Show/Hide Navigation

Dedication is What You Do When Nobody is Watching

Dedication is what you do when no-one is watching

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.

Read Comments

You might also like

What is Stopping us Living Adventurously? Fear? Over recent days I’ve been asking a series of questions on social media to try to figure out what is stopping people from living as adventurously as they might wish to do, and exploring whether — at its heart — […]...
How to Improve your Email Newsletter I’ve been half-heartedly sending email newsletters for 17 years. But only recently have I started to make a real effort to make them good (do you subscribe? If not, you probably should). In order to learn what my audience was […]...
Bavarian Microadventure – with a difference I was worried, eight years ago, when I first began sleeping on local hills and swimming in rivers to get my prescribed dose of adventure. I had just, barely, hardly, got to a point where I felt confident that enough […]...


  1. You rowed to France? Wow! That is utterly incredible! I thought about getting into rowing. I love boats and my fave machine at the gym was always the I would find rowing for one day a big challenge – I can’t imagine rowing for 60 days straight. I have so much admiration for you! It sounds silly in comparison, but I felt a huge sense of achievement just from doing a 104 mile cross country walk over 10 consecutive days. That was my biggest challenge to date. I am always looking for new challenges but I’m so impressed by yours! Wow. Just Wow.



Post a Comment

HTML tags you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

© Copyright 2012 Alastair Humphreys. All rights reserved. Site design by JSummerton