It was the year 2000, I was 33 years old, and I seemed to have the perfect life. I had a job, a husband, a home, a little red sports car.
In theory, I should have been happy.
Fast forward to March 2006. I am 38, divorced, homeless, and alone in a tiny rowing boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. My last hot meal was two months ago, before my camping stove broke. My stereo is bust. I’ve had no human contact since my satellite phone stopped working several weeks ago. All four of my oars are broken and I’ve had to patch them up with duct tape and makeshift splints. I have tendonitis in my shoulders and saltwater sores on my backside.
I have battled twenty-foot waves, sleep deprivation, self-doubt and depression. But I have never been happier.
They said I was crazy. They said I wasn’t big enough, not tall enough, not strong enough.
But at last, after three thousand miles and 103 days at sea, I am about to accomplish my goal. I am proving that anybody can achieve the extraordinary, if only they have enough guts and determination and sheer bloody-mindedness to see it through.
I am realizing my dream, one stroke at a time.
Rowing the Atlantic was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I had ever done. I’d wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and that, by definition, is an uncomfortable place to be. Physically, it was tough, but psychologically it was even tougher. The ocean is scary and it’s daunting and most of the time I wanted to give up.
But no matter how hard it got, I always believed that the only thing worse than carrying on would be to quit.
I believe that if you don’t keep pushing the boundaries, keep expanding your comfort zone, your comfort zone actually gets smaller and smaller, until you’re shrink-wrapped in such a tiny comfort zone that you can't move, you can't achieve anything, you can't grow. And so I keep pushing, keep developing, keep evolving. I keep showing what an ordinary person can do when they put their hearts and minds and souls into it.
That is why, having rowed the Atlantic, I’m taking on the Pacific.
Want to learn more? Visit my Web site and listen to my appearances on The Growing Bolder Radio Show!