Minda Dentler

September 30, 2020

Minda Dentler

A little four year old came home
Fussing and grumbling entered the room
“How was school, baby?”
It was the little girl’s mummy
“Terrible” she carefully pronounced
“I’m never going back”, she announced
“Listen to me love, a ship is safest in a dock
But that’s not why it’s built”
“What does that mean?”
“When I was your age” she said
“I couldn’t walk or run like the others
So I came home early
Sat on the couch and watched TV
My mommy wanted me to stay at school
“But the other kids are mean and don’t think I’m cool”
She told me “Listen to me love, a ship is safest in a dock
But that’s not why it’s built”
So I decided to study and debate
Play music, get good grades and graduate
Then my friend showed me how to hand a cycle
And I did my first triathlon
But as I swam a jellyfish stung
The pain was blinding
I saw the race ending
Then I remembered my mom’s words
“Listen to me love, a ship is safest in a dock
But that’s not why it’s built”
And I completed the race
I haven’t looked back since
I won the Ironman championship
Every time there’s a difficulty
And I feel like giving up
I remember- “A ship is safest in a dock
But that’s not why it’s built"

This poem is about Minda Dentler who became the first wheelchair athlete to complete the Ironman World champion in 2003. Minda was paralyzed from waist down as she was struck with polio at six months old. Today she serves as an ambassador for Ironman Women for Tri Program with the goal of recruiting female triathletes. The phrase- “A ship is safest in a dock, but that’s not why its built” was coined by Albert Einstein and John A Shedd.




By Aditi Atulkumar Surana
Aditi is pursuing CA articleship in a firm in Bengaluru. She writes imaginary conversations about real problems and real people. She was the second in state in Karnataka State Board in XII grade. She also topped the district in CA-CPT.
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Comment on this article

  • Reva, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 30 2020

    It's really inspiring..Keep writing Aditi...

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