There are some days when it’s easy to be motivated, when I’m raring to go, when I feel as if I could row forever.
And then there are days like today.
Maybe I tempted fate this morning when I was recording the podcast with Leo and he asked me about motivation. I breezily said how much easier I’m finding it this time around, having the audiobooks to keep me entertained, and also having had the Atlantic experience that has given me a number of tools in my psychological toolkit for when the going gets tough.
Well (sigh) I was really put to the test today. The conditions were the roughest they’ve been in several weeks, which made it impossible to row neatly. It was a case of bashing along and trying to stick a stroke in where I could – and this always makes the time drag.
But there was more to it than that. I put it down to having just passed the big milestone of 130 degrees West, and just after a success is often the hardest time to get motivated. You’ve been all excited about your achievement, and there’s a bit of a post-success slump when you have to set yourself a new goal to aim for, but the new one seems so distant when compared with the immediacy of the one you’ve just passed.
I had fallen into what Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance calls a “gumption trap”. I felt weary, and bored, and demotivated. I was totally gump-less.
So I pulled out the old Atlantic psychological toolkit. I bribed myself with extra rations. I changed the edifying audiobook 1491 for the escapism of a novel. I took a post-lunch siesta. And I set myself a more immediate, interim target that I should be able to reach within the next few days.
And it pretty much worked. I didn’t row quite as many hours as usual, but I achieved about 80%. And most importantly, I’m not beating myself up over it. There are bound to be days when I feel like this. Any challenge is, well, challenging, and gumption traps happen.
The thing is to carry on doing my best – and to accept that on some days my best will be better than on others. And tomorrow’s another day.
Position at 2130 17th July Pacific Time, 0430 18th July UTC: 25 21.109’N, 132 22.819’W.
All kinds of weather today – sun, rainclouds (but barely any rain), rainbows – and lots of wind, fortunately coming from the right direction.
I saw my first flying fish today – a tiddler of about 1 inch that hit me in the side of the head while I was rowing. I would have taken a photo, but I wanted to get the poor little fellow back in the water asap, just in case he had any chance of survival. He didn’t look too lively though. Maybe he was scared to death – either by whatever creature had induced him to fly out of the water, or by unexpectedly finding himself on the deck of a small ocean rowboat.
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Hello and thank you to all who write in and/or lend their support to my venture – today especially to Sindy Davis. And to Chris Martin for the laugh! John H – I watched the movie Deep Water last year – made me cry. Fascinating story, and well told in the film. Comments on my visor – a gift from my friend Mariya, courtesy of the Kailua Canoe Club. I may not be there yet, but I’ve got the headgear already! Hi to Greg K. Thanks, Chuck, for your concern about my weight – but I really don’t think I’ve lost any. Those chubby cheeks are still there!
Owww. Must go. I need somewhere more comfortable to sit to write my blogs! Like a nice dry study somewhere..
Some extracts from a press release by BLUE Project:
Sport met environment at the launch event of the BLUE Climate and Oceans exhibition at Westminster yesterday as Olympic Minister, the Rt. Hon Tessa Jowell MP and the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP both made pledges to be BLUE.
The exhibition which was attended by ministers, sustainable energy business leaders, Olympic representatives and sports ambassadors focused on how sport can be a mechanism to engage with people to actively care about sustaining our water environments.
One of the big project ideas to engage our communities that was showcased at the exhibition called The BLUE? Mile, is a mass participation event designed to bring together our coastal communities in the UK on a huge scale to celebrate our natural resources. Inspired by the need to leave a wide-spread environmental legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is hoped that this event will become part of the Cultural Olympiad towards 2012.
Speaking at the launch event Hilary Benn said: “It’s astonishing what you have achieved, with initiatives like this that get people involved we have a better chance of making sure that we live in harmony with the Earth, whether on the green of the land or the blue of the sea.”
Tessa Jowell said: “By 2012 this has the potential to be engaging 100,000’s of children all over the world and I feel privileged to witness the beginning. It’s such a pleasure to be here today and I’m looking forward to competing my BLUE mile next year.”
Rob Gauntlet, youngest Everest climber and 180 Degree Pole to Pole adventurer said: “This project is young, fresh, ambitious and adventurous. Instead of just discussing the issues, the project gets people directly involved.”
Click here to see Day 54 of the Atlantic Crossing January 23, 2005. Questions, Questions – and some answers.