A few weeks ago, I wrote about our family’s experience learning to surf while vacationing in Hawai’i. However, there is more to the story than what I originally wrote.
It all began as we were searching for the beach where we were to meet our instructors. You would think it would have been easy to find a beach when on an island! We missed it. However, as we drove by one area, we noticed six or seven emergency vehicles with lights flashing. The police had used their yellow crime scene ribbon to mark off an area. We wondered if it was a car wreck? A drowning? A hear attack?
We drove on, found the beach and our instructor and learned how to surf. You can read about that below.
The next day I was reading the morning paper and noticed an article about a shark attack. It grabbed my attention, as we don’t have many sharks in Ohio. The article explained the enigma of the emergency vehicles! The crime scene ribbon was where the shark attack occurred. “Was it a land shark?” my mind wondered as I recalled the Saturday Night Live skit with Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, and John Belushi.
I learned that the 8-10 foot Tiger Shark tore the tendon on the surfer’s leg, and he would make a full recovery. And the surfer’s attitude was reflective of all of the Hawaiians: “The shark was not acting maliciously; it wasn’t a personal attack. I was on the shark’s turf. I have to respect nature.” The shark got away.
Then, I realized the attack occurred two miles from our lesson! Two miles! How fast do sharks swim? Were we in danger? What if it was a feeding frenzy and there were many more sharks? What if they zombie sharks? OK, that last thought did not cross my mind. Still, I realized we took a risk. Luckily for us, all we saw were a pair of sea turtles.
We did not share the news of the shark with our children. We feared they would become afraid. Plus, they wanted to surf again!
My wife and I discussed it and made arrangements for the kids to improve their surfing skills. After all, the next day’s paper reported that the lifeguards patrolled the area, a helicopter flew over the area, and no sharks were sighted. Besides, there are only four attacks each year in the waters surrounding all of the islands of Hawai’i. Surely our kids would be safe!
After surfing, we ate at the North Shore’s famous Grass Skirt Grill.
Burgers and Ahi – $30
Drinks – $9
Finally telling the kids about the shark attack at the time of our first lesson – PRICELESS
Sometimes ignorance removes fear. (In Ohio, deer kill way more people than sharks do.) Sometimes, we have to ignore the fear to accomplish goals. What has prevented you from doing something? How did you overcome it?
- Risk Taking on the Surf (thefreshmanexperience.wordpress.com)