Getting Ready to Row Across the Atlantic and Set a Record

I have been watching this TV show called, “For All Mankind” and, I can’t recommend it enough. (Apple TV+ ) I have been glued to the screen. Something about it captured my interest and I couldn’t put my finger on it until the other day. For those that don’t know, the show is an examination of what the world would be like if America lost the race to the Moon. It’s a fascinating look on how everything would have changed everywhere. America would have been psychologically broken if it happened and this show examines just that. That isn’t the part that gets me, but I needed to explain the premise to share how it impacts me. Going to space and the Moon in particular, you don your helmet, strap in, and are launched. From that moment on, the journey is somewhat out of your hands. How does this relate me..

In 100 days, I am going to clip myself into the boat, don my life preserver, and push off. Like NASA, we check, recheck, and check again to make sure the safest of standards are met and just like a lunar trip when you shove off you are left waiting for the unknown to happen. 

People often ask about food, water, bathroom, and the time they expect us to land, but the question that almost no one ever asks is aren’t you worried that once you push off from shore you are on your own if something happens. The unsaid answer is…More than I care to admit.

I often catch myself staring at the ceiling at night and wondering what I have got myself into. Am I going to forget something, some system, some intricate detail, and a crisis will occur and that’s all on me; these people are literally putting their lives in my hands. Instead of a sea of empty space, we will be in a vast empty inhospitable ocean. Instead of a spacecraft, our small boat will propel us off into the unknown.

Actually, it isn’t much different in size to an Apollo capsule; and getting separated from it is also the most dangerous thing we can do. Will a wave roll us, will a boat bump us, will something happen that I have no control over, the inevitable answer is yes. This brings me to the right question, why?

Why would I want to do this?

The answer is a bit hard to explain. To attempt a one-word answer would belie the complexity of the question. The easy answer is rowing is my life and when you pursue your dreams you pursue them with all the zest of being alive gives you. There would be a lot of truth to this, but it wouldn’t be the whole truth. You can add in a smattering of fame, money (if we ever find that amazing sponsor), glory, and none of these would be totally wrong or right. I would still do it if I didn’t make a dollar and no one ever knew about it. Part of the reason has to be hidden in an ego-driven by the possibilities, can it be done, can we break the record, can we be in the Guinness? But, ego alone wouldn’t push me to do this. There is a much simpler answer. 

We are a 100 days away from launch and part of me suffers the loss of the next hundred days as much as I relish the opportunity to challenge myself for the next 50 after that. When you hit 50, people often say, well you are in midlife, like 100 is available to us all. But, more astutely, even if there were as many day left as there are counted, they wouldn’t be the same kind of days. I am a firm believer that we age in chunks. When I turned 40, I was essentially still 35 and I stayed like that same 35-year-old until I was about 51, and then things started to happen. Your body all of sudden starts to have problems. Maybe you have a heart issue, vascular, joint, cancer, or even mind issues. Everyone over 50 has had some one of these issues and everyone over 50 will probably tell you that midlife probably happened a long time ago only your body hasn’t fully caught up yet. As far as health goes, I have been truly blessed, but to say even I haven’t seen the handwriting on the wall would be denial. I am stepping out into the vast unknown because I don’t know how many more times I will be able to step out in to the vast unknown. I don’t know how many more times life will give me this opportunity. I do know that the sum of my fears doesn’t outweigh the sum of my fortunes and I am seeking my fortunes.

I am doing it for my ego, my business, my bottom line, my marketing, and most of all, I am doing it for all of you out there — those who may never have the opportunity to put your life on the line in pursuit of a tiny bit of glory. I very much want to share my experience with you, every step of the way. This is my gift to all of you. The good days, the bad, the tough and even dangerous moments. They will be ours to share.

Upcoming events:

May 5th Fundraiser at Power Rowing
I am bringing the boat down to the back lot at 62 Harvard Street to people to climb on board and just imagine for a moment that the boat is rocking in 20-foot swells while a huge grey whale comes along side. Inside Power Rowing, we will have refreshments and an equipment check. We will give a brief presentation and answer any questions you might have. We may have a silent auction and will definitely have of all our equipment on display.

May 11th, 24-hour row, 12 out and 12 back
This will be a
rehearsal row where we try and get out any of the kinks before our final launch.

June 1, Soft launch
We will row down the Charles taking lots of pictures and video before landing at Spaulding Medical Center at 10 AM for our formal launch party. Mayor Wu will be on hand as well as many of the City Council, Veteran’s Affairs, and senior management of Spaulding. I will give a brief speech where I thank all of you, talk about the importance of community and building a tomorrow together. I will put on my life vest, clip in my harness, and shove off. We will paddle off into distant seas growing smaller as the vast unknown grows larger and emptier. 

Thank you all so much for making this dream of mine into a reality. It means the world to me. You mean the world to me. 

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