wouldn’t get out of the boats, but we believed them nonetheless.