Sailing one of the planet’s most treacherous waterways while paralyzed must surely qualify as “a hardship” filled with inevitable suffering…right? Maybe not.

Here’s the story of two men who find a way to embrace hardship like an honored teacher, and they have even more to teach us about suffering.

Today at Ever Widening Circles, we point you to the story of a pair of thought leaders who have an inspiring story of perspective and perseverance that contains a gift for us all.

Despite the fact that both of them are paralyzed from their armpits down, they managed to sail a small catamaran 1200 kilometers (750 miles) up the Inside Passage from Vancouver, Canada to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Have you ever heard the inspiring catchphrase “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”?

They show us how it’s done.

Get a favorite beverage and sink into this amazing experience.

Lovely piece there by Great Big Story. If you haven’t seen a lot of their work, check it out. It’s remarkable!

Is there a gem for us all here?

Seems to me these men discovered much more about their “abilities” than their “disabilities.” Why do we tend to avoid opportunities to test the edges of our potential, and people like Zach Tapac and Spike Kane seem to look for them?

Here’s something they might know that most of us don’t:

“Unless a tree has borne blossoms in spring, you will vainly look for fruit on it in fall.” – Walter Scott

Maybe testing our potential is like nurturing the conditions for those blossoms. Perhaps Zach and Spike are finding fruit often enough that they keep on testing.

Something to ponder.

Stay open, curious and optimistic!

~ Dr. Lynda


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  1. “Hard Ship | A Really Great Big Story.” YouTube. Great Big Story, 30 Nov. 2016. Web. 02 Mar. 2017. <>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.