16 Months To Go – What’s The Plan From Here?

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It’s been a year since I fully decided to row across the Atlantic Ocean and began to tell people close to me what I was planning. Once I said it out loud then it became real. The thought went from an intuitive sense that I *had* to do this to a plan of action. And telling people was my first step. The first six months of that process were all over the place. First, given the option of 2017 or 2015 I thought 2015 was too soon and I chose 2017. Then, after doing some research I changed my mind and decided that 2015 would be better than 2017. Then, the race changed their format to make it annual and a new option of 2016 opened up to me. I could feel that 2016 was probably a very good option for me, but I’d already started my campaign for 2015 and I thought I might as well try. If I could get all the sponsorship required to launch out to sea, then I certainly would. No time like the present. But, as time went on and my campaign learning curve proved quite steep, it was clear to me that aiming for 2016 was a much better option.

Looking back at emails, I see that I confirmed with the race organizers that I was deferring to 2016 at the end of May. It feels like so much longer ago than that. June was a terrible month (my dad died). And even at the best of times July and August tend to be black holes of productivity, never mind when you’re dealing with the emotional aftermath of a parent dying. So, I feel like I’m right at the beginning of this journey. Exactly one year has passed since I began to approach people (namely the Canadian Blood Services) about undertaking this endeavour. I’ve learned a lot and now I’m ready to begin again.

I made a few mistakes to start out with. I got a little too focused on possible sponsors that I thought would be perfect and would highly benefit from getting involved. I spent a lot of time on them and when they ultimately said no, then I realized that I let a lot of time slip by without multi-tasking on other potential sponsorship partners. All the experience I had in trying and not quite getting has been really valuable and I’ll be able to use that experience moving forward.

Also, something that’s different from last year is that I have something super exciting to tell people about. Yes, I am rowing across the ocean at the end of 2016. That’s pretty damn exciting, but for some it’s a bit too far away to take as real just yet. However, in 3 months time I am taking on a huge challenge and making a big deal event out of it. I’m rowing a Concept2 indoor rower “continuously” (allowed 10 minute rest per hour) to break the world record for Longest Continual Row of 80 hours. That’s 3 days and 8 hours. Preparing for this extreme physical and mental challenge has been perfect for me. It’s given me something important to focus on and work towards while practically preparing my body and mind for the ultimate challenge, the ocean row. It’s happening at the end of November 2015 and I’ll tell you more about it once I get a few more details solidified. I have the start time decided, but I just need to confirm the location and then I’ll tell you everything. 🙂

So even though I’m essentially starting a brand new campaign, I feel like I’ve got a really solid base of learning and a fantastic spring board with this record attempt.

September always feels like a new year to me. It’s that feeling of going back to school, getting focused, and starting fresh. That new year is just around the corner and I am excited about embarking on a new beginning.

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