On February 5, 1982, Steven Callahan was 800 miles west of the Canary Islands in his boat, the "Napoleon Solo."
In a matter of moments his boat was capsized and sinking in a fierce storm. When the waters settled, Callahan, 30 years old at the time, was alone in a leaky raft. With only a few resources at hand he collected rainwater for drinking and pieced together a crude spear for fishing. He ate barnacles and now and then small birds he captured. In order to keep his mind active he made notes of his experience. He did yoga when he was able even though he was terribly weak.
For seventy-six days he drifted in the ocean. Then on April 21 he was discovered by the crew of a boat off the coast of Guadeloupe. He is the only person to have survived alone more than a month at sea.
He described his ordeal in his book, Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea.
Although an experienced seaman, Callahan says he survived because he made a choice. He was determined to stay alive and to endure whatever was necessary in order to be rescued. He chose to struggle. He chose to not give up. He chose to live however he could.
We all face similar, if not as dramatic, choices every day. They may have to do with our marriage or a relationship we are in. They may be about a healthy lifestyle or the courage to start a new career. They may be about friends or family or coworker conflicts. They may be about dreams or hobbies or wishes unfulfilled.
The choices we make ultimately decide the lives we live. As the French philosopher Camus said, "Life is the sum of all your choices."
Choose to live, really live.
© 2011 Timothy Moody