This is my second year competing in the Concept 2 January virtual rowing challenge as a member of Team Ariel Toy. After my success last year, and with 52 weeks of additional training under my belt, I have set a pretty outrageous goal for myself, to row one million meters by January 31. To give you a sense about the size of this undertaking, it takes about 45 minutes to erg ten thousand meters. Yesterday marked the completion of day four.
You may ask, as I sometimes do, why would anyone subject themselves to something so time consuming and physically painful? The short answer is, that in 2010 completing the January virtual challenge motivated me for the entire year.
It is a bit of a heroes journey that requires epic proportions to be compelling enough to drive one deep into potentially dangerous, yet ultimately fertile, virgin psychic landscapes. When completely engaged in surviving a confrontation with the arch enemies of dis-empowering truths, or other worldly creatures of pain, a space is created in which to consider, the otherwise never imaginable.
Ok, maybe these efforts aren’t so noble. After all, I am not finding a cure for cancer, or creating world peace. Yet, every time I say yes to myself in a way that defies limiting beliefs, I know in my heart that I am doing this on behalf of everyone who has ever doubted their abilities or worthiness. If my heart beats with success does it not remind all hearts to do likewise? Perhaps overcoming the odds to achieve this, may mean that other loftier goals in real life are possible. And I must say in the long run, it does create an abundance of peace and happiness in me that I am much more inclined to share.
Everyday brings a new challenge – and that is the best part. Determined to do what I have set out to accomplish, I must come up with ever increasing creativity to reinforce the container of positive thought. If you snuck up on me, you might find me blissfully rowing, slow and steady with the Dalai Lama chanting in my ear. At other times, you would hear me singing rock anthems at the top of my lungs, or gospel with Kirk Franklin.
Many miles are passed, simply reflecting on the qualities of light that move across our yard, in the course of a day. There are moments when I am completely focused on the snack I will have when I am finished, or reciting the names of women rowers who have overcome far more than I will ever know.
The first two days brought a new batch of extremely painful blisters to my left hand. My beloved suggested electrical tape, which combined with a thin gauze strip and bicycle gloves did do the trick. Suiting up to row, is like putting on my armor, and seeing my fingers covered in black tape reminds me that if I could do what was expected of me last time it may be possible again.
Splitting the workouts in two, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon allows for recovery time. The first two days, that consisted of two advil, and a nap in my PJ’s, while completely ignoring my mom. Now I am able to go out to run errands, or focus on other things in between my “shifts” on the erg.
To accomplish this task I am forced to do more, far more than I have yet to believe myself capable of. This morning I am not as stiff as yesterday and with four days under my belt, I can now settle into the flow of routine. And yes there is still a long long way to go, but as each uniquely independent meter passes, I become aware that it is one less, that remains.
132,195m and counting…..
Isn’t there some challenge dear friend, that you have always longed to rise to?