Feel The Fear | Do It Anyway
Last year I watched what has turned out to be a very eventful documentary. It was called “Losing Sight Of Shore” and I saw it from the comfort of my lounge room at home, with snacks and a cup of coffee in hand. It was the story of four British women who rowed across the Pacific Ocean. This sounded simultaneously like the most incredible and awful adventure.
The seed of an idea was planted and quickly began to sprout. I jumped online as soon as the credits started rolling to search for teams that were intending on rowing oceans. It didn’t take long for me to find a crew and email them to see if they needed another set of hands on the oars. At the time, this particular team was full so they put me on the reserve list and I continued merrily on my way, the thought of ocean rowing slowly disappearing from my active thoughts.
Fast forward to just a couple of weeks ago, I was lying in bed late at night and checked my emails for one last time. And there it was. An email from Cazz and Megan, inviting me to join them at the eleventh hour in their epic, world-record setting row after a previous crew member had dropped out.
I instantly knew that I had to do it. As soon as I read the email, I was in. It felt as if someone had activated an enormous magnet in my stomach.
There were of course a million questions. I didn’t know how it was going to work. After all, it’s completely insane. How would I swing that much time off? Am I fit enough? How many people will try to talk me out of it? Can I even afford it? Is there enough time to get training courses done in time? What if I go mad? Also, sharks! Sunburn! Storms!
We arranged a video call and this was the main test to get it locked in. I promised myself and my partner that if the video call didn’t go well, then I obviously wouldn’t do it. If we can’t get along for an hour conversation, then there’s no way we would be able to survive a couple of months at sea together.
So we jumped on the call and I felt immediately at home. I believe that there are people in the world that are part of your tribe, and I know that Cazz and Megan are just that. I have not met them in person but I already trust them with my life.
Now I’ve done the easy parts of signing the contract, transferring the money, booking the training courses in and applying for a US visa. It is technically possible, but now the real work begins to get to that start line, and man I am already so late to the game.
Prep has begun mentally, physically and technically to spend up to 70 days at sea on a 25 foot ocean rowing boat, pulling on the oars from Monterey, California all the way to Honolulu, Hawaii. It’s 4444km if you go in a straight line, but with the currents we could end up topping 6000km. We will row all hours of the day and all hours of the night in rotational shifts. For the entire journey, we will not sleep more than 2 or 3 hours in to row. We will eat dehydrated food and energy bars. We will desalinate ocean water to drink. We will poop in a bucket on the deck of the boat.
You’re probably asking at this stage why anyone would voluntarily do something that sounds to many people like hell on earth. Well, I will back you here and say that’s a very very good question.
First of all, I’d like to tell you why I’m not doing it. I’m not doing it just to be able to say that I did it. I’m not doing it to set records. I’m not doing it to get on the news. I’m not doing it just so I can put it on Instagram.
I’m doing it to grow into the the type of person you need to be to row across an ocean. For me, it is about completely pushing the limits beyond what I thought was humanly possible. It is to become the best possible version of myself. This may sound a selfish and strange thing to say, but the reason for this is that I inherently believe that if each and every one of us was the best possible version of ourselves, we are each better placed to go out into the world and have a bigger, better impact. When we are at our best, we can be a better person for those around us. For me, it is to be a better partner, sister, daughter, business owner, friend and be able to return home and bring 100% into every single day.
It’s not going to be easy. I know that it is going to be by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I won’t lie, I am scared. Really scared. But, that is exactly the point. If it isn’t scary, then it’s not worth doing. If it isn’t scary, it isn’t big enough.
Feel the fear.
Do it anyway.
Because soon enough I know I’ll get used to it and that will become the new normal. Plus, it helps that I am not doing it alone. Cazz and Megan will become like family. Then there’s everyone around me at home that has already rallied — my partner Kat who reminds me why I’m doing it when the fear takes over completely, and the rest of my family and friends for all the different ways they have started supporting me already.
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Thanks for coming on this journey with us. Looking forward to sharing it all with you, warts and all.