Allison the turtle was a turtle in trouble.
Allison, you see, only had one flipper. A shark attack had left her with three stumps. When a turtle has one flipper, there is only one option, really–circles, and more circles.
The guy, Jeff George, at the turtle refuge at South Padre Island was clear-
- turtles with three flippers can get released back in the wild,
- turtle with two flippers can probably make it in the turtle sanctuary
- turtles with one flipper…not much hope. They are generally euthanized.
They tried prostheses with Allison-but there wasn’t enought residual stump for them to work. She is a one flipper turtle…take it or leave it.
One of the young interns remembered something though. He recalled his days as a kid…rowing with one paddle in an inner tube. Think about it, use your imagination–circles, only circles. Like a one flippered turtle.
But put a kid in a canoe, and rowing with a single paddle is doable.
The difference-the length of the canoe, acting as a rudder.
This intern thought “outside the box”, and let go of the prosthesis idea. He worked with a wet suit that had a rudder. They played with the positioning and size, and one day-VOILA!! Allison is a coordinated turtle that goes where she wants in the tank, feeds herself, and decides when to dive and when to surface.
She still only has one flipper.
someone with a different perspective helped her with some different possibilities.
Take a look:
The interview I heard talked about how the handlers continue to marvel at how Allison has “perked up”, how she revels in her mobility. She is a new turtle with her rudder–and the single fin isn’t so much a problem any more.
Reminded me of some moments I’ve had with clients, when a comment or question helped them see the issue through fresh ideas.
When that happens, clients practically bound out of session with fresh energy, ready to tackle life in a new way. It’s fun to watch…
…kind of like it is fun to watch Allison.
Everyone needs some help once in a while to solve a tough situation in new ways. Ask around. Ask for help.
Try a fresh idea.