Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The Boy was only 5 years old. He had come to the Frozen Pond with his family. He was very new to ice skating. It would be a day to frolic on uncertain legs. The Pond glistened in the winter of light bounced off the frigid surface. The air was crisp and the sound of happiness was everywhere.

On the pond, was a concrete drainage well., with a railing around it.. But the boy was curious and soon..was too close. Dangerously close.

In a flash, he slipped and plunged into the well.. Moving water created a current and it was strong. He cried for help. His pleas competing with the shrieks of joy from other kids.

How long was he in the water?? Its not clear. Long enough for panic to engulf him.

As if by magic, an arm appeared. A strong arm grabbed the boy and lifted him up. By now, the parents had noticed he was missing. Their frantic energy was nearly combustible.

But the boy was out of danger. He was wet, scared...but okay. The terror of possibly losing a child was replaced with relief. The boy had been given a second chance.

The hero?? As quick as his strong arm lifted the boy..he had vanished. Who was he?? Where did he come from. Why did he hear the boy and not others??

The parents were confused, but soon calmed down and the days merriment soon overshadowed the "Big Scare". With time, the incident faded ... But not for the boy.
Why was he saved?. Who was the man?? If he should he live???

Over time, the boy thought back to that moment.. He never verbalized it, but had a sense that he was given a second chance in order to serve a purpose.

To this day, the park with the Ice Pond holds a magical appeal to the boy, now a man. Its where he comes to search for the limits of his potential. The place reminds him of the Power of a Helping Hand. The Power of Hope. Could he be the "Hand" that lifts up someones spirit??

He feels so in touch with the beauty of Gods World here. His time in the cherished place sometimes allows him to make sense of the fast paced world.

He sweats, and strives. His mind wanders. Miles come and go and problems melt away. Yes, he calls the place a training area, but its not just to strengthen his heart or prepare him for a race. The time there calms him, the air is invigorating. And, yes the memory sometimes brings him back to that little pocket of time, when a frozen pond changed from a spot where it all could end, to a place where everything is possible.....with Hope. The place?? North Chagrin Reservation...Strawberry Pond.
The little boy??

Now, about 50 years later, training for triathlons, or swimming long distances is striving forward with a purpose. To inspire. To get the most out of what I have been twice given..


Wes said...

That's a great story, JT. What am I doing? Trying every day to reach my potential... Then I get to sit around in my underwear and drink beer and smoke cigars :-) Life is good...

triguyjt said...

Darn right life is good.

And, yes..I love a cigar every now and then.. Thanks

Viv said...

What a beautiful story. I post some childhood memory and my blog and you blow it outta the water..LOL!

Seriously, loved it JT!!

What an inspiring place to train and make the most out of your second chance.

Lily on the Road said...

So glad you were given that second chance, and have put it to wonderful, purposeful use.

Okay, now you've made me cry!!!

Thanks for sharing, I truly believe we are all here for a reason, don't waste a day of it.

Stay strong and safe,


Marcy said...

What an awesome awesome story :-) I'm hoping my kids will redeem me (it's a little dicey though LOL) :P

Anonymous said...

Wow - very awesome and inspiring story...thanks.

I will think of this next time I start to lose hope :)

btw, I've smoked a cigar or two with my mom, aunts, and cousins...but, you're not surprised are you?

tracie said...

great story! thanks for sharing!!!

i'm pretty sure that there are quite a few people who are happy about your second chance and what you're doing with it! :)

Shan said...

Thanks for sharing JT - that was a GREAT story. What a way to remind us that life is sweet, short, and must be LIVED FULLY.

Cheers to you!

Kevin said...

Great story JT. That sounds like such a special place to train, to challenge yourself to push harder, swim faster, or go longer. You will always have a very special connection with that pond

crazy tri mama said...

What an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing with us! Your life and purpose are driven toward excellence and you continue to exceed and excel!

Donald said...

John, this is a wonderful remembrance. Obviously, I'm glad the story turned out that way for you, and it's very fitting that you never forget the "second chance" you've been given. From where I sit, you're making the most of it.

Thanks for the inspiration today.

KC Stine said...

Great story. Making the most out of a second chance is inspiring.

I'm sure you would be that helping hand for anyone else that may need it.

JenC said...

Wow, glad you got that hand! I was at Strawberry today - who knew it was so dangerous?!

Heard I missed you this morning. Hope you had a nice run!

The Lazy Triathlete said...

What a great story. Thank you so much for sharing it. Second and third chances are what makes life great!! Life it to the fullest.

Rainmaker said...

Amazing story. Live life to it's fullest - but be sure to enjoy every moment along the way.

Seems like your doing that.

Kurt said...

Wonderful post. What an inspiring attribute to the rest of us.

RunBubbaRun said...

Thanks for th story JT, I was pulled out of the ocean by a lifeguard when I was a kid, reminded me of your story..

Thanks for the reminder on how we should cherish every moment and make the most of it..