I think about this race every day. Every single day. It is usually the first thing I think about when I wake up and often the last thing before I fall asleep.
I think about the ocean. The massive expanse of it- the pitch and roll, the benevolence and the violence of it. I think about the smell of it in my nostrils and the sound of the wind and the waves in my ears and rattling through my body.
I think about getting to a place where the only things that matter are rowing, eating, drinking, and sleeping. Where everything is pared down to what is utterly necessary. I think about letting go of everything else. Decision making is reserved for the best route to take, which knot to employ, how to bear the burden of rowing 12 hours a day with hands shredded by rowing 12 hours a day.
But, mostly I think about whether or not I will, in fact, row. Will my body heal with enough time to get in the training I need to carry me across an ocean? I have tried to put the goal of rowing on the back burner- to train as I can, to get comfortable with the uncomfortable fact that my future as an ocean rower is still unknown. I am trying to just go about my business. My oldest daughter calls me out. "What are you doing? You talk about rowing all the time. Are you doing this or not?" "I don't know yet, " I answer. She is her mother's daughter and the not knowing doesn't sit well with her either.
I want to row.
Sorry Mom and Dad- I know the thought of me crossing an ocean in a 23 foot boat makes you very uncomfortable. But, the thought of not doing so makes me very uncomfortable! So, I will continue to train as I can, will my shoulder to continue healing, and do what I can to get to California next May to start the Great Pacific Race 2018. I want to row.