Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Enormous Challenges

As time passes and the Challenge gets closer (starts March 4th), I occasionally find myself becoming overwhelmed by the immensity of what I'm about to embark on. I live it in my dreams every night. My free time is spent on little beyond training and planning. It is starting to consume my life, mentally and physically. I'm excited, anxious, and, scared.

I look to Renalta Chlumska and her incredible "Around America Adventure", a circumnavigation of the lower 48 states, for inspiration. She is a woman who is living my dreams. I try to ignore the fact that at 33 she is younger then my 53 years, and that her adventure has a support crew helping her, including a new support boat that will follow her around Florida. Her schedule is also a bit envious. She is not in a race, she can average 20-30 mile days, enjoy the scenery and the people she meets, and still stay on schedule. But, she is paddling 11,000 miles, not the 1,200 I'll be doing. She is an inspiration to me.

I have found it very exciting following her progress on the location map on her website. She is now in Florida, and is just passing Tampa Bay where my Challenge will begin. Looking at her schedule, I estimate she has planned 37 days to get from Tampa Bay to the Georgia border, this I must do in 21 days.

Very different in mileage and timing, never the less, both our adventures are considered by most to be extreme enormous challenges. Both are personal challenges, we do them for ourselves. Different, and personal. They are really no more important than anyone's personal challenges, 12000, 1200 or even just 12 miles. Do it, even the trying will be worth it.

Photo: On Florida Bay during WaterTribe Everglades Challenge 2005, my last paddling challenge.

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