digging out of a 30-inch-high snow drift

This little adventure is a lesson in decision-making.

We were stuck in the snow the other day. It was 30 inches deep in some places, but who knew? It’s like walking through a puddle and discovering it’s over your head.

My buddy and I were stocking pheasants for the next day’s hunt…you know hiding the birds in the bushes, so the hunters and their dogs would have the challenge of finding them. And we came up to this snow-covered road with truck tracks that stopped in the middle. But the storm had only dropped 3-6 inches. How deep could this drift be? We saw that it was around a foot, so my friend felt his truck could make it. He shifted into 4-wheel drive, hit the gas, and I said to him, “You sure have balls.” I always admire courage and the willingness to take chances.

free after half an hour

Within seconds we were stopped. Too much snow to push, the wheels spinning, the undercarriage completely clogged in white. Fortunately we were just a 100 yards from the barn, where there were shovels to dig us out. It took half an hour at least to clear the truck and then about 50 feet of road. I was hoping that this could count as my exercise for the day and that I wouldn’t die of a heart attack. While we were digging, my friend told me of a 60-year-old guy he knew who just last month had been dragging a deer he shot out of the forest and dropped dead of a heart attack. Just what I needed.

I often think of how one poor decision can be so costly. The actor who played Superman, Christopher Reeve, took one horrible jump on a horse and became a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. How he must have hated that decision for the nine years he lived after it (he died at just 52).

I met a man who owned one of the most well-known public companies in America, and told me his big mistake was buying another well-known department store chain. It put the combined operation into bankruptcy, and cost him almost $100 million personally.

Digging out of the snow is not in that league. I wasn’t in a hurry and took breaks when I was tired. I didn’t strain my back, because I was careful…after straining it two days earlier, when my car wouldn’t start, and I had to push it out of traffic. Small decisions for me so far. I have made much bigger ones that were good ones, like marrying my wife, starting a business, relocating to a farm. No guts, no glory. I love taking chances. Some people hate uncertainty and play life safe. How about you? Made any giant choices lately? How do they feel?

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