Dropping Doubt for a Chainsaw

Jonah Thompson

Mary Ann Weema reminds us it's never too late to learn something new.

I recently returned from Operation Loyal Friend in Griffin, Georgia. The community was affected by tornadoes and needed helped with debris cleanup. During the operation, I was privileged to be able to obtain my Sawyer I training from three amazing instructors. I’d seen a chainsaw in action before but never personally used one.

Mary Ann Weema (far left) joined 20 Greyshirts in assisting Spalding County, GA recover from severe weather damage.

Because there were three regional chainsaw instructors on this operation, they offered a Sawyer 1 course. So I signed up, because what did I have to lose? There is always a need for sawyers and I felt that even if I couldn’t pass the class it would give me valuable information for conducting damage assessments. I could use the information to assess if my team was capable of taking care of a resident’s need with the equipment we had on the ground.

During this process, I discovered most of us are only limited in our own minds. If you think you will have a bad day, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t.

Did I think I could operate a chainsaw? I wasn’t sure, but I was willing to try. Even if I was physically unable to do the job, there was a wealth of knowledge available to me to use in other situations with Team Rubicon.

I am proud to say that I am a certified sawyer now. I passed the course and have successfully started using my chainsaw in the field, proving it’s never too late to learn new tricks.

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