Whanganui Chronicle

What I learned when I got stuck at South Beach

- Jay Rerekura

"Everyone understood what they brought to the table and everyone kept their heads purely to help."

Why did you do that? Let’s try this way? The bros are gonna think I’m useless. Why did I have to go that way?

Should I just cut my losses? What if I keep doing the same thing, over and over again?

These and many other negative self-talk narratives entered my mind on Thursday night as I proceeded to get my truck more and more stuck in the sand dunes out at South Beach.

Now, I’ve had lots of experience on the beach, and in the dunes out there and at other beaches.

I’ve never not been able to get myself unstuck. I’ve pulled a number of stranded vehicles off the sand.

But none of this, and none of the Maxtrax and other gadgets could get me out of my predicamen­t.

In fact, my mates with their advice and Hilux and snatch ropes could get me out.

The only positive self-talk I had coming to me was: “Stay calm. Everyone’s safe. This too shall pass”.

I’m pretty happy with myself for those last few words.

I’ve always thought to myself in times of struggle: “There’s always someone worse off than me, with my privilege of even being able to venture through the dunes after a night of fishing tuna (eel) in my 4WD that’s always packed with camping essentials”.

I said to my mates: “Go home. I’ll stay here and things will become clearer in the morning”.

I was comfortabl­e, I was warm, I was safe.

I had kai … although I probably could’ve survived out there another 40 nights on my body’s own reserves.

I love camping. And how many times do I get to have an impromptu camping trip by myself?

This is awesome. More positive self-talk... yay me.

Morning comes. It’s a crisp but a beautiful sunrise from the dunes facing the airport.

I’m rested. The night before I had to forgo my pride and post something on Facebook to see if I could get some help out to me.

It was really interestin­g to see the responses of concern, a couple of laughs, and offers of help.

People messaging me keen to help but without the tools for the job.

Then a few messages from people with the right tools for the job. In the end, we ended up with two utes, an SUV and one beast of a machine that I would have to own 10 of these newspaper companies to be able to afford.

And of course, all the various shackles, snatch ropes, and about a millennia’s worth of experience ranging from Civil Defence, United Nations work, Army special ops and an under 12 league representa­tive.

It took know-how. It took teamwork. It took effort and hard work.

Everyone played their part.

Everyone understood what they brought to the table and everyone kept their heads purely to help. Some of these guys I knew, and some of them I didn’t.

All of them probably would’ve done this for anyone. I’m really thankful for their help and selflessne­ss.

Even though another night of camping would’ve been awesome.

As I reflect on my little adventure last night, I wonder how others deal with predicamen­ts they get themselves into. Whether through driver error or other things.

How does their negative selftalk play out? Do they even have positive self-talk?

Who do they call on when they need help? What does their team bring to the table if they’re privileged enough to have a team?

Do they have the tools to deal with what life has thrown at them?

One thing I learned from this cool adventure one night out fishing for tuna with friends is: “Don’t back down a soft sandy hill in the dark without knowing what’s behind you”.

But the other thing is: “Mā mango, mā whero, ka oti ai te mahi.”

If we all work together, both leaders and others, we can get the mahi done.

 ?? PHOTO / BEVAN CONLEY ?? South Beach, Whanganui, can be a challengin­g location for ute drivers.
PHOTO / BEVAN CONLEY South Beach, Whanganui, can be a challengin­g location for ute drivers.

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