“Must-make moves” exist on every river, everywhere. In a class V scenario, they may constitute the only physical options we have to safely run a rapid. On a class II river, they more often represent the choices we have made about how we want to paddle a rapid: hit this eddy. Complete this ferry. Surf this wave. Boof this rock. Once we’ve set our goals for a given rapid, they become, in a sense, must-make moves. Not necessarily because we will fail if we don’t make them, or because plan B is unacceptable, but because we’ve dedicated ourselves to trying.
What do you think and feel while you’re hitting that must-make move? How do you make it happen? Sometimes, it happens so fast that we barely even know. Sometimes, those critical moments stretch out to feel impossibly long, and imprint themselves on our memories forever. And oftentimes, the sensation of executing a must-make move feels remarkably similar to taking other leaps of faith that living life requires…doesn’t it?
In the end, all we can do is give it our best shot. We can have faith that we’ll end up exactly where we need to be. And we can celebrate each action, thought, and emotion that got us there. Enjoy this alphabetized recollection of hitting a must-make move.
find the spot;
overcommitting, or under;
zone of landing.