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Category Archives: Adventure Story

Taming the High Seas: An Adventure Story

roughseas002He squinted his eyes against the stinging, ocean spray that was assaulting his face.

The watercraft that was suddenly thrust into his hands felt awkward in his control; a foreign sensation that made him uncomfortable.  At each crest of an undulating wave, his stomach was left behind in the descent towards its trough.  Over and over again he fought against the awkwardness, willing himself to become more comfortable with this unsettling feeling.

It was important to him to master this task, not only because their adventure team was on another important mission, but because this time they had a very special passenger.

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The Longest Trek: An Adventure Story

His fate loomed before him in the form of something he dubbed, “The Pathway of Doom.”

With his partner at his side, a rookie whose thumb still displayed shades of green, the mission was to brave this stretch of unknown and come out the other side.  Normally on these expeditions they had their leader with them, a veteran of many adventures who always found a way to overcome the most difficult of challenges.  But now they were on their own, a theme that was seemingly becoming all too familiar to him.  Abandoned again, but this time not alone.  Could he trust what their fearless leader had said?  That he would be waiting for them the minute they emerged on the other side?

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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Adventure Story, Brad the Dad

 

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Swim Training: An Adventure Story

His head came up from underwater, sheets of it pouring from his face and air rushing into his lungs.

The slightly unsure look in his eyes told you he still wasn’t comfortable with the task at hand. But at this point in time that didn’t matter, he was part of a team and that team’s leader was counting on him. Counting on him and watching intently from nearby.

The long time rookie’s past flashed before his eyes as he recalled the early years of being his leader’s lone sidekick, to the more recent years filled with mentoring the next one. He was a rookie no longer and now being counted upon to set an example for the kid who was. A kid who would soon be nipping at his heels, fighting for the number 2 spot.

Presently, training was entering its third week, and if day 1 was any indication, probably the last.

Standing on shaking legs, on top of a platform in the middle of a massive training pool, the first day of this challenge found him scared and nearly beaten by the mission before him. Why was it that nobody could tell him for certain what exactly was going on in the waters beneath him? Did it end? Does anything live down there? Why do we want to go under it again?

Wracked with fear, he signaled for a break.

He took comfort on the sidelines as he watched other trainees at the center practice the challenges set before them. Many passed with ease and went on to mastering repetition, while others battled through various levels of struggle and produced various ways of coping with those struggles.

But as a whole, everyone was still in the game. Everyone except for him.

He sprung from his place on the deck and got back into the water with renewed determination.

The initial shock was over and he was up for the challenge. Standing steady, back on the platform and scene of his earlier distress, he mastered the first task with ease – underwater survival. Head down and eyes closed, mouth shut and nose plugged, he was operating underwater and not intimidated at all.

Floating exercises and short diving drills were mixed into the equation over the coming weeks, and each one he took on with energy and excitement. He even realized at one point that he was actually having fun. The memory of his mentor telling him that he eventually would have fun suddenly crossed his mind, but he erased that thought just as quick. That’s one secret he would keep to himself as his older partner surely didn’t need the ego boost.

Towards the end of week 2 and beginning of week 3 the biggest challenge arrived.

Dive off the platform, head down and arms forward, driving with all of your strength towards the far wall. No support from the trainer, no trust coming from what you can see with your eyes, just blind faith in yourself and your training to guide your hands to the wall as fears of being sucked into a bottomless abyss, never again to see the light of day, challenged that faith.

He closed his eyes and dove. His hands touched the wall.

His head came up from underwater, sheets of it pouring from his face and air rushing into his lungs.

The slightly unsure look he had in his eyes was actually from excitement. Excitement one gets from pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and into one of fear. One of fear, excitement and most importantly pride. Maybe he doesn’t realize it yet, but some part of him was learning that when you stick something out, put in the work and come away with success, the result is pride.

Pride that will build his confidence in completing this training, contributing to the team that depends upon him, and everything beyond.

The veteran of many adventures patted him on the shoulder as he exited the pool and put his arm around him.

“You’re doing great at swim lessons buddy. Watching you makes me so happy and proud. Now someday you can teach your little brother how to swim. Did you have fun today?”

“Yes Daddy. Can we get a pool?”

Brad the Dad’ can be reached at bradmarmo@gmail.com. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter at keyword: readbradthedad

This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 7/21/12.

 

Everything You Need to Know

The heat was unbearable, the sun relentless.

The veteran of many adventures was starting to doubt his decision making process for choosing such a day to take his charges out on a mission. Maybe there was some truth to all the chatter lately? Were others really better suited to perform his duties than he was? Doubt rarely crept into his mind, but with the sun beating down on them all day and no shelter in sight, he was forced to ask himself this question.

“When can we stop for a rest?” asked his partner, a young boy with a sharp head on his shoulders and knack for knowing his surroundings. “I think the rookie needs a break and I’m not sure how much longer I have in me either.”

“I know buddy, I’m working on it,” said the veteran as he scanned the horizon for anything that could provide a much needed break from the searing glare of the sun. Not seeing anything, he next glanced down at the youngest member of his team with concern.

The little guy represented the newest addition to their group and was still providing frequent and difficult challenges to the veteran and his partner who had only known each other’s company for so long. Yet, for as much trouble that he brought to the dynamic, he equally provided laughter, energy, and a certain insight that could not be dismissed or ignored. He was a valuable asset to the team and the group was forever changed for the better with him on board. Everyone silently knew they wouldn’t have it any other way.

But at this moment the leader of the pack had much bigger problems to worry about. Finding shelter and contemplating if he was the best one to lead his team.

Countless times throughout their time together his partner had asked him, “But, how come you do it different?” A question often posed after completing a difficult task.

“It’s just the way I do it,” would be the reply. “There is more than one way to accomplish the same thing, and it being classified as the right way or the wrong way doesn’t matter as long as you are doing what is best for your team and to the best of your ability.”

“I guess. But you still do it different,” was his stubborn reply.

“Do you do everything the same way as the rookie?” the veteran asked.

“No,” said his partner shooting a glance at the rookie with a skeptical look in his eyes, knowing he was being backed into a corner.

“Think about the different ways you two clean up. You, being Mr. Particular, will take out only what you need from your pack and replace those items the minute you are finished with them. Your little understudy, on the other hand, will dump his entire pack out on the ground, use what he needs, and won’t clean up until it’s time to move out.”

“Neither way is wrong, just as neither way is exactly right,” the veteran concluded.

“I think I see your point. We each have our own way because we are different people, but as long as the job gets done in the end and works for the team, that’s what is most important,” the young lad mused as his older partner looked on with pride.

“That’s, uhh, that’s exactly correct,” said the veteran turning away, wiping his eyes.

“Tree!” exclaimed the rookie all of a sudden.

“He’s right Daddy. Look over there, I see the tree too.”

“Well I’ll be,” I said, letting out a sigh of relief. “Your brother has some pretty sharp eyes kiddo. Just like you.”

This post is my take on the “parent wars” currently going on in social media and society at large right now. The recent Time Magazine cover, while ridiculous in its intent, sparked some great posts and great discussions. I like to think the overall takeaway is that this parenting gig is hard enough without someone else telling you that their way is right and yours is wrong. We each do what is best for our families and we do it to the best of our abilities. Nothing less, nothing more.

After the birth of our first son, and just before we left for home from the hospital, one of the doctors said to us, “Feel free to call us if you have any questions, but he will tell you everything you need to know from here on out.” 

Those words will stay with me forever. Only you know what is best for your children, take your cues from them and trust your instincts. Be kind and respectful of other parents, because in the end we all need each other.

‘Brad the Dad’ can be reached at bradmarmo@gmail.com. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter at keyword: readbradthedad

This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 5/19/12.

Past adventure stories: Race to Snow Mountain, Intruder at the Outpost, A Prisoner for Life, Just Another Day at the Office, The Early Morning Mystery Noise, A Battle for Health

 

The Early Morning Mystery Noise

A sudden noise woke him from a deep sleep.

He lay in bed with his eyes shut trying to remember if this noise was part of a dream or if it was based in reality. With eyes still closed, he listened intently to the sounds of his environment, trying to discern the source of this disturbance that so rudely interrupted his much needed slumber – a slumber back in the safe confines of his headquarters that was currently sheltering him from the unrelenting winter.

He was a veteran of many adventures and not normally in need of such rest, but a series of recent campaigns with his rookie partner, one involving a narrow escape from a fierce snow creature and another featuring a frightening confrontation with an intruder, have left our hero in dire need of a recharge.

With the thoughts of successful, past missions playing out in his head, the tired adventurer was slowly drifting back to sleep when this same noise startled him to attention once again. Realizing now that this was no dream, he decided it was time to explore.

Pulling on some clothes to ward off the chill in the air, he glanced out a window to try and gauge the hour, but realized it was still pitch black out and couldn’t tell if it was the middle of the night or the darkest hour just before dawn. He crept towards the source of the noise and wished he had his trusty partner by his side. The fact of the matter was, his rookie partner was a rookie no more, and the veteran had actually come to depend upon his assistance in times like this.

He pondered waking the upstart adventurer for this very reason, but still had a stubborn streak in his body and scoffed at the idea that he couldn’t investigate this noise on his own. No, he’d let the young one sleep a bit longer and handle this one himself.

The noise suddenly returned, but this time much louder and longer. The strange thing was that this sound actually had a familiar ring to it, as if he had heard it once before. But where?

As he crept closer and closer he glanced outside another window to get his bearings and noticed the sun starting to peak above the horizon.

“So, it was morning,” he thought to himself. Again, a familiar feeling tickled the back of his brain as if he should remember something. Not liking this nagging feeling, he altered his direction and headed for the rookie’s room, deciding he needed his partner’s help after all.

The elder adventurer slowly opened the door to the young one’s room so as not to startle him, but soon realized his sidekick was already awake and at attention.

“Did you hear it too?” his partner asked.

“Yeah,” the elder grumbled tiredly. “I wonder what it could be? It’s too early for visitors. Let’s go check it out, but make sure to be careful as we get closer.”

“I just hope it’s not another intruder,” the youngster exclaimed.

The pair crept closer and closer to the noise, their footsteps barely registering a sound after years of practice in the field, until they reached their destination at the far end of headquarters. At this point, it was clear that whatever was making the noise didn’t care at all for secrecy. In fact, if our hero was to guess, he would think that the source of the noise actually wanted to be heard at this ungodly hour.

And then it hit him.

Today was the day the new recruit was starting. His rookie partner was truly a rookie no longer as his team was taking on some fresh blood in the form of a 3rd member.

The veteran slowly came out of his crouched stance and patted his partner on the back, “It’s a proud day for both of us, kid. The new recruit starts today and I’m putting you in charge.”

“Me?” the ex-rookie asked. “Do you think I am ready?”

“Of course you are,” he replied as they opened the door to the room that the new adventurer was waiting in. “I wouldn’t let you handle this if I didn’t think you were. Plus, all he really wants this early is a sippy cup of milk and maybe to snuggle a little. More importantly, while you do that, I’m going to get 10 more minutes of sleep right here on the floor.”

“Thanks Daddy,” said the young one as he tickled his little brother’s neck and offered him up the cup of milk. “I won’t let you down.”

“Daddy?”

‘Brad the Dad’ is a parent columnist and can be reached at bradmarmo@gmail.com. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter at keyword: readbradthedad

This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 1/7/12.