Did you ever have one of those days when you just felt like giving up? Most of us have at one time or another. MidLife is no exception, especially when you decide to start over, launch a new venture. Sure, people question your sanity. After all, MidLife is the time to sit on you laurels not change course. But, in spite of it all you plow forward, making the most of your MidLife and draw inspiration and motivation from everything and everyone around you.
And then one day, Winter the Dolphin swims into your life.
When Winter was just three months old she found herself tangled so bad in a crab trap line she was unable to set herself free. She was rescued and brought to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where she began a long rehabilitation. Because of the horrible injuries she received she lost her entire tail as well as two vertebrae.
Surpassing expectations of even experts, Winter is completely healed. She weighs 230 pounds, eating about 12 pounds of fish per day. She even has a prosthetic to help her eventually swim in a normal up and down fashion again. It’s not been easy trying to get her to feel comfortable wearing her new ‘tail’ but the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is making great strides with her. Winter is a dolphin that “Never says never.”
Our visit to meet Winter came at a time when we were entering uncharted waters and were not sure where our we were headed. Corny but true. Changing course in Midlife was daunting to say the least. Yet, we learned some great lessons from meeting Winter.
- Surround yourself with amazing people. They won’t let you fail.
- Swimming sideways will keep you afloat until you can do it the right way. There are different ways to get positive results. Explore them all.
- You can always help or inspire someone else to reach their potential. Look past yourself.
- Your biggest imperfection can be your greatest asset. Embrace what’s different about you.
- Never give up. A positive attitude even in the most trying times will let lead you to success.
Since our visit, even Oprah is telling Winter’s Tale highlighting her special relationship with McKenna McGough, a 10-year-old girl in Dallas, TX. McKenna has hearing loss in both ears and refused to wear her hearing aids until she met Winter.
Andrew Hall was born with Cerebral Palsy. He wore legs braces growing up and fell a lot. He was determined to walk and live a normal life and by the time he was a teenager he was able to walk on his own. Then, when he was 19 years old he was hit by a drunk driver while standing in front of his house. He was given only a 5% chance of survival, one leg severed completely the other in terrible shape, leaving him emotionally distraught, his spirit lost. Featured on The Doctors, with talk show host and author Montel Williams, Andrew got in the water with Winter and was inspired by her undeniable spirit.
Hollywood come a calling and a Dolphin’s Tale, a big budget film based on Winter’s story is was filmed at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Winter has some illustrious co-stars in this family flick … Ashley Judd, Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick Jr.
Winter’s story is rare in that the odds were stacked against her. Many dolphins die in similar circumstances. Learn more about the amazing things that are going on at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and how they continue to do amazing work.