Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


August 26, 2012

Shark bait? Let's take an easy route




History is full of record breakers like long-time favorite Amelia Earhart. I did my first book report on the American aviator. Even as a third grader, I gravitated towards figures that dared to accomplish the unimaginable. It was her attitude that caught my attention. She was fearless. For the first time, I read about a woman who defined the odds, and dressed differently than other women in her time. Who knew there was girl power in the 1930s? I am not the only one fascinated by her story. The Earhart mystery continues, often stealing the spotlight from Hollywood celebrities. Recently, a team looking for the wreckage of her plane found promising evidence with new technology. I hope researchers are able to piece together the last chapter of her life for my generation.



Today, there are folks who hike, swim, bike and run, past their limits. The one thing they all have in common is their desire to break out of the comfort zone. How often do we — the ones who stand on the sidelines — break out of our own comfort zones? A few would call the extreme goal chasers a bit crazy. Yet there is admiration, mixed with awe, for people who dare to test the limits. It is easy to feel inadequate comparing our routine life to those who run across the country and swim with sharks. Instead of letting those feelings take over, use them for inspiration. I can’t run across the country. I don’t like swimming in the ocean. But I can run a local race for a local charity. Nyad didn’t make her goal. She tried and failed four separate times. She never gave up her dream. And neither should the residents of the two Virginias. Find a dream or goal and set the pace. Let history repeat itself for the future generation. We can’t all be Amelia Earharts. But we can be motivated community members with a goal to achieve what some call impossible. Let’s take an easier route, if possible. I don’t want my friends and neighbors turning into shark bait.

Jamie Parsell is the Lifestyle editor of the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @BDTParsell.

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