Leg 2, Day 66 – What’s your Pacific?

Natalia Cohen By

Day 66 – What’s your Pacific?

Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. What is a challenge and why do we create them for ourselves and each other?

‘A task or situation that tests someone’s abilities’ or ‘To do something that one thinks will be difficult or impossible’

I suppose for me, a challenge is something that gives you a sense of purpose. It allows you to push yourself a little further, step outside your comfort zone, develop a new skill or learn a little more about yourself and others.

Challenges make up a huge part of our lives, whether we realise it or not. They can be big or small and are where we have an opportunity to grow and improve mentally and/or physically.

What happens when we create a challenge for ourselves?

When you set a challenge, it is good to have a clear idea about what your hopes and fears are for successful completion of the task. This helps to keep you focused and to give you perspective.

Preparing mentally and physically for the challenge is vital in ensuring that you have exactly what you need to do in order to accomplish the task and not give into fears before you have even begun. Acknowledge your fears but don’t allow them to hinder your progress. They aid in helping you plan your challenge or be as prepared for it as you can be but many fears can also just be imaginings of our over active minds!

The main fear that most of us have is fear of failure or fear about what others will think. You’re never going to know if your task will be a success until you begin it. Believe in yourself, have faith in your challenge and you can also choose to not give much importance to any negative opinions that come your way. We write our own story.

Just remember that:

———– ” The cave we most fear to enter, holds the most treasure ” ———-

The hardest part of any challenge is taking the first step. The rest is easy!

Doing and completing the challenge is the most intense part of the journey, as you enter into the task or situation wholeheartedly. Be in the moment, fine tune existing skills and grow from new experiences, then whatever the outcome, you will have found success.

Last but not least is the celebrating and reflecting back on the challenge. This is a really important part of the process and surprisingly few people make time for it.

Before setting off from San Francisco (for LP, Ems, Izz and I), Hawaii (for Lizanne) and Samoa (for Meg), we all had to write down our hopes and fears for our Pacific challenge ahead. We needed to think about what they meant to us and then we had to share them with each other.
I am going to share my main ones with you:

Hopes
1. Happily, safely and successfully complete the full expedition
2. Indeed prove that the power of the mind and strength of human spirit is the most positive thing you can access and tap into to get through anything that life throws your way.
3. The success of the journey is used to further enrich my life and I can take the insights gained to empower others.
4. We achieve everything we set out to do as a united team

Fears
1. The stress I’m possibly putting my family under.
2. Capsizing whilst on the oars
3. Injury that means I cannot continue with the row and will therefore let my team down.

Some hopes and fears differed but some were the same such as successful completion of the row, capsizing, putting family under stress and remaining a strong, united team on completion of the challenge.

We all had to deal with people telling us we were crazy for attempting this challenge and I think for most people a little fear and incomprehension shrouded all their thoughts about the expedition. The fact that we are unsupported, rowing an unbelievably great distance, only sleeping for 2 hour shifts, living in such a confined space, 4 women in the same boat, no proper toilet or shower facilities, 6-9 months at sea, fighting the elements etc etc

This is an almighty challenge for all of us and, to be honest, I don’t think we realise quite what an undertaking it is yet. For now, however, we live this existence every day and we find small daily challenges within this gigantic one.

A sense of achievement comes from all matter of challenges and that’s also what creates those defining moments I spoke of a while ago. How else do we enrich our lives and that of others without being the best we can be? Where would we be without challenges?

Aunty Linda and her incredible swimming students (as mentioned by Ems in her last blog) have taken on their own Pacific and have already reached their virtual Cairns, and my brother has taken on his own metaphorical Pacific by project managing a complicated building renovation. He is yet to make it to Hawaii.

From running a marathon, hitting sales targets for the month to making it through the first round of chemotherapy or making that first public speech in front of a large group of people, we have always said that we all have our own Pacific to cross. What’s yours? x

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7 Comments

  1. Catherine says:

    I am so in awe of what you ladies are doing, and please know, even when it gets tough out there, you are inspiring so many!

    My own personal pacific would probably be this last year and a half. Last March, my mom was diagnosed with Stage VI squamous cell carcinoma of the soft palate. We were nervous, but optimistic when she had her first surgery to remove all of the cancer, along with her lymph nodes. The surgery was difficult, and long, and her recovery ended up being several weeks longer than anticipated, but by June she was ready to start chemo and radiation. However, the scans showed more cancer in her jaw, so she underwent a second surgery to remove 3 inches of her jaw, and reconstruct everything. Post surgery she went through both radiation and chemo, and the chemo has nearly killed her twice, now, but she is incredibly strong and just keeps fighting. I am so impressed by her and her strength every day, and with the support of friends, family, and incredible coworkers, my dad and I are able to stay strong and support her on this journey.

    Thank you, to all of you, for what you are doing. Crossing the Pacific is daunting, but you are all so strong, and even though I don’t know you, I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of you!

    • The Team says:

      Hi Catherine, Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. We are hoping to share some of these stories on the website and on facebook. Would you mind if we shared your story? Of course it can be anonymous if you would like or we won’t share it at all if you prefer. We’re hoping to inspire others to share their stories too and create a supportive, inspiring environment. Let us know! =) Thank you! xx

  2. Nini says:

    I’m so inspired by what your team is doing. Keep it up!

    My own pacific started 3 years ago. I was a dancer all my life, and then one day I herniated a disc in my back. I went from always relating to the world through movement to barely being able to stand in a blink of an eye. I had surgery that was supposed to heal me but it didn’t. For over 2 years I was in constant excruciating pain. I had to sleep on the floor. I was walking with a cane. I’m a young woman and the thought of never being able to take a walk around my neighborhood let alone dance broke my heart. I tried everything. Physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, chiropractors, but the pain was always there. But I never gave up. Finally in the last year I’ve started to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I even joined a gym 2 months ago! I’m still limited, but I’m getting stronger every day. It’s stories like yours that keep me going.

    • The Team says:

      Hi Nini, Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. We are hoping to share some of these stories on the website and on facebook. Would you mind if we shared your story? Of course it can be anonymous if you would like or we won’t share it at all if you prefer. We’re hoping to inspire others to share their stories too and create a supportive, inspiring environment. Let us know! =) Thank you! xx

  3. Cali says:

    So proud of you ladies and have loved every moment of following your journey. Challenges are part of life and it’s just about taking things as they come, taking things one day at a time and keeping the focus on the end result.

    My personal pacific began two years ago, October of 2013 when I came to Los Angeles with suitcase in hand and a dream of becoming a bestselling author and supporting other writers in their transformational journeys. I had no idea WHY my soul led me to LA from the San Francisco Bay Area, but I listened and it was the best decision I ever made. I didn’t have a home for eight months in 2013 and the move to LA was an opportunity to start over YET again.

    Now here I am two years later with five of my six books reaching the bestseller list. I’m about to launch my 7th book, PEARL which is my personal story of transformation from 2013 and what led me to LA. I launched a crowdfunding campaign for the book three weeks ago and haven’t raised a dime which is stressing me out a bit. There are days when I feel I don’t know what more I can do and I’m exhausted.

    I know deep down that I have aligned with my passions and purpose and I can help so many people, but I need help. I need funding. I have felt over the last month BIG CHANGE in the air and it’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I know I need to stay focused on my own personal end result and my dreams will come true as well.

    Sending lots of love and encouragement to you ladies and know we’re cheering you on.

    Cali
    http://www.CaliGilbertAuthor.com/Pearl

    • The Team says:

      Hi Cali, Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. We are hoping to share some of these stories on the website and on facebook. Would you mind if we shared your story? Of course it can be anonymous if you would like or we won’t share it at all if you prefer. We’re hoping to inspire others to share their stories too and create a supportive, inspiring environment. Let us know! =) Thank you! xx

  4. JG says:

    I have crossed many ‘pacifics’ in my life of 74 years and the best thing about them was looking back over them, reviewing the routes I took and the experiences I had during the process. Some gave me great satisfaction for a job well done, others I realised were ‘by the skin of my teeth’ and could probably have been achieved in a better way. Others were concerned with survival and success in any shape or form was a blessed relief. Much was learned from all of them. You, the Crew, will feel overwhelming satisfaction over your survival and success. Your blogposts are an inspiration and source of introspection for me and, I suspect, many others. Keep safe.

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