I was so moved by a young southern California surfer who made it her mission to challenge her physical and mental limitations in the name of hope. Thirty-four year old surfer, Jodie Nelson set out to paddle nearly 40 miles from the Santa Catalina shoreline to Dana Point. Her reason? To inspire her best friend to keep fighting in her struggle to beat breast cancer. As if that part of her story weren’t impressive enough, Jodie Nelson was blessed to have had a very special surfing companion. This special companion was no one else but a 30 foot minke whale — a rare sighting for southern California waters — that she affectionately named Larry.
At 4 a.m. on the day of her mission, Nelson prayed that “God would reveal his beauty and creation and nature, and allow me to endure this long trek”. She said that for her, having been accompanied by the Minke whale “…was a total God thing.” Larry the whale not only swam alongside her, he apparently blew bubbles under her board! One American Cetacean Society whale researcher mentioned that “This type of quality encounter is highly unusual.” [source ref. below]. While minke whale sighting are rare, sharks are not so rare. Clearly Nelson put herself on the line and really pushed her limitations. So, I believe that she needed Larry and that he rode with her to protect her and to lend her the courage, determination and publicity that she needed to reach her goal – reaching $100,000 in their fundraising (according to OUTDOOR on GrindTV in association with Yahoo Sports).
While Nelson did not meet her $100,000 fundraising goal when she wanted to (in advance of her paddling) God was working in his (or her, however you like J) time. By April 2, five days after her event, Nelson had raised over $100,000 thanks to Larry the minke whale – God’s beauty, creation and nature revealed.
You may have already read about this story, but this is the kind of story that doesn’t grow old. It shows us many things about ourselves. It shows us that we can envision a goal bigger than ourselves; that we can push beyond our physical and mental limitations; that we can find courage and determination that we don’t know we have; that we can move and inspire one another; and most importantly, that we can expect everyday miracles to happen!
You can donate here: http://firstgiving.com/paddlewithpurpose