Deborah Searle is incredibly honest, obviously determined woman, who carried on rowing across Atlantic when her husband pulled out of the adventure challenge after 2 weeks.
She took three months to make it from Tenerife to Barbados, but did it single handed. True grit.
She’s talking about coping with fears, stopping the scary scenarios in her head. Plus the embarrassment of nearly being sunk by sea turtles. They nibbled the seaweed on the bottom of her boat and almost capsized her.
Deborah talks about how close she got to giving up on the voyage. She admits that she had to learn to ask for help, and combat the isolation of just endlessly rowing the ocean.
But also how peaceful it was to battle just the sea, and yourself.
‘This infection that was loneliness.’ Says Deborah. A telling phrase:
How many people feel that living in a city, not just alone at sea?
Deborah talks about how she developed mental strategies to cope with feeling utterly alone. Imagining conversations with her family when she returned, missing her father who died just before Deborah set off in the boat.
A tough, very personal story, a snapshot if how the human spirit can drive us to achieve great feats.
Deborah reminded me of many Team GB Olympians. She’s worked out how to gauge success on an individual level, what makes us tick deep down.
Ultimately, the medal that counts is the one you give yourself. That’s how we define ourselves.