When pondering this week’s Words Crush Wednesday there was one thing that repeatedly crept into my mind: bravery and courage. There are various types – physical, emotional, often both, and what made me keep coming back to this theme was something absolutely extraordinary that happened in Jeffreys Bay over the weekend. Jeffreys Bay, or J-Bay, is a small town in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Famed for its incredible beauty and equally impressive waves, the annual J-Bay Open is a surfing competition that attracts the best of the best on an international level.
While taking to the waves, pro surfer Mick Fanning experienced something that can only be described as miraculous. He beat up a great white shark. No, really, it happened, and it was caught on live TV. The shark approached him and as it was about to attack, he hit it in the back. Like a boss. He escaped without a single scratch or tooth mark. Incredible. This is a very obvious and literal interpretation of bravery and courage, but you don’t have to literally fight one of the world’s greatest predators in order to be brave and confront danger fearlessly, or to be courageous and take on an overwhelming task whilst feeling fearful. It’s often understated, thus it goes unnoticed. There is courage within all of us, whether we’re aware of it or not. Single parents are deeply courageous, firefighters running into a burning building, brave. There is a firefighter within all of us, but sometimes we need a gentle, or in the case of Mick Fanning, massive reminder that you don’t have to be a Goliath in order to beat up a shark.
As a side note: the shark is reportedly still in shock after being beaten up by an Aussie and is receiving counselling, but is believed to make a full recovery.
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Mark Twain