December  8, 2017

I called my brother 2 days ago to wish him a happy birthday. In our conversation he asked about the trip. I assured him that i will be completing it starting on April. He said good because you’re my hero.

Now my brother is a year older than i am and to hear him say that was emotional to me to say the least. I do not feel like a hero as i am a man on a mission doing what i hs ve trainef to do, kayak long distances and survive.

It got me thinking today, what is a hero?

I guess that is one of those subjective words that while it has a dictionary meaning it boils down to what each of thinks what a hero is.

I am a trained dive rescue specialist. While on vacation years ago in Vermont on the White River camping an incident occured. It had rained prior to us getting to the csmpground. The river running next to the csmpground was higher and running faster. 

I had taken my young children down to the beach at the campground. We made a pool at the edge and filled it with tadpoles for the kids to play with.

A couple of young girls and their fsmiky came to the beach and the girls wanted to tube the rapids. After they did a couple of runs i observed them getting close the thr large rocks on the other side. I warned them about the dangers of being close to the rocks but they didn’t listen. The way the river running a system of hydraulics were active slong the rocks. I could see from the water that there is a suck down push up sequence running.

One girl got close to the rocks and lost her tube. She got sucked down then popped up. Since it appeared she was getting plenty of air i went back to watching my kids. I heard her mother say something and looked at her. She popped up with water coming out of her mouth. I dove in and had to swim up river to get to her. I saw het going under and dove down and grabbed her arm. I launched us off the bottom grabbed the edge of a rock and put her on top. I told her to rest and when she was ready to dive as far away from the rocks as she could. I eas loosing my grip so i lauched off the side of the rock and seam back to my kids.

The girl was so freighted she didn’t want to jump snd she couldn’t  climb out. Her dad wasn’t sure how to get her. I had an inflatable snow toboggan with me. So i asked her mom to watch my kids while i went to get her.

After i got her back to the beach he mom came over making s big deal about it calling me a hero. I told her i was doing what i am trained for so i am not a hero.

When i tell people this story they agree with the mom. Here is my belief, if i am doing something i am trained for then i am not a hero. People don’t understand that. So the best way to ecplain it is that first responders are 2 people. 2 is the normal everyday me that you see and talk to every day.  2 is the react me. He only comes out in situations where my training is required. Once the situation is back to normal i am back to 1. 1 is not a hero because he didn’t do anything. 2 is not the hero because i am in auto mode calling upon using the training to produce the desired outcome. So it was all my training not me that saved that girl.

So while my brother thinks i am his hero and for him to say that put me on an emotional ride. I do not see myself as a hero.  But it is what his definition is that makes him believe that i am his hero. I will just humbly continue my journey come spring.


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