“I hope you don’t mind, but I always sign books with ‘Paddle or Die’,” Warren Richey said to me as he signed our copy of his book ‘Without A Paddle’. “Is there any other way?” I responded, thinking that I was in for an interesting evening indeed.
I was most correct in that assumption…
When I first saw Warren, I thought he looked like an average enough sort of man. He could have either been the guy I came to see, or an employee at the bookstore where the signing was hosted. Then, as the night progressed, I caught the casual yet alert stance, more like a martial artist than a stance of military bearing, and I caught the look in his eyes. Not the 1000 yard stare of a combat seasoned individual, but the 1000 league stare of one who’s communed with the sea. And, oddly enough, there might have even been a touch of Flynn Carsen, or even Indiana Jones, in there somewhere, hiding behind the mild-mannered journalist talking with us.
Warren began by talking a little bit about the Ultimate Florida Challenge, and then read a few excerpts from the book. Two thinks came to my mind right away…. one, I like this guy, and two… he writes more like me than I do. Or so I would like to think!
By the end of the evening, he had done one thing for me above all else: he humanized the Challenge. By that I mean, well, here’s this guy, a basically normal human being, who did this incredible feat. And if he could do it, so can I. But, and this is important, he didn’t diminish the Challenge at all; rather, he inspired in me the feeling that I too can reach inside me and find what I need from within. So when I say humanize, I mean it as a huge compliment.
Read the book – it’ll inspire you to do all sorts of things from washing the dishes to paddling all over the place. Paddle Or Die…… he’s got that exactly right!