Last night I cajoled two of my children into going to an event at Testwood Baptist Church. There are very few things I lean on the kids to do.....ok.....there's quite a few but it doesn't feel like a lot of things to me....and this event was one of them. It wasn't a church service or religious gathering in any way. It was something quite different and I really wanted them to be there.
It was an evening with professional explorer and adventurer Debra Searle. She's basically a freelance motivational speaker hired by the blue-chips to wow their staff teams and fire them up for taking the next hill. Anyway these two kids needed, in my humble opinion, some motivation and inspiration. We weren't disappointed!
Crumbs! This woman's amazing!!
Debra, a non rower and her 6'5'' professional rower husband wanted to row across the Atlantic. No small task. They planned it for a couple of years and then went for it. on the first night he realises that he's actually got a phobia of open water! Can you believe it.....they'd only ever trained in Poole Harbour!
Anyway after a week he's a wreck and needs to be taken off the boast because he's having panic attacks and the whole thing. Another week later a rescue boat finally comes and picks him up but she decides to stay. She wants to carry on by herself. Long story short, three and a half months later she makes it to Barbados.
She survives storms, sharks, whales, tankers.... a non-rower rows across the Atlantic in three and a half months!
There were loads of neatly packaged lessons that can be taken out of this achievement (in addition to the old "you can do anything if you put your mind to it" which is so totally ridiculous that it's not even worth bothering to critique) but the thing that I took away was the incredible resilience of the human spirit. The ability to keep going. To not stop. To absorb pain, crushing loneliness, massive disappointment. Just incredible.
That's it really. I was just blown away.