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{Ei3s} Elsewhere: Don’t Back Down From the Sharks

Posted by Cecilia Walker on

Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend, before I could even sit down with a cup of coffee, a friend insisted that I read an article in the NY Post, and wanted to make sure that my 13-year old son also got through it.  Intrigued, I read it…and then passed on the link to my friends and family.  The article is an excerpt from the commencement address that William H. McRaven — an admiral, former commander of the Navy’s SEAL Team 3 and current commander of the US Special Operations Command (the man who led the mission to get Osama bin Laden) — gave on May 17 at the University of Texas at Austin.  In his speech, Admiral McRaven, shares 10 life lessons that he learned in Basic SEAL training.  One of the lessons, “If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.

I’ve since read the article a few more times, as a reminder — of strength, perseverance, letting go and fearlessness.  A mantra for meditation.

Later that afternoon, serendipitously (or not), I made the acquaintance with a man named, Townsend Wright.  Having lunch at the counter in the Nantucket Pharmacy for the second day in a row, as Pete was mixing up a frappe for my daughter, a man walks in and orders his usual “to go.”  As he was waiting for his sandwich, he turned to us and said, “Weren’t you sitting in this same spot yesterday?”  After I explained that this was our favorite lunch on the island, Pete made the introduction.  Townsend and I chatted while we ate, and I learned that he lived half of his time out in Hawaii, and then most of the summer on Nantucket.  Townsend surfs every day and makes and sells surfboards as well as vintage watches at his shop The Trinity Collection (alway a threes reference…) on Main St, right across from the pharmacy.  After Townsend left, Pete told me to check out his shop…that Townsend had some cool photos of his days as a championship surfer in the ’70s.  I did.  I met Townsend’s son, E.Townsend III, and upon leaving and saying good-bye, Townsend said to my daughter, “You can call me Spyder.  It’s my nickname.”  Ah!  It’s also the name that donns his surfboards and custom watches.  We left with a signed copy of a feature article on Spyder Wright.


photo: Cecilia Walker

So, with these inspired stories, I send you “elsewhere” to check them out…

1)  “10 Life Lessons from the SEAL who lead the mission for Bin LadenNY Post

2)  Meet Spyder Wright, surfing legend — who I’m sure has no fear of sharks.  Learn about how his father’s lesson turned into his passion for timepieces, and check out his boards!  (The article photographed, is here.)

3)  A constant reminder of the message — of perseverance, strength and fearlessness — is this great 14 gauge steel shark cut-out for wall art from Water & Main.

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 9.11.48 AM

at Water & Main



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