Justin Donald Leader

Benefits Professional
  • Perseverance…a Beach of a Success Story

    May 20, 2015

by Justin Leader


I was walking on the beach this morning. The tide was doing a slow roll out with thousands of jellyfish on the ground. Debris as well as mostly broken shells lay scattered about. This was the start of a pretty typical Hilton Head Island morning with a few people walking up and down the beach alongside me as the Sun made its way high in the sky. The one thing different today than the past few of my daily vacation morning routines were the tremendous amount of Horseshoe Crabs I had to dodge along my path.

I was a few miles into my walk wondering a bit about life as I tend to do as well as listening to a great podcast on entrepreneurship by Gary Vaynerchuk. I started to notice on the ground the many horseshoe crab tracks which had created designs in the sand.  Most of the trails led down towards the water yet most ended in very intricate paths including circles, a heart shape, a figure 8 and even a few that seemed to go sideways forever.  Even a few Crabs stopped beside other Crabs and even some sat on top of one another.  Finally it what was apparent to me; this is Horseshoe Crab mating season.

The Horseshoe Crabs having been slammed against the shore and driven out of their natural habitat in search of a mate lay on the beach as the water receded. Mate or no mate they slowly were trying to find their way back to water.  There is something to be said about perseverance in all of this.  It’s interesting to me as we go through life, our paths are very similar to those of the Horseshoe Crab. There were dozens that got sidetracked and turned around heading away from the ocean. There were many that met another horseshoe crab and fell off of their path.  Then there is the crab that no matter how hard he tries to push ahead he gets in his own way burying his head deeper in the sand often spinning around in circles never to find his way back to the water.

This brings me to the crab that I admire most. The one with the longest trail I stumbled upon. It started literally 100 yards from the tip of the surf. The path starting high above close to the debris washed from high tide. The path weebled and wobbled its way in a semi-straight line towards the shore.  It’s amazing the distance the Crab was able to cover but even more amazing the length of time that it took for it to travel that far.  This was a mere snail’s pace as I finally came to the crab seeing that it was moving perhaps an inch a minute.  A picture of the Crab can be found above.

As I stood beside the Crab I glanced back at the path it had chosen.  On its path from shore there were obstacles in its way.  A branch it deviated around. Plenty of loose, sinking sand. Not to mention the scorching Sun as it rose above our heads. However the Crab pushed on. I gained much respect from the Crab this morning. There was no hesitation, no second guessing only action and execution.  This Crab had more heart and commitment to its goal than many people I see in my day to day interactions.  This Crab “gets it”.  It understands that progress is progress no matter how slow.