"We Always Need Heroes"
This is the first installment of a series about the people whom I hold as great inspiration or I look up to in my own life. The title of this series “We Always Need Heroes” came from something I hold important and that is to support those who serve and protect my freedom and my life. Each year I show my support to Legacy by purchasing one of their wristband which has “We Always Need Heroes” written on it. It leaves me a constant reminder to live life and value what I have. There is no objective judging criteria for my selections and I will explain why these people have made my list in each blog post. They will come from all walks of life and obviously those whom have achieved great physical feats will predominantly star in this series - however there will be some surprises in there too.
We Always Need Heroes – Jamie Mitchell
Jamie Mitchell heading for his eighth victory in last year's Molokai to Oahu race. Photo: ErikAeder.com
I have a great love for the beach and the ocean (always have). I have been around and involved in the Surf-Lifesaving Clubs all my life, with both my Grandfathers having strong influences in their clubs (Garry has been active in the SLSC for over 50 years). I always dreamed of being an Ironman like Trevor Hendy or Ky Hurst, with my mates and I making up run-swim-run courses in and around the river in our hometown. When I was finally old enough I joined the club and have been patrolling ever since (minus a short hiatus to study). I started competing and developed a passion for Board Paddling, and with some valuable coaching and mentoring from my own coach Jim Dougherty I improved to the point where I became much more proficient. Since then I have been competing in Endurance Races, Sprints etc. and have my sights firmly set on some more.
Through my research and exposure to the elite athletes of my sport, I stumbled across a video of an Australian Waterman named Jamie Mitchell. This guy is a professional lifeguard, surfs small and big waves, paddles stand up, swims, trains, and BOARD PADDLES. Not only does he just board paddle but he competes in the infamous Molokai to Oahu Paddle Race in Hawaii, a gruelling 4 to 5 hour - 42km ocean paddle through the Ka’wai Channel, a “treacherous body of water” with big seas, high winds, sharks, strong ocean currents and high temperatures. Not only does he compete but he has also won it an unfathomable 10 TIMES and holds the record for the fastest finish.
(Photo courtesy of John Bilderback at johnbilderback.com)
But it is not just Jamie’s achievements that I look up to but also his life and the way he lives it. Whilst not all of us can live as a professional waterman, we can take a leaf out of his book and live more active lives. A Waterman to me is someone who finds more than just one way to enjoy the ocean, he is never bored with it and lives his life for it not because of it. This is something that we can all attempt to do with our own lives. So many of us fight so hard to get things in our lives rather than work with it, like trying to swim against a beach rip current. We want amazing bodies and health but we can’t give up sugar and alcohol. We want lots of money but we’re not willing to sacrifice or spend unnecessarily. We want to be happy but we fill our lives we rubbish which strip our time, our motivation and our life force away.
I am sure some of you are sitting out there reading this thinking that you can’t change many of the things that make us unhappy and break us down. But we can fix/change certain things and make a positive start towards what we want. You may start with turning the TV off and getting into a hobby, training, surfing, or reading a book. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Jamie’s life choices and what he has achieved inspires me to what to make something of my life, and not get into a rut which I will regret later. Here is a video of Jamie for a Quiksilver ad, it’s only a couple of minutes but he talks and it shows some of the things that he does.
Discard the unnecessary things in your life (i.e. TV, alcohol, time wasters etc.) and fill that space with the things that you want to achieve or that make you happy. WORK HARD FOR IT.