You can see ROZ’S ROUTE here. Each dot links to the blog from that day. 160 nautical miles to go. (This may be updated as the day goes on.)
Guest Blog: I couldn’t do what I do without the dedicated support of “Team Roz”, the small collection of incredible individuals who day in, day out, help keep the show on the road. This year one in particular has stood out for her unwavering enthusiasm and dedication. Sandra Vaughn is passionate about helping people strategically develop their own dreams with over 20 years of experience in project management, PR, and marketing. Her gift is the ability to see and develop the strengths, gifts, and talents of the individuals, teams, and projects she works with. She has a new book coming out in 2012, “Strategic Planning to Develop Your Dreams”. Here, Sandra shares her uplifting story, and provides information on how to stay connected by joining me on a variety of social media platforms, campaigns, tours, interviews, as our team prepares to celebrate the end of this year’s epic voyage.
After lifesaving surgery and 9 months of intensive ‘torturous’ physical therapy, I learned how to walk again. Two years later, I completed a marathon, exhausted beyond measure with screaming muscles that I didn’t even know existed. Even so, my spirit was on cloud nine and soaring; I was deliriously happy at the thought of how far I had come. Two years earlier I had survived a serious neck injury which left me temporarily paralyzed on my right side and in a wheelchair.
Now, each year I celebrate my ability to walk by completing a 26 Mile Hike Marathon. I returned home from the hike to a voice mail full of messages. The first message was from a dear friend; “Have you heard of Roz Savage? You have to check this woman out! I emailed you an article about her – she SOLO ROWED the Pacific Ocean. AND the Atlantic, too! Really, no motor, no sail, and without a rowing team. Check it out. Give me a call; I want to hear about the hike.”
I had never heard of anyone r-o-w-i-n-g an ocean. Suddenly, my aching muscles didn’t seem to ache quite as bad. How does someone solo ROW an ocean? I read the article about Roz and, like many others, I was inspired by her amazing feat, her journey, and the compelling story of how she came to row oceans. After she had obtained a prestigious law degree, marriage, chased the material dream, bought the home and sports car, and spent 11 years working in London as a management consultant, she still felt like something important was missing in her life.
Roz sat down one day and wrote out two obituaries. The first one she wrote was what she wanted her friends and family to remember her by. She thought of the obituaries that she enjoyed reading of the people she admired. “They were the adventurers and risk-takers, the people who seemed to have lived many lifetimes in one, the people who had tried lots of things, some of them successes, some of them spectacular failures, but at least they’d had the guts to try”, she thought. The second version was, “the obituary that I was heading for – a conventional, ordinary life – pleasant and with its moments of excitement, but always within the safe confines of normality.”
The difference between the two was startling to Roz and clearly she realized she had to make some changes.
Begin with the end in mind.
Having almost arrived at my own obituary two years earlier – as I read Roz’s story, I thought what a brilliant idea; as Stephen Covey would say Roz began with the end in mind. I recalled the night my neurosurgeon stood in my hospital room explaining my options and risks; 1) I could die in surgery (and had to sign a release acknowledging that fact), 2) I could wake up paralyzed from the neck down, 3) take the chance he would fix me, 4) or not have the surgery and eventually be permanently paralyzed with a short life expectancy. I faced my own mortality that night and it changed my life forever. I laid there thinking about all the things I’d done in my life, all the things I wanted to do, and wondered if I had made enough substantial memories to leave my young children and loved ones with in case this was my curtain call.
Everyone around me kept saying, “I wonder what incredible things you’re going to do with your life now.” I’d smile at the thought, but had absolutely no idea what it would be. Finally, I sat down and wrote out Roz’s ‘two obituary exercise’ and one of the things it helped me to realize was I didn’t want to continue exhausting my energies and using my skills leading and managing projects that only focused on monetary profits without assessing the damage it could cause to people’s health, the environment, and our quality of life. Instead, I wanted to use my skills to help others realize and reach their dreams. I sent Roz a note congratulating her on accomplishing the Pacific Ocean Row and offered my assistance if she needed it. I heard from Roz within a few days. She informed me that she wanted to row the Indian Ocean in 2011 and I signed on as a member of Team Roz.
What will your legacy be?
Roz inspires me. It’s not easy to talk about Roz and not make her sound like a super hero or a fictional character – after all she has solo rowed the oceans and to put this feat in perspective, women were not even allowed to participate in a marathon event in the Olympics until 1984. As the months passed by, I came to know the woman behind the awards, titles, and super hero status. She is a person just like you and me who decided one day to use her life to make a difference and she realized her dream by taking one oar stroke at a time. When Roz set out to row the Atlantic, they said she was crazy. “She is only 5’ 4”; she isn’t tall enough or strong enough to row an ocean.” But at last, after rowing 15,000 miles, spending over 500 days at sea, and making over 5 million oar strokes, Roz Savage is about to accomplish her goal and set a world record as the first woman to row the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. More importantly to Roz, she dedicated her life to a cause that is bigger than a super hero title and vital to our existence. It is her mission to show that each one of us has a role in creating our collective future. Just like her oar-strokes, many tiny actions add up to a big achievement. Roz has proven that anybody can achieve the extraordinary. She illustrates beautifully a favorite quote by my dear friend and former colleague, Bob Moawad. “You can’t leave footprints in the sands of time if you’re sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?” Have you thought about the legacy you will leave? Every choice you make in life and how it impacts the people around you and the environment you live in IS what your legacy will be.
Write out two obituaries, the one you’re headed for and the one you want to be read about your life. I won’t promise you that it will make you an ocean rower, but it will definitely open your eyes, bring clarity to your vision, and launch you on the path toward living the life of your dreams.
It’s time to Celebrate!
We’re busy planning for Roz’s Indian Ocean landfall. Destination Mauritius! There is much to be done. We are excited and we’d love for everyone to celebrate with us. Have you told your friends about Roz? It’s time to spread the word, gather your friends, and join us in celebrating as Roz rows ashore.
We’re creating a special surprise for Roz. And, we need your help.
We’d love to know:
1) How did you come to learn about Roz Savage?
2) What’s your favorite memory or highlight of her ocean rowing career?
3) Did she inspire you? How so? Write a short 250 words or less and tell us about it. (Post it in a comment below.)
Roz will be retiring her oars following this historic Indian Ocean row. But, she’s not retiring from using her life to make a positive difference. She has some exciting new announcements to make soon. Stay connected by joining Roz on the links below.
Join Roz on Facebook (here).
Sign up for the blog to be emailed to you, sign up on the website here.
Follow Roz on Twitter here. and she’ll follow you back (here).
Help Roz ban plastic bags from the Olympic Games 2012 by signing this petition here.
If you’d like to have Roz as a guest on your show or would like to interview Roz, schedule it here .
If you’d like to schedule Roz for your next event as a speaker or to host a great adventure, contact us here.
Tour Schedule: If you’d like to meet Roz in your city, stay tuned for Tour dates and times.
Roz is actively seeking sponsorship. If you’re interested, you can find out the opportunities for corporate sponsorship here.
Sponsored Miles: thanks go to: Pamela Adams, Stephanie Batzer, Jeffrey Green, Brian Smith, Tamara Fogg. Also to Kenny Runnderduck and Linda Leinen.