Insights from the Captain

This is a reprint of the email update Captain Bryan Fuller sends out to his team of incredible supporters. Sign up for the newsletter to be a part of this exciting adventure.

This last week, we brought in our fourth and final rower, Klara Anstey, 51-year-old mother of two from Wales. Klara is an accomplished rower having done a lot of open water in and around England and up and down the Thames. She even has a 7:40 2K time. She is very well connected to the rowing community in and around London and even has friends on the BBC. I have put her in charge of the welcome committee and overseas press. (I know, I know, brilliant thinking Bryan how do you come up with these ideas again and again?)

The most common question I get about this row is ‘what am I doing for training’. Anyone who comes in to work out at Power Rowing sees 90% of it. The rest consists of a layer of marbling from second breakfast and supper. The row really isn’t about how athletic you are, though all four of us are fitness junkies. This row is almost all mental as evidenced by the fact that it is being taken on by two mothers in their 40’s and 50’s, a doctor in his 50’s, and me who no one will mistake from Olympian. The challenge isn’t physical. It’s getting up every two hours while you are tired, hungry, nauseous, cold, wet and not only rowing your shift, but picking up your teammates who are also feeling the same. It’s the vast openness knowing there is literally nothing for hundreds of miles. It’s watching the miles click away one after another, turning every 15 minutes if we are lucky. It’s knowing that any minor storm, that we would care less about in homes in Brookline, could be a life-or-death situation. But, it’s that very challenge that drives us to do something like this.

Speaking of mothers, my birth mother (yes I have a mother) is coming out to see me launch. I just found out today. I haven’t seen her in over a decade. It’s crazy how life just gets away from you. She’s retired living in Costa Rica. In addition, my adoptive mother (yes, I have two, doesn’t everyone), is flying to England to see me land. All you have to do is row across a little ocean to get your moms’ attention. (I am sure Cheryl will have something to say about this.)

By the time you read this, we will have about 77 days left. It seems like a lot, but it will come up fast. I have been trying to keep the whiteboard updated. I feel a little like School House Rock, Lucky Seven, “multiply 7 times 11, even a rabbit knows that’s 70 plus 7” in my penmanship. (How apropos that Seven is a cool white rabbit?). But, I have so much to do, writing newsletters, stories, app development, ordering medals, installing seats, entreating sponsors to support us, making videos for PR, t-shirts/patches, ballast the boat, painting, getting new oars, ordering food, cold water training, and prepare for speaking engagements. I am speaking at the Winthrop Yacht Club on the 27th and the Harvard Travelers Club on the 9th of April. (I am available to cure insomnia if you have a school/group/club that is interested)…and finally pack the boat on the 5th of May during our fundraiser at Power Rowing. (more on that in the future)

Some of you have reached out to me on Facebook or Instagram and haven’t received a response. I haven’t all of a sudden gotten too big for my britches. Quite the contrary, or actually, I have been putting on weight for the row and I am big for my britches, but it doesn’t sound right. (back on the subject) I was kicked off of Facebook/Instagram for not meeting Community Standards, which sounds sort of like, what did Bryan say. But, if anyone knows me online, I am pretty PC. It took some research to find out what standards I broke, but the standard isn’t what you might expect. I was kicked off for not not being of 13 years of age. Someone in Vietnam at 3 AM on a Sunday night a couple of weeks ago filed a complaint that I was underage. Meta immediately cancelled all of my accounts, Power Rowing, Border Rowers, my contacts, my sponsors, pictures, memories…all gone. There is no appeal process. Thanks Mark Z.

As we get closer, I will try to put out an email every 10 days or so to keep up with any questions you might have. The next email, I will lay out the disposition of the gym in my absence. Not surprisingly, I have a plan…and it involves you rowing, probably in teams, and possibly for charity…against me.



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