Posted by: firstdescentsblog | June 29, 2011

First Descents Sacred Spirit by Andy ‘X2C’ Fleming

Guest Blog author and one of our alum, Andy ‘X2C’ Fleming, shares his thoughts and emotions on what it means to be apart of First Descents. Thank you x2C!!
First Descents Sacred Spirit
I feel alive- very often- and I’m grateful for this.  There are times when I feel so alive that I feel electric, excited, at peace, content, relaxed, jazzed up- I feel an emotional flood.  I feel alive to the nth degree at First Descents kayak camps when I’m surrounded by amazing people, in nature, being active, creating, caring, learning, pushing my boundaries, helping others to push their boundaries, sharing a quiet and a loud moment, eating healthy, waking early for a run in the mountains, playing bang up kayak polo in the lake, running whitewater, singing on the bus, and dancing on the porch- totally kicking ass.  I’m in the Colorado mountains and in the streams.  I smell fresh air, trees, flowers, grass, dirt and I see blue bird skies, rocky peaks, aspens, bear claws on trees, flowing water, people smiling, and fear on faces that turns into pure joy.

I feel pure energy- it’s excitement in the moment and excitement in the possibilities.  I also feel gut wrenching sadness that cancer makes people ill, that cancer takes lives, that great friends and family suffer emotional, physical, and financial pains.  This makes the joy real.  This creates perspective for me and drives me to pursue a dual passion- to be involved in people’s lives and to take care of myself as w
ell.  We are are gifts and we all have gifts- give gifts, be open to receiving gifts- be the gift.  I want to write something deep here- to me it’s float on the water, be on top and below the water, and when I tip over- hold my breath, relax, enjoy the experience, and flip back over- knowing I can survive- take in a great big breath of fresh air, see the world anew, a little stronger, a little wiser, a little more love- it all adds up- it is sacred.

-X2C (Andy)



  1. Wow! What a beautiful posting! Thank you so much for sharing this, X2C! You have truly captured the “magic of FD” in your eloquent words. I especially love the last bit about flipping under water and then back over ~ and the way the world is new at that time. I feel like that so much of the time on this cancer journey ~ there are many times I feel under water (and not as calm as you mentioned – ha!) where the whole world is upside down and I’m holding my breath. But then, I flip back over (or wet exit – ha!), take that big, wonderful breath of fresh air, and the world is new again ~ and it is beautiful and exhilarating, full of new possibilities and hope, and full of strength and LOVE!

    Thank you again for your perspective and beautiful words! I leave for FD in MT in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to be there again! Even though I don’t know you, X2C, I will keep these words with me and close to heart. I look forward to being completely present at each moment, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, being reminded of how strong my body can be in spite of and despite cancer, enjoying the beauty in nature, and experiencing all of the magic of FD!

    Love, hugs, and laughter to all the FD family!

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