You just felt that same feeling that coursed through Charles Lindop as he turned from surfing on the waters of Avalon beach.
It was incomprehensible. My brain couldn’t process the images my eyes were seeing. It was almost like having an out-of-body experience.
You turn. There’s your 15 year old son. Surfing on the waters of Sydney?
In the jaws of a massive white shark.
You know, Jaws.
The thing is as tall as you. Massive. Grinning its horrible white teeth as it sinks them into his leg. He hasn’t eaten all day, and he’s going for his meal.
It’s fierce. Terrible. Horrendous.
All of the horrible words in the world wrapped into one.
Suddenly you are frozen to your spot. A second becomes a day. Your mouth is clammy. Your muscles taut. Are your eyes serious? Are you hallucinating?
And suddenly all you are thinking is that the 5000 lb creature had better let go of your son.
I bet those cowboys who go in there and ride a 2000 lb bull would tell you they’d never want to tackle a 5000 lb shark.
You turn into the waters. Why don’t you run away? You can’t win the local swimming competition to save your life.
But you could win to save your son’s. It’s the fastest 75 meters you have ever paddled.
Is it adrenaline? Is it human instinct? Is it the love of a parent? Is it the grotesque daring of the horrible white monster?
What causes a hero to be born at that moment?
I don’t know, but I wonder. What do you think? What makes a man, a woman, or a child turn into the danger to face it, fight it, and triumph over it instead of away from it?
Is your heart thumping in your ribs? Sure it’s thumping. Is your mind racing? Sure, you can’t even form a thought if you tried. Are you afraid? Sure you’re afraid. But you’re not so afraid that you can’t turn right into those waters and wrestle your son from the jaws of a shark.
At that moment something else becomes more important than your fear.
That’s when courage is born.
That beautiful morning that Charles Lindop took his teenage son Andrew for the adventure of surfing, he never dreamed what was in store for him.
Richard Peltier is another father who fought to save his son David from the jaws of a shark. He thrust his right hand into the shark’s mouth. He tried to punch the shark’s mouth open. It was human vs. monster. Finally he smacked the shark in the eye. That’s when the shark gave up the fight. After his son died from the injuries, he sobbed, “I didn’t do enough.” A witness said he had done everything he could.
Richard Peltier is a hero.
Charles Lindop is a hero too. His story has a happy ending. After 4 hr surgery and 9 days in the hospital, Andrew’s ready to go back into the water.
At some point, you have faced fear in your life. I have. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure….Perhaps you are even facing it now.
Your heart pounds. The shirt you are wearing is dripping with sweat. Your forehead tightens. Your eyes are glued in terror.
Did you rise above that? Did you say “I can”?
When fear met you, was courage born?
Dear You, that is when you triumphed.
Don’t be afraid. A friend of mine used to say to me over and over, “Let not your heart be troubled, don’t let it be afraid.”
Now I say to you, ”Don’t let your heart be troubled.”
You can look fear in the eye and say “I Can, but You Can’t.”
You are strong. You can be courageous.
P.S. Answers to Who Said So? 1. Mother Theresa 2. Nelson Mandela 3. Wayne Gretzky Canadian hockey player 4. Will Rogers 5. Vince Lombardi 6. Mahatma Ghandi 7. Billie Jean King American female tennis player 8. Winston Churchill 9. Yogi Berra NY Yankee Baseball 10. If you just could not figure this one out, don’t worry, I couldn’t either. Why? We don’t know who wrote it. :) The answer is: Unknown.
…oh what stories they would have to tell!
I just had a good laugh today.
Somewhere in one of the National Forests, where many a group of hikers or tourists has taken a trip up the trail, there is a tree who has heard it all.
When the Forest Service folks give wilderness backpackers a comment card to fill out after their camping trips, I bet they don’t expect these kind of answers. But they DO get them!
A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call.
Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness.
I don’t think that’s exactly the kind of job that the Forest Service folks want to take on.
Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
That’s cause you’re in the mountains. Go west, bud, go west! It’s all flat out here. You can hike for miles, and there’s still miles upon miles before you get to the other side of the horizon.
Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.
I have no words to say.
The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.
Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands.
The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.
Escalators would help on steep uphill sections
Too many rocks in the mountains.
A McDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.
“If ponies rode men and grass ate the cows…”
Some things are just a part of experiencing the wild and beautiful…things like bugs and rocks in the mountains and the absence of McDonalds. There’s nothing like the calm and solitude of the wilderness, even with spiders and the occasional pickle thief.
Some of you are probably wondering what in the world this post is about.
Sometimes it’s just good to laugh.
A blessed Easter to all of you! Hope it was a glorious day filled with sunshine, joy, and hope…hope you were able to squeeze in an Easter egg hunt or take a deep breath and enjoy the sunshine and the lilies. Hope you were reminded of what is most important on this day: the love of an Almighty God who sent his only begotten Son to suffer on the cross and then rose from the grave so that we might live and celebrate Easter today.
Happy Easter 2012!
P.S. The above is an excerpt from “Road to Happiness, Short Story,” which can be found on the main page of the blog.
I am now back from the land of mountains and sand.
Which means I am back to the usual grind of classes and a mountain of homework from professors who believe their class is the most important in the world.
Which also means that beinspiredforyou.com now has a new look! Check it out and see what you think.
I’ve been thinking about what it takes to be successful.
How could I have made that mistake? It was just well, plain, um–dumb! (what often goes on in the back of my mind)
You see, we do not fail when we make a mistake, it is all about how we respond to the mistake that really matters.
Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.–George Edward Woodberry
Let me tell you a secret about myself. I fear about being unsuccessful in what I do.
So often I do nothing at all.
Which is defeat.
Which is doing exactly what I am afraid of: not succeeding.
Which if you think about it, is a going-around-in-circles kind of deal in the end.
I think some of that is that I am a perfectionist, and the rest of it is that I am a human, with a very human nature.
Dare to fail 9999 times, like Thomas Edison, and succeed on the ten thousandth.
Dare to be you. You were made to be your own wonderful unique self. And if it is not who you are about, then don’t do it. Dare to stand out from the crowd. Imagine if we were all the same (which, let’s just admit it, we try to be sometimes), what kind of boring place would that be to live in? (Yawn. Yawn.)
It wouldn’t be a pretty sight.
Dare to make a mistake. Think about it. If you don’t try at all, then you won’t for certain make a mistake, but you will also never succeed.
But shhh, don’t tell…
I hate making mistakes! I will literally lay awake at nights thinking… and thinking…
what will they think of me? (which probably really doesn’t matter)
what if they think I’m stupid?
I’m positive I said the wrong thing, (well, M.E., you are human, and now you know NOT what to do next time, so move on!)
Dare to be creative. Think outside the box. Where would we be if Karl Benz, the inventor of the fist automobile, hadn’t persisted. And persisted. And persisted.
We wouldn’t be able to climb into a car and drive down to the store to pick up the groceries.
A car is really a wonderful invention.
But someone else had to be successful in order for us to turn the key, hear the rumble of the engine, and be able to put the car in reverse.
Dare to succeed…
There is nothing like the feel of success after you’ve sweated it out.
You feel a pride in the work you’ve accomplished, and you should! After all, you’ve earned it.
Start with the small things. You see, this is what comes to my mind the minute I think of success.
How can I save the world?
And I waste my time trying to save the world (which doesn’t care about what I think anyway) while the cookies are out in the kitchen burning in the oven.
Start small, and I mean small. “Cookies burning” may seem like a silly example, but it’s a small thing. Its like I wrote in my New Years Resolution in January.
Grow a little each day. Start thinking, How can I make one–just one!–minute out of my day successful?
You will soon find that two minutes doesn’t start to sound so bad after all…
and three minutes…and then an hour, that you can spend being being successful at something you’re trying to accomplish in your life.
Which means I need to stop rambling and get going on that homework I’ve got due tomorrow.
I just hope it is not as long as I think it is.
Otherwise doing something else that is actually fun would sound tempting.
Here I go around in circles again.
Guess I’d be better off just doing the homework now. Ugh.
Here’s the little personal bit about myself that I promised you earlier today.
I want to be rodeo queen.
Unfortunately, the last time I got off a horse I lost my balance and fell backwards into the arms of the unprepared cowhand.
I think he was as startled as I was.
This time when I went horse riding I pledged not to be so awkward.
This is the picture I got while on top of George–
It really was a beautiful ride.
Even though I killed my camera battery.
My camera battery finally died.
“You killed it!”–a wrangler joked upon learning my predicament
I wonder why we laughed so much while talking to these wranglers?
I think only my sister would laugh till she rolled out of her chair at this comment. There’s an inside joke attached to it as well.
I know, I know, inside jokes are no fun to anybody (except for those on the inside).
Have you ever (like me) been in a meeting, and somebody makes a joke, and you perceive it in your own way to be funny. So you laugh…
And then he, or she (bless their hearts) announces,
“That’s an inside joke.”
And that doesn’t include you?
Okay, maybe I’m the only one that’s happened to. Or who has made a joke like that.
Back to my story…thankfully I came prepared with another charged battery. I changed it while I was riding on top of the horse.
The cowhand was very much impressed–
that I had brought an extra battery–
not that I could change it while riding on top of George and holding the reins.
I think he was also impressed that I had already “killed” it as well.
And wondering when the camera was going to stop always being pointed at him.
So he smiled and pointed out the scenery.
And I pointed the camera at him pointing at the scenery.
Not really. :-) The wranglers were having fun. They made all of us feel right at home and joked and laughed and talked, and then talked some more with us.
And that cowhand was still smiling when he good-naturedly swaggered to sit astride the picnic table etched with ranch brands when the ride was over.
I took some more pictures of the scenery–which was wild, rugged, and free.
By the way, my sister and I have a wonderful relationship.
Although I’m sure she wouldn’t mind loaning me out to you every once in a while.
Meaning, if you’ve always wanted a sister, let me–I mean ‘her’–know.
Just don’t try to write her through ‘dear M.E.’ because she’ll never get the letter.
Hopefully it wouldn’t be just to find out what that inside joke is.
Okay, I need to get some rest. Obviously. This post is starting to get out of hand.
(I did change this photo to black-and-white, in order to respect the wishes of certain of my folks to remain anonymous.)
Your Aspiring Miss Rodeo Queen,
P.S. No, there weren’t any mishaps this time, such as falling backwards off a horse.
Except my sister’s horse decided he knew a better way to get back home.
One of the cowhands went off and rescued her.
I wish I could say this horse was in a conspiracy to be a matchmaker. Just kidding. ;-)
P.S.S. She’ll get me back one day, I’m sure. She promises to write a blog to rival mine, in the future. I wouldn’t be worried except that I am positive her subject matter would be far more entertaining than mine.
If pictures could talk, what do you think this one would say to you?
To all of you, please write and tell me what you would caption this photo. Any ideas?
What does this photo say to you?
To me, this is inspiration itself.
There’s just something about this.
It makes you think of endless possibilities.
When you look at it, you just feel good…you feel at peace.
That’s why God made it.
To show you a part of Himself.
Have a glorious day, :-)
So pics are put on hold for a little while, until the snowy weather threat clears up.
Meanwhile I was looking back on some pics from a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota last year in the summer.
Wow did we have a blast.
When I see ‘we’ I know a lot of you are wondering who that exactly includes. Hubby, the kids?
Actually no. I’m single. Yes, very much single. And waiting for Mr. Handsome to come from around some corner and “wow!” me off my feet.
So I’m talking about my folks–parents, brothers, and sis.
My folks and I have a good time.
We laugh and joke and argue, and argue some more, just like any family.
We camp in very cramped quarters, most of the time.
We’re all pursuing our very different degrees but there’s one thing we all have in common. We are family.
So if I give one of them a hard time sometimes, don’t worry, it’s because we’re family.
Looks like I got a little sidetracked from the Black Hills.
While we were there, among many other things, we took a train ride from Grand Rapids.
It was wonderful to sit back in the open car and let the breeze gently blow by, soak in the sunshine, and hear the whistle blow from the engine way up at the front.
One thing you’ll find out is that characteristically, I like lots of sunshine flooding through my photos.
Wouldn’t that be an ideal place to live?
Everything’s so beautiful.
It speaks happiness.
Imagine the big white clouds drifting by.
Maybe this doesn’t excite some of you.
Maybe some of you need to experience this.
Meanwhile, I will hope things outside start to clear up.
I don’t write much about my personal life, do I?
Maybe I’ll post vacation pictures, soon. That way you can see the places I like to go.
I love where I live, but there’s also nothing like getting out and enjoying a vacation.
You see, when I am face to face with beautiful scenery, I react to it in the following ways:
When I’m on the mountaintop, I feel I have the world at my feet. like I have conquered. (Even though I’ve driven all the way to the top.)
There’s a beautiful sunrise, and my jaw drops.
There’s a beautiful sunset. My jaw drops again. This time it’s because I’m yawning. Just kidding.
When the sunshine bursts through the trees…I’m singing all inside.
When the valley, lush and greeen, is sandwiched between two mighty mountains, with a river winding through…I just want to stay there forever. I LOVE mountains! And we don’t have any where I live.
But I like the cool things, too. (Pretty specific, huh?) You’ll see some of those.
Okay, you’ve helped me make up my mind.
I’ll post the pics. The good ones.
Meanwhile, the packing…
a very busy M.E.