Man Overboard, a New York Times Magazine cover story by Paul Tough, about John Aldridge, A Montauk, NY based commercial fisherman who fell overboard forty miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean at 3:30 am on July 24th last year, is an extraordinary story of perseverance and survival. The water temperature was 72 degrees with five foot swells. His chances of being rescued were minimal due to the fact that his two crew members didn’t realize that he fell overboard until nearly three hours afterwards when they awoke. Through a combination of courage, ingenuity, and sheer willpower, Mr. Aldridge managed to stay afloat for nearly twelve hours before a coastguard helicopter spotted him. The rescue operation involved volunteer fisherman as well as professionals with a rare happy ending given the circumstances!
The human spirit is extraordinary and this story is inspiring. I have a client who survived several near-death experiences. He told me that one of the main keys to survival under dire circumstances is to remain calm and not panic. Obviously, this is easier said than done. Keeping your wits about you in a crisis is fundamentally important to a positive outcome. In Mr. Aldridge’s own words, “I always felt like I was conditioning myself for that situation.” I am a huge believer in preparation in life and business. I coach my clients to meditate, exercise, and eat well as prep for living well. My clients are not commercial fisherman so their prep is less intense but no less important!