Iowa Specialty Hospital

Amy's Reflections

January 21, 2016

I am a duck. I’m cool and calm on the surface, but underneath it all is a nonstop struggle to succeed. My feet are like orange spatulas. - Jarod Kintz

A couple of weeks ago as I was driving Shaila and two of her friends home from Webster City, we got caught in a white out. For me, these are the most terrifying winter conditions to drive in, as you truly can’t see anything. So as we inched our way towards Clarion, I tried to reassure the girls that once we turned the corner, it would be better as the wind would be at our back. WRONG! As we continued to drive, and the panic set in, we decided to stop at a farm house and just see if we could stay until the conditions improved. One of the girls pulled up her Google maps and started looking for the next farm place. When we finally found one, no one was home so I made a quick call to Rick and took some deep calming breaths. Rick gave me a pep talk and onward we went towards Clarion where we arrived safe and sound, and decided to not test our fate any further and just stay the night.

There were a few great teaching moments for the girls that night. I shared with them that I would have stayed in Webster City had I known before I left town what the weather conditions were like. It is never worth risking your life just to get home to your bed. They also learned that you have to stay calm under pressure. Initially Shaila had started to cry and Ashtyn started to panic. They quickly calmed down when I shared that they were not helping the situation and I asked them to focus on finding the lines on the road. They learned that when we refocus on what we need to do and work together we can accomplish anything. Hopefully they also learned that sometimes we all need a cheerleader telling us to take a deep breath and you can do this. For me that night it was Rick’s calming voice. This is the very thing that gives us the courage to continue in the face of uncertainty and fear.

We all have fears and uncertainty in our life. How can we support each other and make the situation a little bit better? For me, it could be one of you stopping by my office to chat that reassures me that we are headed in the right direction. My challenge for you this next week is to be the calm in the storm for someone. Help someone take a deep breath, refocus and know that they can do it.

A man of calm is like a shady tree. People who need shelter come to it. - Toba Beta

-Amy McDaniel, Belmond CEO


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