What An Incredible Dolphin Named Winter Can Teach Us All

It is without a doubt one of the most inspiring stories of triumph over a life circumstance that I have heard.  Tonight I went and saw an incredible movie.  Dolphin Tale - see trailer here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jdpg9NsgEaI


In December 2006, in Mosquito Lagoon, Winter washed up on the beach near Cape Canaveral, in Florida.  When she was found a crab trap was attached mercilessly to her tail.  At 3 months old - it was thought that she may not survive.  Her tail had to be cut off and she had trouble swimming at first, but yet against the odds somehow this dolphin refused to give up.  She swam without her tail then when it was obvious her condition could be tragic if something was not done to help - it was then a friendly owner of a prosthetic company tried something no one else would consider - create an artificial tail.  At first she rejected the tail, but then some modifications were made and Winter against all odds was able to swim as a normal dolphin would.  And this in spite of every negative circumstance thrown her way.


Today, Winter stars in her own movie about triumph over every possible obstacle and becoming a hero to so many.  I was amazed to learn that this was indeed a true story - some modifications were made to the story but characters represent folks with a disability, folks in need of hope and many more.  I was inspired and thought long and hard about the lessons we all can take from such an inspiration as Winter.


As I ponder what Winter has accomplished I view her webcam with complete awe that this beautiful animal has inspired so many.  You can meet her via webcam here and you won't be disappointed:  http://www.seewinter.com/winter/media/webcam-3


Read more about her story and how she has inspired many more at: www.seewinter.com and here you can view comments from her fans:  http://www.seewinter.com/winter/winters-friends  I share some quotes from thier website:

"Fifty five-year-old David Bedworth, who lives in Tampa, Florida, was very emotional when he got to spend some time with  Winter. The young dolphin has helped David through some very tough times. Following surgery to remove a brain tumor, he is  now undergoing a year's worth of radiation treatments. David shares, "I held on to Winter's story through a very rough two  years. Like her, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but do not yet know if my journey is truly over. Winter has  inspired me through the most trying times. I am determined to be like her."

Thirty-one-year-old Maja Kazazic, who lives in Palm Harbor, Florida,  has a very special bond with Winter. When  Maja was 16-years-old and living in Bosnia during the war, she was severely injured from a motor shell rocket grenade.  As a result, she lost her leg and barely survived. Now, 15 years later, Maja is a volunteer at CMA and actually works  with Winter the dolphin. Maja is shown in this picture with her parents."

"Six-year-old Luke Conrad, who lives in Troy, Ohio, couldn't believe the inside of Winter's prosthetic tail looks  similar to the braces he uses on his feet. And ironically, both Winter and Luke use Hanger Prosthetics and Orthopedics  to help them. Luke was born with spina bifida and doctors told his parents he would never walk. Like Winter, Luke beat  the odds and walks. "For Luke to see an animal with a brace, it has made him realize it is okay to be different. Luke  loves animals and had the biggest smile on his face when he saw Winter and her special brace."


There are dozens of stories just like these, folks who came from around the world to view a dolphin name Winter who has overcome insurmountable odds to spend a day finding some hope, perspective and direction in thier lives.  They estimate on the website that millions have found such connection with a dolphin named Winter with a hopeful personality.


As I write this I can't help but look at the comparisons to our own lives, how often have we in our haste not really known what it means to cherish the blessings we have.  We have the economy, the multinational concerns of nations, individuals loosing sight of what is so important to live a life of success.  But yet, a Dolphin can overcome insurmountable odds and become an inspiration to so many - the what about us?


Winter continues to have success in representing animals who have been displaced by human error and with efforts of folks at CMA - "Clearwater Marine Museum" - continues to be an ambassador for lessons on what humanity can do to be exceptional stewards of our resources.  I applaud these heroes and Winter herself for giving inspiration that creates a motivation to shine even more.


So when you are on the phone calling, or if that client causes stress, or if as a job seeker you are struggling - remember this - A dolphin name Winter rose above all odds and created success and happiness for many.  It will take a little bit of persistence, hope, and courage to be everything that we can become, but yet - on a small marine sanctuary with a Dolphin whose indomitable spirit will continue to inspire for years to come - that very Dolphin - Winter still lives a life of purpose. 


If we have such purpose there is no stopping a professional.  We must cherish every moment we have and every blessing - you may not have a tail per se, but you could lose your human equivilent of a tail somewhere down the line - it will be at that time you will want to remember a little story about the little Dolphin that could and how the word Winter has more meaning than ever before.

As we enter the Holiday Season can we be like a Winter - with all the persistence and effort necessary and serve others as well as make our companies thrive.  A recruiter's business takes persistence and grit and well we can learn a lot from a dolphin - there's just something about taking something that could break someone or even an animal and then turn that into an outcome that echoes through the ages as a very directing life event.  Only we don't necessarily need a tail to do it - but having our own proverbial "tail" will be important to build forward momentum in any endeavor.  I can think of just 2 words to say after all of that - "Thanks Winter"!




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