It all began with a seed!
Here we are, sat in the studio of the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), nervously thinking of questions that we could be asked in our upcoming interview on our quest to row the North Atlantic Ocean. We found ourselves wondering how this all came to happen.
I’d like to tell you our story of how a tiny seed of discussion can grow into a big strong tree of action and reality
Back in the summer of this year I decided I wanted to enter an IronMan event, considering I hadn’t ran in three years, swam in three years, or rode my bike this calendar year, and not coming up with this idea until June, gave me three months to prepare for what is known as one of the hardest IronMan’s in the world. No mean feat to say the least, but one I knew I was capable of due to my previous background in all three of the above. The IronMan in context to the row, is pretty irrelevant, so I won’t go into too much detail, but it was a great success, and one in which I intend on far surpassing at next year’s IronMan Wales.
Since my preparation I felt like I was more than capable of achieving a respectable result at the IronMan, it made me question, it made me ponder, what are we really capable of? The limitations and boundaries that we set ourselves are exactly that, boundaries, so what if we set the boundary so high, that you don’t actually think you are capable of achieving the desired result.
FEAR of FAILURE!
Ultimately, the reason why we don’t chase our dreams, is because fundamentally we all have a fear of failure. My own personal fear of failure stems back to when I was in school. I remember the anxiety building up inside me when the teacher would head over to mark my work, scared to get it wrong. It’s only as grew older that I have come to understand that through failure, we learn, and we grow. I now respect failure, it’s the true mark of somebody special who can get knocked down, dust himself off, and come back stronger. We learn from failure, failure is our friend.
A rewind back to a summer’s evening, I am sat with Reece and he expresses his desire that he would like to challenge himself. I had been doing a lot of research on ultramarathon’s and found myself attracted to the sheer relentlessness of how brutal they were. I found a 200-mile ultramarathon on my doorstep, I could not believe my luck. There is absolutely no way on this planet I believe I have the strength in me to do 200 miles, so there is no way on this planet, that I could overlook such an incredibly tough event. I put forward my idea of entering the ultramarathon to Reece how we should enter, naturally, he declined. What was I thinking?
The SEED had been PLANTED.
Roll on another week, and I get a phone call. Reece is on the other end telling me about this Talisker Whiskey race across the mid-atlantic, and instantly I was sold, but I did not expect anything to materialise. I was convinced I was going to be doing the 200-mile ultramarathon, so didn’t put too much effort into my research. Reece and Dom however took it seriously. They sent off a request form for information on the race, the verdict… £20,000 entry fee. That was like an absolute smack in the face. £20,000? Where on earth do we find £20,000 for a race fee, and then everything else on top?
We needed some espirt de corps, and in steps’ Matt ‘Morale’ Mason. The only man I think I have ever seen smile when everybody else is sick. As soon as Matt got involved, everything began to snowball and gather momentum. What went from an idea in conversation, a ‘thought’ popping into Reece’s and Dom’s head whilst having a conversation one day. Turned into Matt finding the most difficult route we could think to come up with, 3700 miles from Brooklyn Bridge New Yok, to Tower Bridge London, writing up a full blown cover letter, firing off emails to the Royal Marines Charity and A Plastic Ocean’s to get them on board, emailing ambassadors, emailing newspapers, contacting company’s looking for sponsorship, throwing countless ideas our way in which to raise awareness and finances, taking days out of his weekend to go and view boats, and ultimately, getting in touch with BFBS to come on the radio show and talk about our upcoming challenge.
What we as a team have achieved in such a short period of time is nothing short of remarkable. Granted, Matt has been a huge figure in this, but all of us have had to bang our heads together and come up with ingenious ideas that could inspire many.
I want to take you on our full journey, three out of the four of us have never rowed a boat in our lives. We have no boat, no equipment, no nothing! All we have is an idea, a cover letter, an email address, and social media. You will see this journey from start to finish, and we want to show you that it is not easy. We are where we are right now due to hard work and commitment, and the only way we can get to that start line is by sticking to our values and keep moving forward in a state of continuous flow, a state of kaizen. You will see us grow as a team, see the highs, and feel the lows, see the difficulties, and the rewards. I personally, have never been so excited to embark on such a ridiculous, but incredible challenge.
The seed has been planted, now the roots are starting to grow. Follow our journey and you will see the tree blossom.