A Path in the Woods Foundation and Thrive Wellesley presented sailor and motivational speaker Neal Petersen at Wellesley High School on Sunday. In his talk, “In Life There are No Barriers, Only Solutions,” Petersen described how in 1999 he became the first sailor of African descent to complete the 27,000 mile “Around Alone” race, the longest race for individuals in any sport.
Petersen’s talk contrasted nicely with our family’s breakfast table reading and conversation that morning about the Boston Globe’s profile of ex-Boston Celtic Robert Parish. In the Globe story, current job-seeker Parish explained why in 2004 an $80,000 per year job with the Celtics simply wasn’t good enough for him.
Put that attitude next to Petersen’s stories about doing whatever lowly job needed doing in the boat yard, the challenges he faced on the sea, or even the work he puts in right now on tour, and certain barriers really do start to look self-imposed.