Goals can be wiped out from underneath you with one wave. Dreams crushed from a sideswipe you didn't see coming.
Sometimes as the old saying says "Shit happens".
Talking to one of our team at work today, reminded me of how swiftly things can take a bad turn. Nathan competes actively in Surf Boat championships, when his otherwise extremely full life doesn't distract him. Over the time he has worked with us, I have discovered he diligently trains and participates in many regular races. This last week the Australian Titles were on, and having won the State titles his crew were ready for a big go at the main title.
Ahead in the final by a healthy margin, a number of waves crashed over them and in the blink of an eye went from 1st to 4th. The pure chance of surf events can be seen regularly in all the different races, where the chance of one wave can make or break a competitor's chances. A simple event, can undo months or years of training and in taking from one competitor give to another.
Listening to him, I could sense the inner frustration, but also the wry humour that makes up his character that seems in a way to make the sport more fun, knowing that for all your efforts sometimes chance has as much control as effort. Ask Steven Bradbury, he knows.Not once in his depiction of the race did Nathan complain about the good fortune of the 3 teams in front, only his missed opportunity. That however is part of his character. He isn't all flashy and noisy. He sets about his way in life with real quiet determined passion not a fancy swagger.
Like many of my team they have their own quiet determination. They don't scream for attention but let their actions speak much louder.
Of recent times there have been many waves, or events, that have taken a swipe at people. There are all the unexpected occurrences that have robbed from many lives, homes, businesses and the trail left behind is devastating. It was unplanned for. Most people don't have a contingency for a sideswiping event. Why would you, if you saw it coming, most of us would do our best to get out of the way.
These events are much harsher than a small sporting mishap, but the principles are much the same. How we cope with the small things can impact on the big things that we will never be ready for. It's why real life interactions, on sporting fields or in clubs and groups helps. It helps us cope with the unexpected, it stretches us in ways that we weren't expecting. Like sporting commentators might say, there is no practice that can get you ready for game day, but you are always more ready if you have practiced than if not.
I enjoy being around people that have real character, know how to take a few knocks and get back on their feet. Deep down their compass is set on a different level. Sure sometimes the waves knock you over, but unlike the flashy swagger types, these people are still standing when the hard work needs doing.
While I would never wish anything bad on anyone, it is always interesting to see how others handle rough times. I like to see how people handle events out of their comfort zone.
It gives me something to measure myself against. How to check my compass. I have had a few waves of recent times, big to me in my own way and seeing stories in others is one way I always find that helps me see past the immediate issues, out to a brighter future.
Hopefully you have been able to handle your unseen waves recently. Hopefully you have people around you that remind you of the great things still to be done in your life despite the unforeseen waves that may have crashed over you.
Well that's what ireckon anyway.