Friday, January 11, 2008

Inspiration comes from so many places...

Thursdays are my long days as I head to my job with Walt Disney World.  I am very blessed.  I get paid to do something I adore. I'm a Disney Diver.

You are probably scratching your head and saying "A What?" Well, Disney is the proud owner and developer of a 6 million gallon aquarium known as the Living Seas at Epcot.  In this environment, Disney operates two diving programs: one known as Aqua Tours, which is a scuba assisted snorkeling program and other is DiveQuest, which is a scuba program for guests who are certified divers.  I am one of 45 Divemasters (and only 1 of 5 women in these positions) that make sure the guests are safe in the water and conduct underwater tours of the environment. Yup! Im an underwater tour guide. I also get to make sure the boss (Mr. Mickey himself) is safe when he dives in the environment.  Did you know that Mickey was a certified diver?

As I geared up for another day of fun at the Mouse House, I met the most incredible woman. Mary arrived for our snorkeling program in a wheelchair and its my job to assess her mobility. At first, she told me she could walk up stairs and could move pretty well but after awhile it was very clear that she was going to have a tough go of it.  Although I never asked her, I believe she suffered from some form of scoliosis (sp?) as her body was very twisted and her left foot actually pointed left instead of forward.

Once we helped her into a wetsuit and got her wheelchair to the diving platform and into the water (Disney even has wheelchair access to our diving platform), I helped her on with her gear.  I asked her if she was fearful...we get alot of new snorkelers that are scared of the two 9 1/2 foot sharks in our environment or don't like the sting rays that inhabit the waters.  She looked me in the eye and said "Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real.  Thats what that is.  Why be afraid?  You gotta face your fears or you just arn't living." At first I was a bit taken aback...but her determination made me smile!  I showed her how to use our S.A.S.S. equipment (Scuba Assisted Snorkeling System) and, with the assistance of her husband, she was off.  She swam and explored for the full 30 minutes and never looked back.

And as I helped her back to the locker rooms, she told me about all the fish I see everyday.  She told me one of the turtles surfaced right next to her and how she really wanted to grab a fin and go for a ride.  Her excitement really got me going.

No Fear.  No fear of life. No fear of the challenge.  No fear of the unknown.  Wow!

You know, I believe God works in mysterious ways.  Yesterday, I had the marathon on my mind and started to let the fear of not completing this race again get to me.  I REALLY had a bad attitude going into the day and the big guy upstairs made it a point of showing me how very blessed I am in so many ways. I can walk. I can run.  I can do multiple endurance races in a year.  I can get around my world and my life with little assistance from others.  I am blessed beyond measure.

So as I make my way through 26.2 miles on Sunday, Im going to keep Mary in mind.  No fear.

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