Colleyville, TX
Leadership Studies


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Proud Mary

September 16, 2016

“Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river”

Proud Mary, Creedence Clearwater Revival

I don’t know about you, but when I was sitting in on my first University of Richmond info. session, there was one factoid that haunted me long after I’d left campus:

“The city of Richmond is one of the only urban centers with class four white water rapids flowing right through the heart of its downtown center.”

Ok so maybe that wasn’t actually the biggest take away I got from my first college visit to UR, but it definitely peaked my interest, and I distinctly remember telling myself I would go explore those rapids in person should I ever become a Spider.

Which is how I found myself staring down a steep and rocky drop in the James River this last weekend and thinking that perhaps I should have sworn I’d go explore the dining hall buffet instead.

Just kidding.

Although this last weekend did in fact include me staring over a rather sharp drop into the James River, I wouldn’t have traded my white water rafting adventure for anything.

As I’ve mentioned in other blog posts before, the UR gym offers a number of fun and exciting off campus, outdoor adventures throughout the year.

You can imagine how excited I was then when they announced that the first trip of this year was a chance to get up close and personal with those city rapids I kept hearing so much about.

The gym provided the transportation down to the river and then got us set up with the service who would be guiding us downstream to our final stop.

Our guide let us do most of the work, which is probably why myself and the three other girls in the raft with me could barely lift our arms the next day, but he was also there to help guide us through some of the stickier spots.

While the river is mostly flat and calm as it meanders its way through the heart of downtown, there are definitely those spots where you’re happy for the extra guidance.

I didn’t fall into the river, which to me is a mark of a successful adventure, but I definitely got tossed around a bit when we went over the infamous Hollywood rapid near Belle Isle.

That being said, it was a great way to spend a Friday, and now I even have one less thing on my Richmond Bucket List to cross off before I graduate next year.

And while the rapids were certainly the appeal of the trip, getting a fish’s eye view of the city was pretty cool too.

We got to paddle directly under a number of beautiful, old bridges that went right over the water, and I’m pretty sure I waved to enough ducks to have permanently sprained my wrist.

Although I’m ecstatic to be back at UR, these first few weeks as an upperclassman have been quite the adventure in itself, but it’s university programs like white water rafting that help me remember to play as hard as I work.

No ifs, ands, oar buts about it.

Hi my name is Maren and I'm a freshman at the University of Richmond. I was born and raised right outside of Dallas, Texas and have consequently heard every Texas stereotype you can think of. I'll go ahead and put on record that I don't wear cowboy boots nor have I ever ridden a horse to school. I love to travel and have to date been to over twelve different countries, including Israel, Peru, and Hungary. I'm a huge history buff and collect random history trivia like old ladies collect cats. I also enjoy reading and watching movies/tv equally, although the subject matter and depth of each fluctuates often. Toss in the fact that I'm a Sagittarius and fluent in three different types of sarcasm and you'll have more than enough information to navigate my diary entries for the rest of the year.

Why UR?

Why UR? It was the summer of 2011 and I was just wrapping up an internship in DC. When I mentioned how much I loved the area, my boss recommended that I look at the University of Richmond for college. Fast forward about two years and you have me on my first tour of the campus thinking, "If inanimate objects had souls, the University of Richmond would be my soulmate." While visiting UR I became smitten with its red brick architecture, awed by its dedicated faculty, and enticed by its massive dessert bar in the main dining hall. Richmond's location in a metropolitan area with world-class museums, theaters, and other cultural necessities (like Target) all while having a true separate campus community was a dream come true. All this and more is why I applied Early Decision, and I haven't looked back since.