Sometimes, people are just turtles…

Several months ago, my sister-in-law was the recipient of the most elaborately planned proposal I have ever seen.  Every single married guy there has a special place in our hearts for you Bryce Smolen…you single handily showed all of us up, all at the same time 🙂 

Kate and I were fortunate to be a part of the planning process, and even more fortunate to get to spend the night at the beach house in Galveston.

The next morning I went for a run beside the ocean.  On my run, as often does, my mind started to wander and I inevitably got lost.  If you know me, you know this is not an uncommon occurrence.  In the midst of that journey, I ran across a little friend who has stuck with me to this day.

He, or she, or…honestly, I’m not really sure what the sex was.  I mean, if you were looking at a turtle, could you tell if it was a Jim or a Jane?  I think not.  For the purpose of the story, we shall simply call him Fred.


Fred had wandered about halfway across the road when I came upon him.  Now, I like to think of myself as a good guy.  If there’s a little kid, I make a silly face.  If there’s a lady, I’ll hold the door.  If there’s a turtle halfway across what could potentially be a busy road, why, by golly I’m going to help that little guy out.  And that’s where the problem started.

Have you ever felt like that?  You come across someone and are just so overwhelmed at times with your desire to “help” that you just dive right in, not really fully thinking or considering the other persons position?  Now, Fred and I were not going to have a long discourse here.  He, was little turtle, in danger from the outside world.  I, was a big human, and obviously in a spot to help out.  Surely he would appreciate it, right?

As I bent over to pick Fred up, I realized how incredibly large his shell was.  Easily the size of a car seat.  Doing what turtles do in a perceived dangerous situation, Fred retreated to the inside of his shell.  “All the better to get you to safety little buddy!” was the thought running through my mind.

With Fred a full 5 ft. up in the air, and my feeling of chivalry growing by the second, he decided to let me know that he didn’t really appreciate me all that much messing in his world.  For all I knew, he could have been in the middle of a heated race, and I was just getting in the way of his victory.

So at that moment, he peed all over me.

And we’re not talking a little pee.  We’re talking take the nozzle off the fire hydrant jump in front and get launched in the air, pee.  Amazingly, it came out from all directions, not just one.  Still haven’t figured that one out yet.

I did get Fred safely to the other side.  There’s a joke in here that would tie in well with “why did the chicken…” but we’ll leave some brain power for later.

Moral of the story: despite the best of our intentions, some people are going to be the peeing turtle.  Do I regret helping Fred?  Absolutely not!  i hope he is still going strong and slow.  But he did teach me a valuable lesson.  The next time that urge to dive in and “help” someone comes along, take a second to actually see what the situation is.  It could be they are just going at their own pace “turtling” through things.  And if that’s all they ever want to do, then that’s all they ever are going to do.  And if you still decide that you must “help” someone…wear rain boots and watch out.

PS- This blog almost got swallowed up into the busyness of the weekend.  If you ever struggle with having things that are important to you that sometimes do not get done, go out and read The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.  It will give you a swift dose of reality, and the realization that nothing ever gets out until you decide to just do it. 


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