Recently, a story broke about a woman who was minding her own business on a charter boat in the Florida Keys with her husband and children when suddenly, out of the water jumped a 300-pound eagle ray, landing on her and pinning her to the floor of the vessel.
Both she and the ray were fine, if shaken, but I think it’s safe to say that this was traumatizing for both woman and beast. First of all, say you’re the eagle ray. There you are, swimming around, when you take a massive, impressive leap out of the ocean (as eagle rays are wont to do), maybe you even catch some extra air on this leap, maybe your friends are watching, you soar, you fly, that’s why you’re called an eagle ray, you realize mid-flight, and the next thing you know, instead of coming down safely in the water as you had envisioned, you land with a thud on something hard and not wet. What the fuck.
And then, of course, there’s the woman the ray landed on. I probably don’t need to explain why that sucked, but nevertheless — you’re out in a boat and a fucking 300-pound eagle ray flies into the air, and lands on you.
At any rate, as I mentioned, I wouldn’t be joking about this if any harm had befallen the ray or the woman. Eventually, the terrified and confused (and no doubt more than a little resentful) ray was roped by a couple of Florida Fish and Wildlife officers and dragged back into the sea, where it swam away, never to leap out of the water again.
And the woman, who survived with little more than bruises, did the unthinkable — in order to prevent her children from thinking that boats are scary, she continued the charter trip.
This is a heroic act, friends. And it got me thinking — have I ever, even once, done something so brave? If I were that woman, I would still be in the fetal position now, a week later. I would have set a horrible example for my kids by having myself airlifted out of the water, never to set foot within one mile of the beach again.
I’d like to think that I’ve done something else that’s comparable to this woman’s level of heroism…and I’m sure something will eventually come to me, but in the meantime, what abut you? What’s the bravest you’ve ever done?