Sunday, August 17, 2008

One in a Row

As some of you may know, I've had a small bit of experience rowing a boat. While not always an adventure, it was certainly a lesson in work, teamwork and humility. Above all, it was slow. My experience with the ratio of rowing-to-distance-covered may have me more interested than most, but I still highly recommend looking into (not yet!) Roz Savage and her attempt to be the first woman to row across the Pacific Ocean.

Row.

The Pacific.

Ocean.

Yeah. It's nuts. It is also incredibly inspiring and entertaining. What is, to me at least, unprecedented is the fact you can follow along with her journey day-by-day thanks to satellite phones and the Internet. The reason I put "not yet" above is because you can, if you are a podcast addict with a commute, follow her progress from the beginning on her podcast with Leo Laporte of TWiT. That's what I did, digesting a few podcasts a day until I caught up. There are quite a few now, so if you don't want to be bothered with that you can get the latest one here.

Thanks to her marine tracker, (I have no idea...) you can also view up-to-the-minute details of her position on her website, along with pictures of her boat and her daily blog posts. (Daily blog posts?!) I really do recommend the podcasts, especially the ones after she's been on the water for a while. She talks about some very basic things; life, relationships, work. It reminded me of the discussions we had on Colonial House after a few weeks cut off from the noise of the modern world. Once you are media free and don't have Project Runway, sports, lol cats, or the latest political news of the day to talk about, there remain only the Universal Human Conversation Topics: your personal history, your beliefs, and Life, which I suppose one could argue are the same. Hearing her mind slide into that same mode, it made me question why on Earth I spend time talking about the things I do talk about, or at the very least, why I don't spend more time talking about other things.
A friend of mine told me the other day that I was "strange" when I got back from that experience a few years ago. He said it in a way that pegged it as something that happened in the past and had since been rectified. He was relieved. I was disappointed in myself.

4 comments:

  1. Wow.
    I have this warm fuzzy feeling, with a tinge of "hmmm..".
    Can I go look her up now?

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  2. I think the kinds of conversations you're talking about are the really worthwhile ones. You talk to people about Project Runway, it's fun for a bit, but you don't really learn anything important about the other person. You talk about Life, you make a connection, and life is all about connections. That's why there are some people you can talk to in that way, but most, you just do the small talk thing. Small talk generally annoys me, I'm really not very fluent in it. I lose interest too quickly.
    I am in awe of people who believe they can do extraordinary things. Just having that kind of commitment and belief in yourself is, well, awe-inspiring.

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  3. That's the rub: You have an experience that changes your life or your views in some way, but once returned to normal life, you often become normal again. I'm not sure it can be helped.

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  4. I think perhaps you may revert to outward normalcy, but the experience, as concentrated as it was, has shaped you and forever changed your path.

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