“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
– Nelson Mandela
As the morning chill subsided at 8am, friends and families gathered to wish John well on Day 1 of Row 4 Autism. There were four generations at English Bay – great-grand parents, grand parents, in-laws, aunties, uncles, sisters, mothers, fathers.
Once the expedition kayak arrived, the reality of the journey ahead felt more salient and raw.
There are few words in moments like this – perhaps because only the important words from our hearts are the ones that are needed –
There were wishes of “good luck”, “I love you’s”, “safe travels” – we felt both proud of John, and humbled by the task ahead.
I can’t help but think about the Full House episode (don’t judge, I also grew up in the 80’s!) where Uncle Joey helps Stephanie learn about courage – he tells her that courage is that “hangy-ball-thing” at the back of her mouth.
(If you haven’t watched it, here’s the clip – http://youtu.be/i8O3FlauCAk)
Courage is one of those things that we all have the ability to use and the capacity to practice – it’s innately human yet we sometimes forget it’s there. When was the last time you looked at your hangy-ball-thing, and said, “let’s do this!”?
Well, for the past year of preparation, John used his courage to get us all in the “same boat”… this courage does not come without fear. Rather, it co-exists with fear, and perhaps it’s that balance that keeps him safe, aware, and yet drives him to go beyond where he has been before.
Safe travels, John. We love you. And we are so proud.
…next blog – photos and reports from Day 1 – Vancouver to Roberts Creek…