Thread: Elvis Lives!
04-06-2008, 03:08 AM #1
Jochi Pardo is from Spain, he is a lifeguard, a brother, a friend and a big soul, I met him several years ago when I was teaching a course for lifeguards for the Spanish Lifesaving Federation. I remember him to be focused, driven and very patient, and one of the few who could speak English so I liked that! Selfish me. He kept in contact with me over the years relentlessly, and there is something to be said about the tenacity of a spirit. Little did I know at that time that he would be creating K38 Spain years later to teach the K38 Way of Training.
Jochi Pardo and Shawn Alladio 2007
When we look back through the turns of our lives, I have discovered it is important to take time to reflect. Who in your life impressed you so much that you changed direction and entered a new path or were reluctantly bumped to a safer direction? I can bookmark those people down to the exact moment. Jochi is one of many who has moved my very soul for his passion and dedication towards lifesaving is oxygen itself.
People I know around the world seem to have met Jochi before me and I know a lot of people, he has gotten around that is for sure! Each person pays high regard for his integrity and claims he has inspired them to dedicate themselves steadily to lifesaving. I have to say, he has also given me such an impression, it is an honor now to learn from him.
He went to New Zealand to train, as he chooses a different place annually to gather knowledge and experience. New Zealand is a long way from Spain, ocean's apart. He did a rescue of a Maori, the native sons of New Zealand, a tough and resilient people with an ocean going heritage surrounded in symbolism and respect. And at times a modern disconnection to the past due to the cultural influences of outsiders. Maori's understand the power of the ocean, living near it's heartbeat, the cadence of the waves is the pulse of life itself at times, when the ocean comes alive.
It is no small measure when a man or woman decides to go when others turn away, and such is often with the moving waters of our oceans, a place of immediate peril and for some terror. Many people lose their lives trying to help others who have succumbed to and undertow, a rip current or rolling waves.
Circle or Disk
"The circle of life which includes the path of life ever ongoing, with no beginnings and no end"
The family was sincere in paying their respects to our friend Jochi. Many island peoples understand the might of the ocean and that life is given and taken. He was given two necklaces. The symbol was a round circle resembling a wave in motion, turning into itself, strung on a black cord. One end greeted the other as if life itself had no ending.
At our 2007 K38 International Safety Summit in Fregene, Rome, Jochi Pardo was presenting his K38 Spain review for the year. I had given him the name of Elvis as I had dubbed everyone with a Hollywood nickname, wether they liked it or not. He had brought gifts, as many give and are given to, not 'give and take' in our fellowship. He brought something symbolic for all the K38 affiliates, and each gift he had a story to tell, Jochi had hit his stride.
He was teaching everyone about respect and honor. He called me up to the stage and told the story of this near drowning and the Maori family he met. He pulled out the necklace he was wearing, holding it between his fingers, his eyes revealed the love for his commitment, he was sharing something of profound meaning to himself, and he brought us into those real moments.
I put on Jochi's lifeguard uniform he had already given me over my clothes and now the necklace....Fabio looks on
He was holding a twin necklace, a soft green jade in his hand as he spoke. He told me that the necklace he wore was for the student, and the one he was giving me was for his teacher. He placed the necklace around my neck and continued on as my mind wandered on the realization that I had now become his inspired student, and was given a connection to the Maori he knew in New Zealand, but I will probably never meet them, never look into their eyes, never see their smiles.
But every day of my life I will wear this necklace, between my breasts lays the warm green stone, I tuck it in my hands and draw it across my lips to remind me of the beauty and profound significance of respect. This stone holds warmth, it is smooth and always in motion. I tell all my students of the significance of this stone, and the man who earned it. They too are a part of this 'Pohaku of Life'. I have always said not to wear jewelry when working in the field, but I tuck this necklace into my wetsuit and disregard my own warnings. It has become a part of me, a part of the circle of life. Not an amulet, but a reminder. 'Come home safe.'
Given enough time, even water moves through stone. Every day of my life I am moved to stay the course, take the hits and fight for what is right, listen to my children, fight for every life, for my life and yours.
Jochi, I will see you soon my friend!
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