True story: I saved a man's life in Scotland. No big deal. Really.
Pretty much just kept him from dying. That's all. We were taking a break from taking a break at a golf course resort. Aaron Frutman, my cameraman, was looking away from the pool and to the ocean. Matt Doyle, my producer, was sitting in the hot tub, looking away from the pool as well. Mike Andrus, audio guy, was doing who knows what. I walked into the pool area just as I noticed the elderly man was sinking.
For all the patterning about not wanting to get involved, I was honestly a little late in making my move across the pool. I thought maybe the man was doing some kind of odd swimming stroke I hadn't witnessed before.
No. That wasn't it. He was drowning in 2 feet of water. I yelled out, "Sir! Are you OK?" Drowning men don't have a good answer for this or any other question. I kept moving closer across the pool toward him.
Mike came in and saw the whole thing. Later he said, "You looked really weird creeping in on the old guy." But I'm glad I did. I lifted him out of the pool and onto the deck. I yelled at Matt and Mike to get real help. I tried to remember one bit of information about CPR from that daylong Red Cross seminar. That was 12 years ago.
I rolled him to his side to get any water out, Matt more or less coddled him while saying positive things, and then the pool attendant came running from down the hall and began to take all the credit for our heroism.
We didn't come to Scotland to be heroes. And we didn't want anything any other hero wants. Just lots of praise and notice and potentially a huge reward in the event the guy we saved was a billionaire Scottish industrialist. We got none of that. But that's OK. We had more golf to play and some work to do.
We had come to Scotland to watch large men throw huge objects as far as possible. All of the large men who throw huge objects far could have lifted the drowning man out of the pool with one hand -- as long as they weren't staring out at the ocean like Aaron. He didn't even take a picture. But we know what happened that day in that pool. And we're really glad we chose to take a break from taking a break.
Some would call our decision to go to the spa after going golfing heroic. Just not the guy whose life we saved. He was too busy thanking the pool boy who was hitting on the girl at the front desk down the hall while all the real action was taking place.
Bitter? No. We were there to do a job. Aaron even took pictures.