This post is the first part – the second part is here: enjoy!
The trip was shaping up to be fun. Marissa and Casey would be on the same team. The end-of-term wilderness challenge was approaching. Both girls were about to end their first year of college. Many things had come together for both of them. Both made the gymnastics team, in their freshman year, both were maintaining 4.0 or better grade point averages and they had nailed and were looking forward to summer jobs that every college gymnast would die for.
The final course and exam facing them in the school year was the Wilderness Challenge. Similar to Outward Bound, all of the Physical Education degree students were required to complete the two week experience as part of their course work. Casey was apprehensive, but Marissa was excited. Camping, rock climbing and hiking were activities she enjoyed. She could do without the canoeing. The water scared her for some unknown reason. Casey was not an outdoors person. She would tolerate the trip because she had to.
When the bus pulled in to the vacant summer camp that was to be their starting point it was early in the afternoon. The trip coordinators and group leaders were already there getting equipment and supplies organized. One of the first bits of business was to introduce the leaders to their 5 man crews. Marissa and Casey were matched with three guys from their class and assigned to Carl.
Carl was a very tall good looking guy with a cute cowboy accent. Hearing him speak was a novelty for the two Canadian girls. Marissa liked the look of him immediately, and then felt a little twinge of disappointment. He looked like the type who would go for the tall blond beauty queens. “He’s out of my league.” She thought and as she did her mood shifted. As if her thought had come from him as a rebuff to an advance from her, Marissa began to feel peeved with the man. He had yet to even say hello to her. Casey noticed her friend’s mood change and nudged her.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
Marissa came out of her thoughts and turned to look at Casey. “Nothing,” she said. Casey knew that it wasn’t true.
The first two days of the course were spent at the camp. Classes in map reading, repelling and climbing rock face, paddling techniques, as well as fitness measurement filled the time. There was an astonishing amount to take in, and this was after all a course worth credit toward their degree.
Carl was a good teacher. His skill with the things he was teaching was impressive. Marissa found herself watching him. In spite of the fact that he was friendly toward her, she found herself being rude to him. She nicknamed him “cowpoke,” and when she used it there was a sarcastic edge to her voice. She noticed quickly that she could get a rise out of him with it easily. At first he just gave her questioning looks, but eventually he commented, and it was clear he didn’t like it.
Carl didn’t know what he had done to bother the girl. He was drawn to her immediately. She was a compact little bundle of energy, with a face that seemed to welcome people. He watched how the other students gravitated to her, and immediately liked the way she was at ease with them and them with her. She became the natural center of their team. He was awed by how unaware she was of her effect on the group. The way she seemed to be needling him was not sitting well. He would like to get to know her and was irked by her apparent animosity for him.
The last session of the first full day was a swimming endurance test. All participants, including the team leaders were required to swim a mile, and then when finished remain by the docks treading water for twenty minutes. Swimming was not an activity that Marissa enjoyed. She took the requisite swimming lessons as a child, and was capable, but she was out of her element in the water. The fact that her dense gymnast body sunk like a stone didn’t help. She had to work to stay a float during the last twenty minutes.
At the fifteen minute mark, she began to express doubts that she could finish to Casey. Casey did her best to reassure, but Marissa was winded and fed up. Carl was nearby and heard her speak. He moved his long body easily over closer to the girls.
“Hang in there, you can make it, just a few more minutes,” he said, his voice gentle and encouraging.
“Butt out cowpoke. If I want to quit I can quit,” Marissa spit out, her teeth were chattering and she was shivering.
“If you quit you’ll wear a life vest at all times on the canoe leg of the trip,” Carl advised her. He could see she was getting tired, and her shivering was using energy she might better put into getting through the last minutes. He decided he would keep her occupied to keep her mind off the time.
“Keep it up, you can do it,” he moved between Marissa and the dock.
“Butt out cowpoke, I said,” Marissa turned to face away from him.
“Come on Canuk you can do it,” he persisted, swimming around her so she was facing him again.
“Go away!” Marissa sputtered through her chattering teeth.
Casey backed away and started to laugh at her friend.
Marissa was close to exhaustion and it made her feel juvenile. She felt herself transition into ‘the whiner.’ “Buzz off I said, leave me alone, quit circling me like that, I’m not one of your cows,” she pushed water at him and twisted around.
He followed her so that she barely lost sight of his face.
“Buzz off!” She whined, continuing to twirl away.
“That’s it Canuk, you’re doing it,” he laughed.
“I’m going in,” Marissa stretched forward in a side sidestroke toward the dock. Carl caught her around the waist as she eased past him. He pulled her back in front of him.
“Come on Canuk, it’s almost over,” he smiled. Keeping her focus on him was working, she had stopped shivering.
Marissa was almost ready to cry. The whiner was a part of her personality over which she had very little control. Once invoked it was a pretty sure spiral for it to take her back to when it had been a useful strategy. When she was a child and it got her what she wanted. When the whiner wasn’t fast enough at getting things, crybaby came out. She knew the physical sensation of that outcome. Her throat was tight and her eyes burned. She could not let herself cry, but she was getting way too close. If he made her cry, she’d kill him! Anger interceded to protect her from tears.
“Fuck off! Cowpoke, leave me alone!” Carl didn’t get a chance to respond immediately, the whistle blew to indicate that time was up. Everyone made it through the test.
Carl was right beside Marissa when she pulled herself up on the dock. He was up before she was, and he reached down and pulled her up by her wrist. When she was standing on the dock in front of him, he wouldn’t let her go until she looked at his face. His expression was all business. Not angry, but sending a clear message of displeasure. It made her shiver.
“Cuss me again Canuk and you’ll regret it. Is that clear young lady?” he spoke the words so that only she could hear them, but in her mind it was as if he’d yelled at her. The warning he issued had power. Power, that shot through her and clicked awake something deep and secret within her. The sensation was electric, sending sparks shooting through her whole skin surface. A tingle lingered in her hands and her groin. Her mind formed a retort out of the substance of her secret.
‘Why what’ll you do? Spank me?’ her mind hissed. She did not say the words. Instead she gave him a saucy look, pulled her wrist out of his hand and walked down the dock away from him. Mindful of his eyes on her back, Marissa tossed her head, and put a cocky little swish into her stride.
Carl watched her go. Electric energy surged within him as well. The little spitfire was getting under his skin in a major way. He made up his mind that he wanted to get to know her. He also wanted to shake sense into her. Her saucy attitude made her a challenge, something Carl enjoyed. He shook his head as he thought back over her antics in the water. He was just trying to help her, and she carried on like he was doing something to upset her.
Casey was beginning to catch on to her friend. Marissa was never one to flirt or play up for the guys. From Casey’s perspective though, it was obvious that the tall Texan had Marissa off balance. She chuckled to herself as she watched the interchange on the dock. “This just might be a fun adventure after all,” she thought.
“He’s got your number Marissa,” Casey warned when she caught up to her friend. The tone of her voice held just the hint of a tease.
“Yeah? So?” Marissa hissed. She wasn’t in the mood to banter. At that moment her mind was a muddle of confused thoughts. She was embarrassed at having behaved so childishly, angry with herself for letting the man get to her, frustrated that there was no way he’d ever think of her as more than a kid now and incensed that he was dismissing her because she wasn’t a tall cheerleader type. The whiner and the cry baby were still alive under her skin. Marissa could feel them in the beating of her heart, churning of her stomach and tightness of her throat. Her teeth began to chatter.
Wrapping herself in the towel she grabbed with her bundle of clothes, Marissa turned and headed to the cabins. “Come on, I’m freezing.” Casey laughed and followed her friend.
Orienteering and rock climbing were easy for Marissa. Her light and flexible gymnast’s body had no trouble negotiating the crevices and odd angles of natural foot and hand holds on the bluffs and rock face. Her innate artist’s eye and spatial acuity made her a natural when it came to interpreting the trail maps and recognizing the landmarks and topographic features. It was the water skills she had trouble with.
Most of the afternoon of the third day was spent on the water, or near it. Canoe safety and paddling techniques were probably easy enough to master physically, but Marissa had to contend with the added element of her fear and dislike for the water. The fact that Carl seamed to be making a point of singling her out, and commenting on her every move and mistake didn’t help things either.
The first on the water tasks seemed more like games to most of the members of the team. There were six team members including Carl, and the next day they would head out in three canoes. Carl’s first goal was to pair off al the members so that their skill levels would be best matched. Initially his manipulations of pairs met with resistance, but when he explained the rationale for matching strong with weak so that no team held up the others, he was able to get cooperation.
Also, since you already are here 🙂 I put a very comprehensive How-To together, for all the people out there who want to get in domestic discipline…
There are chapters on the lifestyle and introducing it, living life in the lifestyle, a detailed description of tools, and much more… Each chapter contains valuable tips and habits that you can apply to your life. I wrote this book because there are no such books out there (!), and … we have developed our relationship with Domestic Discipline so far, that I now consider myself as an expert 🙂
… write me you like it !