Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sometimes a fresh idea makes all the difference!

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.

But ...
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...they 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.

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