“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven.” (John Milton)
A lot of people were mystified why, having survived but not enjoyed one ocean crossing, I would want to do another. There are many reasons why I am rowing the Pacific – first and foremost being the environmental message – but another key reason was precisely because I had such a tough time on the Atlantic. The main challenge for me was staying positive when the going was tough – all too often I spiraled into negativity. I scrabbled through, but I felt it was only right at the end that I really started to get the hang of this psychological aspect.
I learned that life is very much a matter of perception – it’s not so much what happens to you as how you choose to interpret your experiences. We’re all constantly in the process of defining ourselves according to the way we choose to perceive “reality”. This is especially true when spending three months alone on a small boat in the middle of an ocean, without much in the way of outside influence to balance the voices within.
I felt like I’d learned a lot about how not to row an ocean by getting it all wrong the first time – by allowing the negative voices more than their fair share of headspace. And that the best way to test whether I’d really learned the lessons was to put myself in the same situation but with a different mindset – with a determination to stay positive, to be kind to myself, to keep my confidence and self-belief strong, and to take it one day at a time.
And now that I am entering the last few hundred miles of my journey, I am starting to feel that I may pass the test. This voyage, although testing at times, has been a small personal triumph for me in terms of my ability to stay on an even emotional keel, so to speak. There has been less of the whinging and whining that characterized my Atlantic video diary, and I have largely avoided the rollercoaster of emotions I went through on that crossing.
But, as I well know, it ain’t over yet. If I miss Hawaii there will be some major whinging!
Position as at 2130 11th August Pacific Time, 0430 12th August UTC: 22 59.807’N, 146 44.713’W.
JUNK UPDATE: the JUNK is still chasing me but hasn’t caught up yet. I told the guys today that I’m playing hard to get. But they’re closing the gap and it’s likely we’ll meet tomorrow – if we manage to find each other in these high seas. It has been windy today and my little boat is easily hidden by the large swells. But with the aid of satellite phones and the JUNK’s radar, we are hopeful..
Click here to view Day 79 of the Atlantic Crossing 17 February 2006 – No news from Roz.
American Express members’ project is giving away 2.5 million dollars to 5 causes. Please vote for Roz – guest members can do so.
We are trying to raise funds to pay for 3 documentary films about my solo crossing of the Pacific. I have been nominated for the American Express project – sharing 2.5 million dollars between the top 5 causes.
Please read and act on the following links: http://www.membersproject.com/about/
Also, the following is a link to Roz’s Project. http://www.membersproject.com/project/view/GUMBK6 where you are allowed to vote as a guest member if you are not a member of AMEX.
The closing date is September 1st. Please help. Thanks, Rita.