“Discipline is the bridge between dreams and accomplishment” Jim Rohn
What’s the best way to ruin a trip to the pub? Wait for your friend to order their food, that way they can’t escape, then tell them you have Bowl Cancer. Ensure they understand this is not a joke. Then just sit back, sip your pint and watch all positive emotions drain from them. This is exactly what Robin Drysdale did to me in The Bell near Marlborourgh last year, and I was rather looking forward to the steak and ale pie….
Luckily for me Robin is not the kind of man to be kept down by such news. His refusal to be anything but positive in the face of this diagnosis and his irrepressible good humour made the evening as enjoyable as any. Later during his recovery, and no doubt spurred on by this experience, Robin decided that it was time to make his dream of rowing the Atlantic come true; aiming to raise over £250,000 for Bowel Cancer UK and Combat Stress.
Many things just happen to us in life, cancer being a pretty bad one. It might be fate, the workings of some higher being or just the random occurrences of the of the universe, who knows. The stoic philosophers of ancient Greece identified this truth of our existence and determined that the events in our lives will cause there to be a difference in the way the world is and the way we would like it to be. It follows that our success in life will be defined by our ability to change the things we can and endure the hardships of the things we cannot. Consciously aware of this idea or not, to dream seems to be the natural state of the human race. We all spend hours thinking of the things we want to make our lives better and more fulfilled by changing that difference, it is just all too rare that we truly define what we want and then work to make that dream a reality.
This way of thinking has lead me to seek out challenging events that require effort to fulfil to achieve fulfilment, I find a lot of pleasure in working toward a clear objective. It will be no surprise to you that my spare time is spent trying to achieve difficult things like summiting mountains, running marathons and learning to play the cello. As I have gotten older I have found that it is less the scale or type of event but the people involved that define how we experience something and how rewarding it is. I have come to think it is those little connections you make with a stranger and the relationships you build with other people that make life worthwhile. Robin has an innate ability to make things fun, so when he needed a crew for his row I said yes, this kind of event is my thing. It is also rather hard to say no to a cancer surviving friend embarking on a noble cause, although I have not asked I am sure fellow crewman Will and Sam would agree.
After lots of discussions in pubs, attempting a team row on the Thames and most importantly the creation of some branded t-shirts it appears that Robin's dream is not only starting to become a reality but becoming the dream of others. It therefore now time for me to start my share of the task by fulfilling my promise of writing a blog.
I hope this blog will allow you as a reader to join us on this voyage of hard work and adventure and connect with the story in a way that makes a little bit of this journey your own. If that’s too much of an emotional commitment then please just hit the like button, share with all your friends, then donate some money through the sponsorship page, after all its all for a good cause.
MEN OF OAR
The Men of Oar Blog has been written to keep you, our supporters, up to speed with our progress through our challenge and inform you about some of the more complex aspects of Ocean Rowing. Although it is based on true events, the blog is written to entertain. We hope you enjoy-if so please share!