Our lives are nothing short of a miracle. Do you have doubts? I don’t have any! Bear with me for a while because I want to share with you one of the most incredible stories that ever happened in my Life and, fortunately, in the lives of others as well.
Between December 7 and 10, we held our annual Year-End program on the south coast of Portugal. We couldn’t have designed a better program with the “ingredients” at hand. The (beautiful) group, the location, the local partner, and the routes we walked near the mighty Atlantic Ocean made those days nothing short of a dream.
On our last day, we only missed a final group picture before saying farewells. So, I picked up the drone for an aerial shot. All was set for the perfect ending when I looked at the screen in my hands that suddenly showed me tree leaves, and in a fraction of a second, the drone was stuck on the top of a tree. Either I was flying too fast or too low, or the sensors decided not to cooperate. What could I do? I was not even sure what tree was holding up my drone.
The next thing I remember is that I started running around to see if I could find a reference point. The perfect ending of the program was turned upside down. As a result, part of the group left a few minutes later since there were airplanes to catch and many kilometers ahead, and I stayed with four other very generous “souls” who offered to give me hope and courage not to quit on finding the drone.
In between, I want to share a few funny facts that made everything more dramatic. The moment the drone got stuck in the tree, the camera and battery were in perfect condition; I could move it and see I was 8 or 10 meters high. Not good 🙁 After some time of staring up at a tree, I could almost swear it was the one; I realized that the eucalypt leaves were the same color as the drone paint. It’s nearly impossible to distinguish.
But I also had (almost) good news. My partner Nuno, who was next to me, inquired about a control functionality I could use to locate the drone. There was. I press the button “Find my drone,” and supposedly, some beeping and flashing should start.
Unfortunately, the tree in front of me continued to be muted, but once I started moving away to gain perspective, a little buzz caught my attention. It was enough to understand that I was in the wrong place. The buzz was coming from another set of trees about 150 meters in a different direction. I started running and quickly became aware that the drone had only a few minutes left with battery and would soon be gone forever.
A couple of hours later, I also quit. The day was getting dark, and despite all the help from those who stayed with me, which included throwing rocks randomly at different trees, I was resigned. I have lost the drone and, most importantly, images from those incredible days that we would never repeat.
We called a couple of nearby fire departments and a few garden centers that, unfortunately, were not working on a Sunday. I was frustrated with how things ended with the group, ashamed for being the cause of such a situation, and in the end, even the drone was lost forever. Not good 🙁
2023 has been an incredible year, but it is also unbelievable how I have been trained and tested to let go of things (read this post)
The following day (Monday) was strange because I thought I should drive south for 200 kilometers and try to retrieve the drone. If only I knew where it was. I called the partner where we stayed and asked if they could check the nearby trees I believed could be the correct location. In the evening, they replied that nothing was found, and the trees were so tall that it made it impossible even to use a long stair.
On Tuesday, I went for my morning walk, thinking about the drone and how confusing the whole situation seemed to me. What could I have done differently? What could I learn from it? So many questions and so few answers.
I asked for a sign, but I needed clarification on which one. I picked up my phone and typed people who could climb trees (believe me, I did so). I found a company, and I called. I explained the situation, and they hesitated when I mentioned the location. Nevertheless, they gave me a budget and promised they could send someone to help me the next day. Even knowing I was unsure about the drone’s exact location, hope suddenly drove the way in my Life. Good 🙂
I felt so happy that I even decided to start editing the video from the program using the footage I had from the GoPro camera. I found fantastic images, smiles, and moods, but also something very intriguing in the last clip, recorded while I was operating the drone.
After careful observation, One of the frames shows precisely the moment the drone crashed against the tree (the sound caught my attention), and after zooming in, guess what? I found the potential direction the drone was taking. Even knowing it would be tough to find it after four days, most likely, it was not even there anymore, hope was growing, and with hope, you can continue.
In the evening, I challenged my youngest son, Michael, to join me on this adventure. The next day before sunrise, we headed south. While driving, I was thinking about what I could have done differently. It would make sense to have more than an A plan (I imagined the people from the garden center would not show up). So, on the way, we stopped at a hunting store and acquired a slingshot. You probably know it from our times as kids. I thought, okay, worst case scenario, if the guy doesn’t make it, I can try to find the drone and hit it from below to make it fall. So we got the slingshot, and we arrived on time.
The garden center guy was nice, but I immediately understood there was a problem because we needed to know exactly where the drone was; he was not keen on climbing different trees, and unfortunately, we could not see the drone from down. We were there for about 45 minutes. It was pretty disappointing because we looked down around us; we looked at the bushes on the little stream. Nothing! Not even the slightest lead.
While roaming around, I felt something incredible. I kept a dialogue with a few entities (fill in with whatever you believe) asking for a sign. I was not necessarily asking to find the drone, but a sign that would allow me to move forward in peace with my Life.
Back to reality, the garden center guy asked me if I was sure about the set of trees and told me he would get the gear needed to climb. He told me that Eucalyptus is a tricky tree to climb. It’s dangerous because you have few grips, and falling is easy. Honestly, he was skeptical, and I was very skeptical to see him go up to more than 10 meters. We still couldn’t see anything.
I had similar moments in Life where I was asked to believe; believe me 🙂 But believe in what? There is something out there that you don’t see. You don’t know what it is, but there is; you can call it God, Guardian Angel, or Luck. But then I remembered that I was not alone. Many people were sending me messages throughout the day, and probably much more than fingers crossed.
I trusted that I had done everything possible and even a little beyond. It was unnecessary to put someone in danger for a drone. We may have reached the limit of our possibilities; after all, perhaps the drone was not even there anymore.
This moment should have been the end of a crazy story. But it was not.
Thank God my son Michael was there. The guy from the climbing tree company was also there, meaning I had at least two witnesses.
There were sounds from above, and when I looked at my son, the drone fell from the sky in front of us, a few meters from our feet. I mean, literally, like this.
Can you believe it? Well, you better 🙂
Think with me. The drone has been stuck there since Sunday, right? It could have fallen at any time. And when we are there and about to make this big decision, the drone falls gently and lands on the grass before us. No damage, nothing. Perfect. And this gives me hope.
A situation like this one gives me hope that when individuals, when people move in a certain direction together, when they have good thoughts, it is mighty. I have no words. My son has no words. We are still digesting what we saw. Yes, you can call it luck, but I’d instead call it Life.
My key learnings from this story
1) Remember, our plans can change quickly; don’t be upset, be curious, and be flexible.
2) Do not hesitate to ask for help, even if it is tough to accept help; instead, be grateful.
3) Always do your part of the story. Do what you can with what you have and what you know.
4) Accept that you don’t have to understand everything that happens to you. But it would help if you always respected what happens to you.
5) Trees can drop drones at any time; make sure you show up on that day.
Finally, this could be the happy picture we needed because the end is always the beginning of something new. And since we are approaching an extraordinary time with so many special celebrations (Christmas, Year-end, New Year, and others), it may be time to celebrate deeply the remarkable gift that is our lives. It always starts with a first step.
Keep walking with us.
P.S.* The picture portrayed on the article’s cover was taken right after recovering the drone
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN DOING?
The last month of the year was filled with special moments; we are very grateful for all the beautiful people we had the pleasure of sharing the road with. We started by interviewing on our Podcast Susana Coerver. She is a Partner at Ideators.cc and co-founder of the mental health startup Kindology, which aims to build a significant community on mental health and make it accessible to everyone. Susana is an inspiration. It is time to pick up your headphones and walking shoes to listen to this beautiful conversation. Enjoy!
Click on the image to listen to the Podcast.
We are very happy to have finalized our first cohort of the Walking Mentorship Accreditation Program. During a full week, we concluded our boot camp in the mountains of Sierra Blanca in the south of Spain. We are delighted to welcome in our family of mentors, Natalia Morozova and Tatiana Bejenari. This is one more step to bring our programs to different countries and regions. Check out the wonderful time in Costa del Sol here.
Click on the image to watch the video.
Since we enjoyed the warm and sunny days in Spain, a few weeks later, we returned for a corporate program with the incredible team from Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Marbella. It was very special to deliver our One Day with your team to a very special group of people.
Click on the image to watch the video.
Finally, we reached the Year-End program, a moment specially designed to close the year in the best possible way. During four days out of the South Coast of Portugal, we cover the different events of our year and prepare the ground for what lies ahead—some things you can only see when there are no distractions around. The Walking Mentorship Year-end can make that happen at the moment when you need it.
Click on the image to watch the video.
UPCOMING PROGRAMS IN 2024
On the 14th of December, we held a Discover Webinar to present and explain in detail our 2024 programs, including group, individual, and corporate programs. You can watch the recording here and get to know our offerings for the coming year.
Click on the image to watch the video.
SHOULD WE WALK TOGETHER?
Walking Mentorship is a labor of love that helps you gain deeper insight and equips you to create a meaningful impact on your life and those around you.
Can I offer the WM experience to other people? Yes, you can! Check the different options for Gift Vouchers and share the opportunity.
Until then, keep walking with me,