Well I didn’t think I’d be writing this again….
Last week it looked like our row might have been over. We wouldn’t make the start line, we wouldn’t row to Hawaii and we wouldn’t get the chance to raise as much money for the charities and causes we are supporting. We also wouldn’t become the first crew of three to ever row the mid-Pacific.
My emotions about it were all over the place, I’d put everything into this row over the past 9 months, I’d been kicked out of one crew due to my limited flat water rowing experience, I’d gone through months of trying to sort another crew, and spent hours and hours training in the gym and on the water. I wasn’t prepared to fail this close to the start line, I felt that if we didn’t make it I was letting everyone down that had supported me, and worst of all, everyone who had told me I couldn’t do this would have been right.
What had happened? One of our crew stepped away with no warning due to unforeseen circumstances. One day we were a crew, the next day we weren’t. Communications went south and Megan and I were left in limbo. We were 8 weeks out from the start line with a huge amount of money still to raise, a boat that had been packed and was on the way to be shipped and no idea if we would even be in California to meet it. You put so much trust into people when you sign up for an adventure like this, you are responsible for each other’s lives when out on the boat, and you trust that you will all be on that start line together. All of mine and Megan’s hard work and dreams could be over for the foreseeable future due to something completely out of our control.
But as someone said to me, there are people in the world who talk and there are people in the world who just do. Thankfully, Megan and I are the latter, and in the world championships of stubbornness would be guaranteed a gold medal, so we started to make plans. We spoke to the race director and confirmed that worst case scenario we could row in a pair. In a boat designed to be rowed by four this wouldn’t be ideal, but it would be one hell of an adventure. There was no doubt about it, we were going to get to Hawaii. Ideally, we needed a third person, and we needed that third person fast. We’d had a reserve list of people who were interested in rowing so we crafted an email and sent it out, sure that these girls would have made other plans given the proximity of the start line. And then we sat there with fingers and toes crossed and waited. Well… waited in between sending sponsorship emails, doing yachtmaster offshore theory and lifting really heavy things.
What happened next made the last 9 months all worth it, there was more than one person who wanted to row, had complete belief in what we had worked hard for over the past few months and was in a realistic position to do so. Megan and I have laughed more in the last week than we have in months – it was never an option for either of us to stop and this situation has bought out the best in us.
I'm so excited that our reserve rower Eleanor is able to row and we have confirmed with her joining the crew of Pacific Terrific! The crew is back to a three, the records are back on track and we will be rowing to Hawaii in two months time!