The last time I put to sea was with an injured soldier. Phil and I rowed together from England to France. Written on the boat were the words “Dedication is What You Do When Nobody is Watching”. It’s a saying that will serve me well crossing the Atlantic.
There will be four of us out there, thousands of miles from land in a little pea green boat. Two hours of rowing, two hours break, two hours rowing. Repeat for as long as it takes to strike land on the far side. We anticipate that will be somewhere between 45 and 60 days.
If you are rowing solo the equations are very simple: row harder = go faster. Rest and relax = stay still. The choice is yours. You will only reach the end when you have earned the end. In a team of four it is different. There is scope to not pull with all your might. You can not bother to repair something because someone else will do it eventually. You can give less than your all and still reach the finish line.
I know that at times I will be tired or demoralised. My arse will hurt (indeed I am still in a lot of pain from this) and the end will seem far off. I will be at sea with three virtual strangers. I know that our bond will grow into a strong team willing to help each other and work hard for each other. But before we arrive at that stage my motivation must really just be for myself. To do the job properly, to arrive on the far side satisfied that I gave my all and not to have any lingering feelings that I took the easy route at any time.
The video below is an excellent demonstration of this idea. Put your heart and soul into what you do, at all times, everywhere. Dance like nobody’s watching.