55 degree water on a cold 40 degree night in Hyalite—I went up with my good friend Augie Schield to help him walk a 80-foot slack line across one of the bays. I watched him fall into the water—over and over—slowly shivering ever more frantically with each attempt. I admired his vision, motivation, and will power. He tried his best to calm his muscles but they were too cold to listen.
He reluctantly gave up and frowned when I said, “another night.” He had lost.
As we started to leave, a gentlemen with a family of five shouted for us—he offered us a spot at their fire. We started talking, warming up and becoming familiar with one another. It didn’t take long for him to sense Augie’s distress and he said, “It doesn’t matter that you didn’t make it across, what does matter is that my kids saw you do it, and that your sense of adventure inspired them. They won’t ever forget you.”
I could feel Augie's energy shift with the new perspective on his failure. He glanced up, smiled at the gentlemen and continued to warm his hands.