Potentially.

I hurt my shoulder and back. Not a lot. Just enough. Just enough that I've had to put the bulk of my training on hold. Just enough to potentially render me off of Daring Greatly in 2018. Potentially. I have to heal and strengthen. I have to wait and see.

My first reaction was to say, "I'm out. I am hurt. I will not jeopardize the chances of DG going for the world record." I immediately started preparing myself for the worst. Either in or out, black or white. This wishy-washy "maybe" did not sit well with me. I figured if there was any chance in hell I could row, it would suit me better to pull out entirely and then start to rebuild. Put me in last place. Put me at the bottom of the mountain. What has to be done is very clear from those vantage points. But let me assume I would heal and be better, and then NOT be...well, that just didn't seem like an option I could sit with. I am training to heal myself. In a few months time, I will reevaluate where my shoulder is and how prepared I feel I am. I am at the bottom of the mountain and I am climbing up. And for those who don't know me, up is my favorite part of hiking.

I tell family, friends, and clients this news. They are all wonderfully supportive, saying exactly the right things. But, I have a hard time hearing them. I know there is a race in 2020. I know my training time and my time away would have been hard on my family. I know they are not disappointed in me and I believe they are proud of me for what I was attempting. And, I thank each and every one for their well wishes. Thing is, I still really want to row. 

And, this is where the revelations begin. In a way, I am already crossing the Pacific. We all are. We all are dealing with what life throws at us. Trying to live with grace and beauty as best we can. Trying to temper the storms. Taking one step at a time, one stroke at a time, just moving in the right direction. I focus on my mental game now that my physical game has been sidetracked some. I sit with it- expecting the unexpected. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable- silly me, I was thinking about cold weather, rogue waves, and bad food. The uncomfortable is not simply physical now- it's mental and it is embodied by the word, "potentially." Potentially out of the race.

The Great Pacific Race is what I have been doing. It has been such a focus this last year- and promised to continue to be. I felt quite unmoored last week when I blew out my shoulder- my focus, my compass, my North Star was suddenly gone. "What the hell am I going to do?" Train as I can when I can? Love on my kids more given some of my newfound free time? Go about my business as if all will be well and I will row? Yes, yes, and yes. I will do all of those things, but my original question was larger than that. It was the $64,000 question- why am I here? How can I help? So I research more on the International Refugee Committee here in Silver Spring and I contemplate how to get involved. And I go for a run and a ride, but I only row for a bit...

And, then yesterday I notice how quiet everything seems. This last week, I have not posted about the race. I have not talked about it much. I have not met someone new who heard about it and wanted to learn more. These talks with perfect strangers have been THE best thing about my participation in the race so far. I have met so many fantastic people- have connected with young and older people of all backgrounds about the craziness of rowing 2400 miles, and, more importantly, about being alive and passionate about SOMETHING. About making a difference. About chasing a dream.

So I do not know if I will row in the 2018 Great Pacific Race. But, I do know this race has already taught me a ton about myself and has helped me get reacquainted with other parts of myself (Did I really think I wasn't a competitive person anymore?). This race has also confirmed just how great my kids are. When they heard I pulled myself out of the race for the time being, they all expressed their sorrow- they know how much I want to do this. True, they all like the idea of having mama around more now, and next June and July...but they were all willing to deal with my absence and help each other out. Damn. 

One step at a time. One stroke at a time. Up the mountain to recovery. Across the ocean. Potentially.