Timmy…A giant at our shoulders…

mr flavinLast week, Timmy Flavin came to talk to us TY students in St Brendan’s College. Now , thanks to our great TY co-ordinatior, Mrs Lucey we have many speakers come to us from time to time to impart their wisdom. Some are good, some are great but, Timmy Flavin falls into the remarkable, unforgettable category.

He treated us to a photographic display   and talk about his love of the great outdoors.   He seems to be most at home when kayaking around the Skellligs mountaineering, hanging on a thread on a sheer cliff face or biking across Tibet.  Timmy is an intrepid traveller. He has had many great travel adventures.  Twenty years ago this man set off with a pal and canoed around the Irish coast.

His photos were as fascinating as they were beautiful. Photos of the Skelligs from around the Irish Coast.   Another of his adventures brought him cycling across Tibet the “rooftop of the world” and yet another saw him trekking through   the swamps of Borneo and skiing in the Chamonix Mont Blanc valley.

Photographs of the Skelligs from a canoe give a different perspective to the sheer majesty and awesome nature of these giants. His talk of paddling between sea stacks and into sea caves transformed something that would normally fill me with trepidation into a pleasant, relaxed and must do activity. His photos of Tibet were not just of the landscape but also the people and their customs. There was no judgement as he talked about these people who laboured hard to survive but instead a wonder and respect for their hardiness and ingenuity. His talk to us was broad in its reach.. It not only included the sporting nature of the activites but it was also laced with talk about geology, history, anthropology and an explanation of the religious symbols in the Buddhist tradition.

I suppose his message to us was that nature provides us with a wonderful playground. Also that It is largely free to us all to enjoy once we acquire the necessary skills be it in rock climbing , canoeing or mountain climbing.   His curiosity and adventurous spirit was  indeed contagious. Like all wonderful and accomplished people his talk to us was delivered in a confident but very humble manner.   He is a giant of a man not only physically but in so many other ways. I think we were very fortunate to have had the priviledge of meeting and listening to him.

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