Paul de Gelder a Navy Clearance Diver lived through a horrific shark attack. His in L.A for shark week being shown on the discovery channel. Here he talks about how there was no time for fear during the attack and had to make split second choices.
It’s the choices in life that determine our happiness and it started pretty early on for Paul when he made some pretty bad choices leading him to be homeless at times. He encourages people to make better choices, the scary ones usually being the better choices to make.
Paul says that if you are not happy, it will take some drastic changes to change your life. The things that he remembers most about his life are the scariest ones and the greatest things he’s done.
Paul’s shark attack story starts when he left the Australian Army to join the Navy Clearance Team. He was at the Sydney Harbor, working on a counter terrorism exercise, in the water when he felt a huge whack on his leg. He was face to face with the shark, making eye contact when he realized that the shark had both his right leg and arm. He struggled with the shark in excruciating pain while it shook him like a rag doll. In his mind he thought he was going to die until he felt free from the shark.
Having been through so much struggle through his life gave him the resilience that he needed to survive the shark attack and heal. He accepted his fate and focused on getting better. There was a point where he was really scared, having visions of a sad life in a wheel chair, but that’s what drove him to not be someone that people feel sorry for. He wanted people to look at him and stare not for pity but for awe.
Listen to the shortened interview here:
My hope is that you hear something universal Paul’s story, that you connect with his raw honesty and vulnerability. Perhaps you will realize, you are not alone… I want for everyone to be at peace with who they are (warts and all) and to learn, grow & heal through hearing another person’s story.
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