The Long Hard Nights are Not Reserved for The Atlantic Ocean

adventure expedition ocean rowing preparation project empower training

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen plenty of late nights recently (cold too!), toiling away in preparation for Project Empower. I finished one particularly gruelling rowing session at 01.53am. 


In terms of performance there’s no reasoning to it, it is simply a case of finding a window of time in my day where I can fit it in. Training sessions range from between 2.5 to 3.5 hours and the program is relentless and hugely challenging. It has to be!


Extraordinary actions take extraordinary preparation and we are physically and mentally preparing ourselves to deal with the worst case scenario that can arise in one of the hardest challenges on the planet. That is where our standards lie; to be prepared to overcome anything the North Atlantic can throw at us and let nothing stop us succeeding in creating history and achieving something extraordinary. 


Every moment of our day must align with the actions needed to achieve this level of preparation. Some of the broader headlines on these actions would be; sleep, nutrition, hydration, mobility, flexibility, training programming, recovery protocols & mental preparation; these titles are just the tips of the iceberg. 


The biggest and most important iceberg is our training. This cannot be ‘hacked’ or ‘short cutted’. You cannot find the physical conditioning to withstand the worst the ferocious North Atlantic can throw at you while you are out there. There is always somebody on the end of a satellite phone call who can explain to you, like you are a 6 year old, how to fix this thing that’s broken on the boat or deal with certain sea/weather conditions, but they cannot put the strength into your arm to hang onto the boat with one hand if you capsize, or the endurance into your lower back to last 90 days plus, rowing 12 to 18 hours a day on an angry ocean that doesn’t give a fuck for you and your expedition. 


You sharpen steel, with steel; and we will need to be made of steel, mentally and physically to deal with everything and anything the North Atlantic can throw at us. That gets done, moment after moment, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, long before we set foot on any boat in Manhattan destined for Galway. Our success will be in our preparation and it is our responsibility to do the work needed to forge our bodies and minds into unbreakable machines. And that’s what we are doing. Work. Relentlessly. 


It’s not all been plain sailing. Gussy has struggled at times under the huge volume of work we are putting through our bodies but he’s learning (it’s a very steep curve for somebody who was paralysed only 3.5 years ago) and fighting for his improvements. 


These long hard nights will stand to us. You cannot cheat the work and we are putting in bucket loads of it. We won’t stop. Everyday we hold ourselves to standards unimaginable to Jane & Joe Soap. We work relentlessly, analyse, hold ourselves accountable and demand more the next day. We are relentless because we are. We understand the monster that is coming for us (kind of). We understand what needs to be done to be prepared & succeed and we are striving away everyday to be ready. We will be ready.