There are days I truly believe the hardest part about this race is what is happening now- the incessant juggling of training and fundraising, of working and family time, of finding a way to make all of this just "fit."
I say I want the rigid schedule of life on board a 23' row boat- 2 hours on, 2 hours off. Everyone has a job to do, everyone does it. There is no need for a ride here or a pick up there. No one has missed the bus, no one forgot an assignment. Clients don't cancel and the greatest worry is the spouse took the wrong car and I have to train without weights and a mat. From here, life on the boat seems predictable - row, eat, sleep, repeat.
Except, of course, when the weather turns and the swells become impossibly large. Or when food packed "watertight" comes out of storage fully soaked in saltwater. Or when sleep deprivation and monotony threaten to make even the nicest, most even keeled person a short-tempered asshole. Except, except, except, repeat. And I am just speculating here.
So, yes I try to keep these blogs positive but, there are negatives. And, at times, the negatives seem to have an upper-hand. Am I doing the right thing? Will my desire to be an example to my kids of setting a goal and working one's butt off to achieve it be worth it? Will they "see" that? Or will they just remember that I am on my erg a lot? That I am on my computer too much because I suck at social media and everything takes me too long! Do they know that I miss them already?
I have often said I have little use for the concept of guilt. I feel I do the best I can at what I do- I fail miserably at times, but I usually accept failure if I gave it my best shot. So, I am not sure if what I suffer from some days is guilt- but I think it may be. I feel bad when I am not available to my children when I feel they need me. No, I do not want to be a helicopter mom and no I do not think I am SO important that it is only I who can be there for them- but there are times I WANT to be there, I WANT to listen, I WANT to help- but they never need me at convenient times!! Crisis and deep talks do not happen on schedule! And, as I sit here typing, hidden away in the corner of my basement, I realize this is an integral part of my training.
You take a Type A person and put her in a boat with 3 other, most likely, Type A people and you add an ocean in for good measure and how much convenience do you think will be out there? How much control? How much will "go as planned?" So, how I deal now with my wanting to be where I can't be, will surely be put to the test later. Every single thing I do seems to be part of my training. And that is fantastic and utterly exhausting- again, part of the training.
When I first signed up for this race I had to answer a question regarding how competitive I thought I was on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most competitive. I answered a 7. My friends and family laughed. They said I was an 11. In my core I felt I just wanted to do a good job; that I wasn't that competitive anymore. Then I heard that there was going to be a woman's boat going after the world record. I quickly told the race director, Chris, that I was an 8...no 9...hell, an 11. I wanted to be in the fast boat. He put me in it.
And now I am alternately incredibly jazzed and incredibly overwhelmed. In my heart of hearts, I have faith that I will be an asset to my team. I believe I will row across the Pacific Ocean. But, ask me to boost my social media contacts into quadruple numbers and run a successful crowdfunding campaign and I waiver. How can it be that I find getting enough "likes" more daunting than the idea of rowing 2400 miles across the ocean? How can it take me more time to write a blog (which is actually my favorite part of sitting at my computer) than to put in a full training session? How come this part is so hard for me when I truly believe in what I am doing and why I am doing it?
So, my friends, I grapple daily with the personal and the practical. Will I ever figure out how to train the hours I need and also sit on the edges of my kids' beds, waiting in the silence of the night, for them to open up and tell me what has put them in such funky moods? Will I be able to raise the money I need to get on the water? Will I find that balance of control and going with the flow?
This race is all about the process and I often say I am more process than goal oriented. That may be true, but let me tell you, I am chest deep in process right now and it is both exhilarating and a royal pain in the ass.