Don’t Let It Beat You:
Jake McLay stood next to a tall cardboard box stuffed to the brim with boat engine parts. The contents included; levers, hoses, fluids, connectors as well as lots of other tools and mechanical stuff that I didn’t understand.
Jake was the owner of the MV Middy that I worked on during the summers of 1980-81. The Middy was a small but sturdy salmon boat whose home port was located at the southern tip of the Kenai (Key-Nye) Peninsula in Homer Alaska. Jake was a salty old dog that was on the original crew that helped install the Alaska Highway in the 1940's. He moved to Homer at a time when the government gave out large tracts of land for those willing to create homesteads and work the land.
I quickly learned that because of Alaska's sheer size that life requires Alaskans to be a self-reliant lot. They also expect those around them to be.Jake pointed to the box and simply said; “Bear, I want you to install this hydraulic linkage system on to the engine and then connect the acceleration system and shifters to the wheelhouse and then up to the crow’s nest” I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t! “Jake, I don't know anything about doing that sort of thing” I replied!He handed me the installation procedure manual and said, “Learn!” As he walked away he paused, glanced over his shoulder at me and added;
“And Bear, don’t let it beat you”!
DON'T LET IT BEAT YOU
was Jake's way of saying; I see something in you that you don't even see in yourself. Yes, you can do this!
Every day we are faced with a series of challenges that give us reason to question whether we measure up. We question whether we are good enough or whether we can make big things happen.
DON'T LET IT BEAT YOU!
I can't tell you how many times I have heard those words echo in my subconscious mind. Whether it is to open up the lid of a stubborn mayonnaise jar or finish an Ironman triathlon.
It is easy to give up, easy to give in. It is easy to second guess yourself when times get tough and things get ugly. When they do,
DON'T LET IT BEAT YOU!
I worked for three weeks on that engine installation; drilling, cutting, crimping, connecting and praying. As the Middy left the dock for the first time I felt a sense of pride. A sense of pride not only for the work that I completed but also for the person that Jake taught me to become.
DONT LET IT BEAT YOU...you are good enough!