Inspired by Heroes
As part of our new blog series on “Twenty things within 20 miles that inspire us,” I didn’t have to think long about what inspires me in Austin. Having lived here for less than a year, there were a few things that came immediately to mind. I’m sure there are many more still to discover. But with the recent devastating fires that have come to the area, I’m completely inspired by the dedicated firefighters who have worked tirelessly over the last two weeks to save lives, save homes and save the natural beauty of Texas.
I first heard about the fires on Labor Day. I was returning to Austin from a long weekend in La Grange, and had to detour around the fires to get back to the city. The severe drought conditions and extreme heat and high winds led to the fire spreading quickly and wiping out whole communities. Having grown up in the wet Willamette Valley in Oregon, I’d never seen anything like it. It was scary to see the big plumes of smoke just three miles away and moving constantly closer as we drove back to town. In Bastrop County, the fire destroyed 34,000 acres, 1,600 homes and took two lives. Now after two weeks, the fires are 95% contained thanks to the efforts of the firefighters in Austin and surrounding counties.
I drove through some of the burned out area again over the weekend, and could see where the firefighters had a drawn a line that the fire did not cross. These are true heroes. They stood firm. They saved lives. They inspired volunteers and communities to come together to help each other in this crisis. I’m inspired to raise my own bar for what I can achieve professionally for my clients, for my team and for myself.