It is difficult to explain what burns in my heart. This push to explore. To feel my limits and chase my dreams. To inspire. To lead by example and show those around me that the impossible is far beyond our imaginations. Relative only to our limited experience and dampened by our view of comfort.
These last 2 years have been a whirlwind. Only moments ago it seems I set my sights on the Northwest Passage. I set the year of 2013 in agony and impatience. Wanting to go sooner and chomping at the bit….
But this lofty goal has taught me much about myself. The more I learned about my goal, the more I realized just how unprepared I was. Then others became involved, who relied on me to be prepared and my eyes were truly opened.
Since that time I dove headlong into preparations for sailing the Northwest Passage. Each day has been varied and full of study. Study of history and mistakes. Study of History and success. Study of weather, ice, climate change and habitat. Study of the simple things. Like being adaptable, but planning like you’ll never have the need.
I’ve become a student of true leadership. What it is in the real world, when things go awry.
I’ve worked with one hand and made phone calls with the other, more than I should have. In an effort to balance dreams, life and financial reality. It has felt like a fantastic juggling act. Where money and time, fall like anvils at you, waiting to be tossed again and again.
After 2 years of juggling. The time has come. I go over the list again in my head. The to do list…. The ever growing and evolving to do list of course grows on its own. But then I realize that the preparations I’ve made to date far outweigh the preparations I originally deemed sufficient. So somehow, I’m behind the 8 ball and ahead of the game. I’ve worked all I can work. I’ve bought what ever I could and built what I could not. So that my crew and my boys will know I’ve done my part as I promised and will see it through to the finish.
I’ve tried to be a good father through out this process and I hope that I have. I hope that sharing responsibility with my crew, will make this experience meaningful to them.
What a funny thing however. In all I’ve hoped to inspire in others, I think I’ve been inspired the most. Not by the ocean or ice, or history or challenge, or the jabs of the nay Sayers. Not by the writings of great explorers or the charts which they drew.
Don’t get me wrong. I have enjoyed all those things, moment by moment. But mostly, I’ve been inspired by the process itself.
Living life, with a goal on point and setting your hand to it, is a wonderful thing.
I have watched my hands at their work. They have gone from scrambling and impatient, to calm and fluent. My spending has gone from impulsive and uncalculated, to focused and insistent. I have finally learned to enjoy the process, in which each day was enjoyed for what it was and the end result of this journey will be a by-product of more days, just like today. Purposeful, challenging and enjoyed to the fullest.