This morning, I opened up my Facebook profile and was immediately impressed by the feat of British rower, Sarah Outen. She has just finished a mammoth row from Japan to Alaska. A tremendous success, but not without adversity.
Here is a quote from her most recent blog “The final 48 hours to land was huge and exhausting and very challenging. I didn’t sleep for 30 hours but just emptied the tank. Again and again. I didn’t see land until I was less than a mile off – through thick white fog. There was a point at around 6.30 in the morning where I wondered if we could make the final 4 miles in. My muscles had nothing left and the current was taking us away from the original landing waypoint. I sat in my cabin and cried and wondered what to do”
Often times, when we take that first slightly brave step towards achieving a goal, the world seems to transpire to prevent us from getting to our destination. I have often experienced similar emotions whether it is in business or on my adventures and the key thing to always remember is that, like Sarah, there are ways to overcome those feelings.
In a similar vein, I have a couple of friends who are about to accomplish some incredible challenges themselves. I am sure, along the way they have been challenged with moments where they wondered if they were going to make it to their intended destination.
Bob Purdy, Kelowna paddle boarder and conservationist is today paddling for his 1000th continuous day. For the celebratory event he decided to head out to the west coast and paddle in style but make sure you give him a cheer on his facebook page. I don’t think he needs too much encouragement because he has already decided to carry on. I do know personally however, that those private words of encouragement mean a tremendous amount to the individual, just like Sarah who was sitting teary eyed in the capsule of her boat wondering if she could even make the last few “long” miles to shore. Perhaps she received a text or a facebook message just at that time, I know I have on my trips!
I have another good friend in the UK, Steph Jeavons who is about to embark on a life changing adventure. I met Steph in 2008 on a motorbike enduro in South Africa. She was relatively new to motorbike riding at the time and was tested time and again on some pretty harsh South African terrain including multiple river crossings and hill climbs each day, but I saw her time and again dig deep and get the job done. The next time I rode with Steph was in Morocco for some “Dakar training” with British motorbike star Mick Extance. The improvement in Steph’s riding was remarkable and you could tell that she was hooked.
In six months time, Steph departs the UK on a solo round the world motorbike trip. It sounds easy when you say it like that, but I promise you, it will be fraught with challenges, nervous moments, loneliness and sometimes even doubt. But the great thing is, the journey is so rewarding. You can follow Steph’s adventures at www.stephmoto-adventurebikeblog.com.
Although these may be examples of “big goals”, many of us live our lives with goals each day and often we may find ourselves wanting to “hide in a corner” for a few minutes.
I would love to hear from you on how you find ways to move forwards from a sometimes challenging moment. Is there a favourite routine you have, maybe the simple act of going for a jog, or preparing a nice meal can be the distraction that free’s up that part of your brain that can help you to find a solution. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and perhaps we can publish a few ideas on this column to help others!