Chris Hines MBE (Surfers Against Sewage). I met Chris many years ago and as a surfer was always aware of his legendary campaign photos for Surfers Against Sewage, like sitting on the toilet on Brighton Beach, or a huge inflatable turd, simply three surfers wearing gas masks outside parliament. You see, if it wasn't for Chris Hines we might all be still surfing and swimming in raw sewage. He helped change that for us all. when I was working with Veterans using surfing as a means to manage PTSD and mental illness, Chris became a Director working with us. But personally he became a mentor to me. If you look on the bottom of Chris's surfboards he has the M.A.D of which he is slightly, but in the funniest and mildly eccentric way, but these letters mean MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
I've never forgotten how Chris helped me make simple decisions to relieve a huge amount of stress. He'd email me a 9pm at night just to see if I'd reply; when I did, he'd bollock me for replying to emails after work hours. After that I never did. He taught me to switch off, he made a difference in my health, he taught me to have work boundaries and that at 5pm, work ends and family begins. What did I learn from him? To believe in myself and have the confidence to Make a Difference myself. I might not have done it on the scale of Chris, but in my own way I believe I do and have done. Part of coaching is making a difference in others, and working with some of the athletes in the past and present, keeps that value alive. How does he make me feel? Like I can make a difference, in my way. Who am I when I'm around him? A surfer, someone who respects the wise and most of all myself. Thank you Chris Hines.
Freddy Warwick (Former Royal Marine) I first met Freddy about 20 years ago in Sennen Beach. I was down on holiday in Sennen parked in the car park and he was on leave from the Royal Marines. He was the size of Desperate Dan, square jawed and a beast of a bloke. That day the ocean looked flat, but Freddy saw the possibility of a wave coming through. I thought if he can catch a wave out there, I'm in their too. Well I watched as a small wave came through and Freddy took off. As I saw him surfing this long peeling left hander all the way to the beach, I raced down the beach and surfed with Freddy all morning. We'd bump into each other now and again at the beach and then when Freddy retired for Military Service after 22 years, we surfed together more. Freddy also became a Director of the charity as he totally understood what we were trying to achieve as he'd seen numerous tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The thing is with Freddy he has so many funny stories or Dits as they call them in the military. He has battle field tales that had me in hysterics, training mishaps, or tales of misbehaviour whilst serving. Freddy is as sarcastic and dry beyond belief, and that's what is so funny about him. So what did Freddy teach me? Don't be so gullible!! He always catches me out and I love him for that in a manly man hug way. What have I learnt from Freddy is to just crack on, don't take life too seriously. How does he make me feel? Gullible but in a funny way, like a 'FFS Freddy, I fell for it again,' kind of way. Who am I when I'm with him, and bear in mind I don't see him hardly at all these days, like a mate simple. Always stoked to see him and chat about stuff. Freddy is just a top bloke that has been there for me in the past when I needed it. Thanks Freddy.
My Dad who passed in 2018 and he lived a whole life until he passed aged 94. Dad served in the RAF Air Sea Rescue during WW2, he then joined the Police, and finished his working life as Berthing Master at Brighton Marina up until he was 77 years Old. Dad seemed to love adventure volunteering for all manner of exploits during his life. He was a quiet man, a passive man that spoke up, and reacted only when necessary. His motto was "its a good life until you weaken" and right now he could not be more right. Dad taught me resilience, to show respect to my elders and be humble, but most of all I learnt to love the outdoors, the ocean and adventure. I was his son, so he wound me up, he told me off and annoyed me, but I miss him everyday for who he was. I'm not going to talk too much about my Dad, as that's another blog!
Lastly, and I know it was supposed to be three character, but in First Reserve is my My Mum because she's just frickin' amazing and that is without a doubt another blog post.
I hope you enjoyed this exercise and found some great answers. Keep me posted on how you got on.