[quick side note] My mind races so my writing style tends to follow and why I apologize and ask for your patience in reading. Never really blogged before and why the words slamming into the inside of of forehead, including punctuation, may be difficult to follow. Hopefully, as I continue to work through such processes, it will get better. Until that time just humor me or stop reading- haha. Thanks!
It’s probably five years now since the idea of traveling with the family on the road for 18 months (yes you read correctly) was first incepted into the mind of my lovely wife Tiffany; or maybe it was sooner in hers but first hit my ears 5 ears ago. The first I heard of such a dream, and yes I get it I'm suppose to be her knight in shining armor, I pointedly stated “ please give me what you are taking!” Sure I entertained it but only as a passing fancy.. “I humored her”.
Let me project you now 5 years forward, I happened to be in Seattle on a business trip recently and had the opportunity to break-bread with a longtime friend of mine at Alki Beach. During our numerous discussions of reminiscing, I laid out for him this exceptional trip our family was embarking on shortly in the month of October 2015. He was at first flabbergasted and then settled down to highlight ‘…coming from you this makes sense and somewhat expect it…it’s about time”. What was so alarming to me about this remark is that not only was he right but he was also so very wrong; this was not my idea…it was my wife! ….should it have been mine?
As the days past I continued to hear prescient remarks of Grant's and his utter surprise as to my apprehension of taking on such a massive adventure. See back in the day, prior to “Married with Children”, risk taking was as to kin to me as family. There was very little I would avoid to venture, to be challenged by or risk. The change happened with me overnight when Quinten was born. And though typical to who I have been since a very young age, the big entrepreneur ideas, outlandish desires to do this or that, taking risks here and there, continued to bombard my mind, yet now seemed paralyzed to take steps to achieve them or more specifically FINISH them. I went from feeling, no challenge was insurmountable in life, to a position of feeling paper thin, unsure and indecisive. And of going through the motions of being a husband and father and fearing almost all the moving parts of my life. Things I never thought about before, diapers, health insurance, braces, weddings, proper parenting, debt, and being an incredible best friend of the wonderful woman I confidently said “I do” to, locked me down intensely. And though I hide emotions well, the meaningful ones my wife and friends would say, my actions, over the years, have proved to deafening loud ( I think of 40,000 Minnesota Twins fans waving homer hankies) as to my internal fears.
So… pile on top of all this worry and fear, an expensive 38 foot RV, a TOAD mini-van, three young impressionable and excited children, a 60 pound golden doodle and a beautiful starry-eyed wife, living out her dream of traveling the country for a period of no less than 12 months with the people she loves the most in the world, and you have the making of a perfect mind-dismantling storm in Mr. Dawson Fercho. In the words of George Costanza “Serenity now!”
To prove a point: This past weekend Tiffany and I took the RV and the mini-van up to the local elementary school for the maiden hook-up of the van to the RV with the newly purchased tow bar. This piece of machinery allows us to flat tow the van which was preferential to me having researched the topic quite extensively. The wiring of the mini-van coach had been completed, the base plate for the tow bar was successfully attached to the front of the van and why to me, having read very quickly (I am more a picture person and dread instructions) the operations of all these moving parts, I surmised this exercise would be quick and academic. Not the case!
I do not, at this time, desire to burden you with further details other than the fact it did not go as the detailed instructions explained, probably and only because they didn’t have a special section of instructions for a mechanically inept Dawson Fercho, I will only state the day went on the books as a further sign to me that “I can’t do this!" I will shipwreck us all!” The rest of the day were sentiments and body-language to the same. But there was a saving grace. A rebuke I feel from the good Lord himself (even after I cursed him extensively while attempting to attach that damn tow bar!). The rebuke was “Dawson.. watch “The Other Shore” and Diana Nyad and then comeback and talk to me. I built you for greatness. Quit your fricken balling, hit your fears head on. Get back to you roots”….or something like that is what I heard.
If you have not heard of and or seen the story of this incredible 60 year old woman place it on your to do list. Bring yourself, children, friends and family into your living room and let the show begin. Bring all your fears, worries, trepidations, second-guessing ,etc. and set them to the side for 55 minutes and embrace what this woman has inside of her and know that you, all of you(us), have innate and similar DNA in us as she does. The story and challenge she placed herself into is something I have never witnessed before in my lifetime but remembered having similar fortitude years ago before becoming a husband and a father. I was moved and astonished by her dream but more so how it became a quest..bigger than a dream. A separation of mind and body. Simply put..a God-Thing.
At the end of the documentary we were, as a family, silent and in awe of her and her 35 year quest. The kids were then full of questions and when Tiff and I as parents went into the mode of counselor parent lol!.... “see you can do anything you put your mind to, can face any fears, any challenges” etc. etc. and I just had to sit back and say to myself “what a wimp. What a hypocrite. What a baby” and the list went on and on. But once I went through this process of self-deprecation I felt like I was coming out the other side. I felt once again this fire in me. This resonance with Diana’s story and at once starting popping out the wrinkles in my mind that for so long have slowly, over the years, been crippling my sense of adventure and fight. I mean shit this woman was over 60 years old, swam for more than 50 hours, not once but 4 times, until she finally swam the distance between Cuba and the U.S. through shark infested waters, being stung by box jelly fish (venom deadly to humans) and Portuguese Man O war, in her quest of achievement.
Now I am not comparing myself, my fear and challenge in front of me to hers in the least, but certainly I have an ounce of what she possesses; we all do.
So bring on the challenge. I can, we can, do this!!