Guest blog by Niki Doeg, a member of the world record breaking Yorkshire Rows, a true inspiration and a mum...
It has been 3 months now since reaching Antigua as part of our Atlantic Ocean row and we have all been settling back into normal life again. A mix of school runs, work, family and of course, numerous talks and events to share the story of our journey. Looking back at the journey we had and the moments shared we still can’t quite believe what we achieved and it has been quite difficult returning to the complexities of normal life.
Our real journey started so long ago and looking back, it was those 2 years in the planning that helped make our challenge a success. Not only did we have the time to learn, train and develop the fundamental skills required to take on an ocean like the Atlantic but it allowed us the time to get to know each other and develop the team relationships needed. We are all such different people with individual strengths that varied from one to the other and this meant we were able to support each other through the highs and lows of the 9 weeks on the water. It also gave us lots of opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. From learning how to pull a 30-foot boat on a trailer (mistakenly driving through a golf course towing the boat was a sight to see!), navigating across the North Sea, dealing with sea sickness and much more, we really had to motivate and help each other through it all.
There were so many times during our preparations where there was so much to do and it was such a juggle trying to fit all of this in around work, families and life in general. It would have been so much easier to throw the towel in but each of us kept digging deeper and finding reservoirs of resilience we maybe weren’t always aware we had. It was really good training for the resilience and determination needed on the boat when we were experiencing all the kit and equipment failures. We never gave up and always found a solution. Since coming back home everything now seems so much more achievable and the opportunities are so much more apparent, in fact Muhammed Ali said “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”. How true that seems now.
Niki Doeg, Yorkshire Rows