“the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning”
A near fatal experience — trusting a gut feeling
I called a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in about 3 years and asked if he’d like to go duck hunting. Although this happened nearly twenty years ago it’s still fresh in my mind.
When he showed up at the town landing I noticed he had put on a lot of weight. Waders and down jackets make you look big enough, but he was probably 40 to 50 pounds overweight.
This was a fresh water lake that neither of us had ever fished or hunted it before, but it was a central location for both of us.
I had mapped out a route from scouting the area a few days before and thought we should hug the shoreline on the east side of the lake. This made sense for two reasons, waterfowl generally land into the wind and take off the same way in addition the sun would be rising behind us.
My duck boat was a 11 foot long skiff, I had hunted and fished with it for years. Heading out to spot I had glassed, (using binoculars) I set the decoys, and shotguns up front and my friend Bob sat on the floor in the middle of the skiff. The ice was thin enough to cut right through but it was cold.
We arrived at our location, set out the decoys and started calling ducks. After about two hours or so nothing was happening, nothing really flying. So we decided to move.
“ At first I didn’t know where the sound was coming from… when I looked down the propeller was clean out of the water. Like the Titanic we were going down.”
I started the 3 horsepower motor and began to head to another location. 2 minutes into the journey my friend yells out “ducks” and I turned to look. At first I didn’t know where the sound was coming from, when I looked down the propeller was clean out of the water. Like the Titanic we were going down.
I turned to tell my friend, what I had seen with the propeller. I’ll never forget the look on his face. Water and ice was rushing in, over his shoulders, taking the hat right off his head. I realized, too late, that he had shifted to the bow of the boat leaning up against the decoys and the backpacks. His weight was too much and put the nose of boat underwater.
I literally tried climbing up on top the motor to stay out of the water, but slipped back into the boat.
“We were standing straight up on the floor of the skiff as it sank, just looking at each other”.
We stopped sinking when the water reached our necks… I looked at Bob I couldn’t tell if he was laughing or crying, his voice stuttering he looked up at me and said, what the *** do we do now?
As the decoys, gas tank and thermos bottles popped up on the surface we just stood there, somewhat in shock from the ice cold water. It was impossible to swim with waders and all the gear. I looked at my friend and asked if he could take off his jacket and waders but he said no way. I told him he needed to try to at least get his heavy coat off. He did manage that.
I looked to our left and then our right, it was about 100 yards either way as we were in the narrow part of the lake. Straight in front was the road but that was a good 300 to 400 yards away. I looked at Bob and said “that way” and we headed to our left.
To this day I don’t know how we made it to the shore, walking over tree stumps, large branches and boulders, at times going completely under and coming up like a blue whale gasping for air. My friend hit the shoreline and collapsed face first into to mud. He was blue, people had lined up on the causeway and met us down at the shoreline. The police called an ambulance and took my friend to the emergency room, he was fine and went home that afternoon.
The bystanders were very nice and gathered up our gear.
“How did you know to go that way, the old timer asked – I don’t know I said, just a gut feeling an intuition”
Well he said if you would have gone to the right you would have drowned, because it’s about 20 feet deep in the middle.
I wrote this story on my blog, while writing it I understand now how often I rely on my intuition. That gut feeling I get about people, about web projects that I take on, and how these feelings have guided me throughout my life.
“INTUITION a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning”.
You know you can sometimes have all the facts in world, including the technical ability etc and still not feel right about the project. When I have these feelings I always stop and ask, before I get too deep, is this something I really want to take on. If the answer doesn’t come to me right away, then I do one of these two things.
I ask the client again if we can go over the web marketing plans with them.
OR, I make a recommendation to the client pointing them to someone else that they might considering hiring.
In either case, it makes sense for both the client and myself. It hasn’t failed me yet.
Mark operates a WordPress development Studio, and works with clients on marketing their products and services.
Thanks for reading my post!