In sport and in life , I have always marvelled at how the underdog sometimes becomes the chief destroyer.
Yesterday I had a personal experience of it – what I term Emotional ‘’E ‘’ Power.
When it kicks in – it electrifies Purpose , Priority and Performance.
Caution gets thrown to the wind.
A massive swell was running in Umdloti Beach – a pristine hot summers day for beach goers – and especially so for big wave surfers.
But, definitively not for revellers who do not know the ocean – and the immense power of the ocean .
Being in the right place at the right time helps , so when I realised that a young guy had got himself into some kind of serious trouble behind the thundering high tide shore break – there was little time to think about it .
From prior experience, I knew the ocean would make this guy disappear in literally seconds (as under water currents cannot be read like surface currents).
If he went under we would have zero chance to find him again.
There was no time to even attempt to take my running shoes off. My ASICS were now my flippers. By the time I managed to get to the guy , I realised he was already unconscious – and going under .
I knew that one more wave on his own – and we would lose him .
Negotiating a pounding shore break with an unconscious heavy guy is never going to be easy.
Two other guys who had run down with me to help , but could not swim themselves, risked their lives to come in and help me to negotiate the shore break.
Luckily, one massive wave arrived at that very moment , and pounded us all onto the beach .
The other guys looked stunned – from the sheer force of the ocean – or maybe it was because they realised the guy was no longer breathing.
They thought he was gone.
With nothing to lose, E –Power just kicks in.
I pumped the guy’s chest with my fists to try get some of the water off his lungs , but nothing seemed to happen .
My only other option was to use the greater force of the ASICS I still had on – and force his lungs to pump the sea water back out .
Nothing happened at first. Then suddenly his lungs started to spurt out massive amounts of water.
There was still a chance.
Unfortunately this was an unpatrolled section of the beach , with no life guards , but within minutes the 568 lifeguards had arrived to get the guy onto life saving oxygen .
Then the real challenge began – trying to keep this guy alive while we waited for paramedics to arrive.
He was slipping in and out of consciousness, but we somehow just knew that he would make it.
I had experienced first hand : E – Emotional Power – ADRENALIN IS ONE ALMIGHTY FORCE
Looking back , it’s easy to see how quickly things can go horribly wrong – and how life can be taken from you in literally milli -seconds .Timing is everything in life . This time I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time to help a fellow human being – with some great people coming to help.
It’s through the human collective that we are great.
Thank you for saving my friend. Thank you.
Those are words that resonate in my ear from one of his mates .
Swim together South Africa.
Izandla Ziya Gezana – hands wash each other
Rob Opie is a Brand Expert, Author, Speaker, and Performance Coach to Business Executives, Corporate teams, Sports teams and Individuals.
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