I haven’t written at all about sculling lately. There’s been nothing to write. I haven’t been out on my boat in a very long time. This is ok, I decided … after having too much angst about it for too long. I had to decide there was a reason beyond my wisdom to STOP me from pushing myself so hard physically for a season after too much injury.
Of course, I could blame it on treading in water instead of sculling on water (too much work and no play) and being fed a rich diet by a very good cook (my Venezuelan assistant who did not agree with my views on carbohydrates), but in the end, something just had to give — and for a while, it was my training.
I am supposed to be a health and fitness expert, which was great while I ran a retreat. Having all the time to do what it took to be healthy and fit then was easy. It was my “job.” I was simply monetizing my lifestyle by letting other people do it with me and pay me for it. It’s a bit more inconvenient as you all know when you have to fit it in around doing things to pay the bills that have nothing to do with preparing organic raw food, working out, doing sports and spa treatments all day long. That’s why I decided to turn my big house again into an “eco-community.” First to surround myself again with people who want to live the way I want to live and to have trustworthy people in the house to take care of it while I travel. And it looks like I’ll be doing a lot of that soon.
I have also been taking the time again to do for myself what I know I need to do to restore my adrenals, cleanse toxins (all you have to do in this world to be toxic is breathe) from my body, AND drop a few of those carbo-pounds that have turned me into a lightweight instead of a flyweight. My wonderful MAAS Flyweight rowing shell has a low weight-limit that I am slightly exceeding at the moment. :(
There, I’ve admitted it.
But all is well and I am still strong and fit. The important thing is that I am healthier now that I have taken a break. I am completely injury free, my joints and adrenals are happy and I am ready to build up my training again wisely and gradually — while eating the healthy organic high percentage raw and low percentage carb diet my body wants.
Meanwhile the bread-pastry-cheese-rice-pasta-ice-cream nazi Trina (she did love sprouting though … and I do take responsibility for eating what she put in front of me) is cooking fattening arepas for her mother now in Valencia, Venezuela and taking care of her after several surgeries. Soon, in advance of my arrival to Caracas, she will be testifying about my medical invention before the Ministerio of her country. She is quite familiar with my device (that she misses sooooo much being able to use since she had to leave the USA because her visa ran out) that the government of her homeland began to pursue last summer through a former colleague of hers who is high up in the current administration.
I say my arrival … it has to do with whether they invite me. They want the device, yes, but we will have to come to terms. My caveat is that it not be distributed solely in A L B A Countries, but in First World Countries too. That’s a bit sticky with the political climate between Venezuela and the US at the moment, but people need it everywhere. It’s a latin telanovela. There is nothing boring about my life!
Tune in next week to see if the much maligned, misunderstood and now mysteriously ill leader of the richest country in America’s Backyard will ever forgive the ALL POWERFUL First World Country of the Americas that is still giving his best friend’s island the Cold Shoulder long past the Cold War and just get OVER all those assassination attempts by the all-pervasive intelligence agency whose name see I aaain’t gonna mention, that may well have it’s roots in the dark past of the Es Es.
¿Y quien es el padre de Elena en la verdad? ¿Miguel? ¿Guillermo? ¿Louis?
Even more mysterious is how have I been writing all those long emails in Spanish to my Power of Attorney (El Chino) in Venezuela and understanding the emails he is writing to me. Do I have a Spanish Angel? Well soon I will have an “in-house” Spanish translator/angel visiting this week (perfect timing Universe! Thank you!) named Juan Torres. As Trina always said, my Spanish is good enough that I wouldn’t starve, but I’m not ready to go have in-depth conversations about manufacturing and technical things in Spanish when I barely know the words in English. I joke (but it’s TRUE) that when I began the process of prototyping my medical device, the only technical works I knew to google to find the components I needed were do-hickie and thinga-ma-giggy! I know more now, but I had to put myself through my own personal “engineering school” the hard way.
Juan will be here just in time to be by my side for some Skype conference calls coming up as momentum is building in the matter of manufacturing my medical device in Latin America. There are other opportunities coming at me from several directions spanning many of my projects and inventions so I will be listening closely as I am still in Quantum Superposition — as to which position to snap into next. But just so you know, I AM UNLIMITED, all is easy, and I intend to do it ALL. I’ll be making some big decisions soon. But I’m completely calm about it since all I have to do is listen. ¡Todo es fácil!
So will I be Local Rowing or Global Rowing in the next few months?
I am fully prepared and ready to go for both! Either way it’s adventure … so if you’re also ready and feel CALLED to a life of magic and miracles and FUN, then join me!!
The day before we left, my quest was to get back in touch with my favorite friend from Tortola, Leona Wattley. Years before I had tried in vain to contact her when I read that her husband, Paul Wattley, the Tortola Minister of Communication and Works, had suddenly died. I was unsuccessful then, but was determined this time to track her down. My detective work yielded that her internet presence was under her first name Sylvia. I left messages for her on Facebook and LinkedIn asking if she were the Leona I knew from The Anne Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico in 2000. One of my messages reached her and she called me immediately from Tortola and we made a plan to get back together.
On the plane and the ferry on the way there and back I met quite a few other people with whom I had tons of things in common. The downside of that was all the talking over jet engines and ferry engines left me with a medium case of laryngitis. I could still speak softly, but even today, my voice is not fully recovered.
Originally it was supposed to be rainy the week or so we were going to be there. When I heard that, I said to Andrea: “Let me work on that.” (I have a knack for good weather.)
HENCE: the weather was perfect the entire time. There were a couple of showers that cooled things off at night, one during lunch while we were on land that cooled things off. I couldn’t have ordered a better scenario.
Having only met in person two days before the trip … Captain Butch, Andrea and I all got along delightfully well and worked together on the boat like a well-oiled machine as if we’d been sailing together for years. Captain Butch, who has been sailing in the BVI for 27 years showed Andrea and me all the wonders of nature and history — and took us every day to fabulous restaurants for lunch and dinner. We snorkeled all the reefs and saw all kinds of fish, huge starfish, conch (barracuda, stingrays too). Between our three phones and a camera we effortlessly took over 600 gorgeous pictures and some video.
We met and talked with many interesting locals and ex-pat transplants spreading the word about the Mission of The Global Rowing Club. I had a nice visit with Foxy, a BVI icon on Jost van Dyke — and afterwards met with his assistant Susan.
Upon hearing about my background and looking over the GRC website together, Foxy’s assistant Susan informed me that Foxy wants to open a health retreat on Jost van Dyke. Susan, a former long-distance swimmer, expressed particular interested in the Pro/Master’s Athlete health retreat as well as my plan to build the sport of LONG DISTANCE ROWING and the year-round rowing center and new boat design. She felt all the health/athletic-related plans would go over very well in the BVI as a high percentage of the cruisers visiting were adventure-oriented masters athletes like Butch — a retired marathon runner after ruining his knees running. Long-distance sculling for Butch would be, as it is for me, physical therapy in addition to being a superior full-body work-out.
She informed me that current British political policies were slowing down the development of renewable energy initiatives in the BVI. Richard Branson purchased Mosquito Island to establish a green community/resort. It doesn’t seem to be progressing rapidly, but the time is at hand to break through such barriers and we will be in the wings at the ready with The Cosmos Renewable Off-Shore Energy Platforms — just the sort of outlandish project that would capture the imagination of a man like Sir Richard. It certainly is Virgin territory!!!!
But hands down, of all of our adventures, the best was the wonderful evening with Leona our last night when we returned to the marina in Road Town. Leona’s and my connection was instantaneous. As we caught up over dinner at the marina, it came to light that she is on an accelerated path of spiritual awakening. My friends absolutely loved her too and she lamented over and over that she had not been able to meet us on our first day to join us for the whole cruise. We finished this magical evening over wine and cheese at her beautiful house on top of the mountain overlooking Road Town and the harbor.
Slow rowing summer? Why? I could say life gets in the way. But the truth is, I can’t devote a lot of time to training without outside support.
Just as the Levite tribe had to go back to working their fields because the other 11 tribes weren’t ponying up the dough to support the Levites to run the temple and attend to the spiritual needs ot the rest of the tribes (read The Book of Nehemiah to verify), I have to keep treading water bootstrapping with my inventions and can’t get to the business of saving the world or even trying to draw attention to The Cosmos by setting up spectacular rowing extravaganzas.
First my mother had a stroke, which took me out of town for nearly a month and completely broke my training routine! (She’s fully recovered.)
When I got back, for another month or longer it thunder-stormed every day.
I could probably still row a marathon tomorrow, but it would be SLOW and my hands would be scolding me for doing it for a week. Best to build up by increments when I get back out on the water.
Then I got too busy working with Trina working to translate all of my medical device info into Spanish for sudden intense interest expressed in manufacturing it in Latin America, and redesigning my self-loading boat roof rack to get into production to put on the market.
As for the radical new boat design: it is still the page that gets viewed the most. I suppose a lot of people keep checking back because I promised to prototype it and to take lots of pictures and videos of the process. But I haven’t started it yet because BILLS get in the way.
Seriously … if you are interested in seeing some of my projects get launched so that everything I have to offer the world will have a the chance to financially snowball into the funding it will take to make The Cosmos a reality … feel free to show up and come aboard.
I have to confess I am getting frustrated. I did better getting out to row all winter long in frigid temperatures than I am doing now that it is summer. There have been precious few days in the forecast that have not threatened thunderstorms. There were two days that were clear since Trina and I returned from over two weeks (of no rowing) in Maryland May 28th exhausted and depleted from the madness of the trip, but the wind was up to 14 mph. No thanks. Then there were two perfect days about two weeks ago but urgent matters prevented me from taking advantage of them. Mala suerte (I speak Spanish a lot more these days.) Last Friday I did 36 miles dodging the ominous clouds and threatening rumbles of thunder. But that was on a small lake and I was always within a 30 minute row to get back to the launch dock if things got crazy.
My situation is a little different from the rest of the rowing world. Normal rowers and scullers can get out to row in the morning when it is clear and be off the water by the time the storms usually start. The reason that doesn’t work for me is when I get in my boat, it’s not for an hour or two … it’s for 5 to 10 hours non-stop. That’s why I am being thwarted. Most of the nights after sunset have been clear and I don’t mind getting started late and rowing all night, but I can’t get in either of these lakes after dark because the ingress is closed until dawn. So what’s a girl to do?
I’m all set to go back out to Inland Lake so I won’t have to do a zillion laps at Lake Purdy, but a thirty minute drive to gamble on dodging storms on a much larger lake where I could get caught an hour and a half away from the launch area — is too much of a risk — especially when I am in the middle of so much going on here. If I worked as much as I check the weather I would be much more productive.
I don’t remember it ever being like this. Maybe I wasn’t paying such close attention before … or maybe the climate is changing. That’s one of the things I want to get around to fixing. But for now, all I know is this weather is taking a CHUNK out of my rowing. And even worse, I barely have a tan and I can’t keep the cushions out on my deck furniture.
Looks Like I will be rowing on Monday.
Very good question. I haven’t been keeping up with adding to this blog for a good while either. So here’s the condensed version:
If you have been following my rowing stories, you will recall in the winter I really smacked my left shin running into something in the dark, didn’t ice it right away and actually forgot it even happened. My next row was on February 20th. I rowed 45 miles and I wondered why my left shin began to hurt. Next thing you know, I could barely walk for weeks. I even went to have it ex-rayed because I thought I had fractured it.
I gave it a few weeks off and went out on March 12th. It began to hurt again at 20 miles, but I rowed 50 anyway.
The next time out was March 27th at Lake Purdy to test my leg on the smaller lake where the rowing club is located. I am glad I only did 8 miles that day, taking it easy rowing slowly chatting with my friend Bob.
I stayed at Lake Purdy from then on as the water levels were back up and worked my mileage back up to 34 miles by April 19th. I really meant to do 50 or 60 miles that night, but I got a call from my new volunteer intern/assistant who was flying in on April 21st from Venezuela and once stopped for more than a few minutes, I got way too chilled to keep going, was floating right by the dock, so it was too tempting to just call it a night and get warmed back up ASAP in a heated car.
Then upon my new assistant’s arrival, our time was taken up with getting her trained and adjusted to all the workings of my multi-faceted business, health, sports, save the world way of life. It was going great and we were having a blast. But my personal rowing time was taken up with training her to row in a double. It was great fun, but not my usual work-out.
Then just as we were hitting our stride and making tons of progress, I got a call from my brother that my mother had a stroke. Next thing you know I’m on my way up to Maryland. Thankfully Trina made the trip with me in the hopes that we could continue to get some work done, but the friend we were staying with had no internet access and the only time we could get online was at the hospital … a two hour drive in traffic both ways from where we were staying. We never got to bed before 4 am in the morning. The strain of the trip did us both in.
Thankfully, when the dust settled on my mother’s acute episode, the doctor explained to me that her blood pressure had simply spiked way too high, and the worst of her damage was just being kept in a hospital bed for two weeks losing all of her strength while they were trying to get her blood pressure medication adjusted. By the time we left, she was her old self again. But between the 15 hour drive there (Trina obviously could not help with the driving) and the 15 hour drive back … and the minimum of 4 hours of driving every day we were there, and no rowing to keep my joints pain free, my old right hip injury decided to kick up into a full blown bout of non-stop pain and barely being able to walk AGAIN.
I was so depleted by the over two week trip of non-stop impossible circumstances, it was a week before I was even close to being myself again emotionally and being in constant physical pain was not helping at all.
I knew the only way to get it under control was to get back out rowing and Trina and I made it out once in the double, but again … 8 miles is not sufficient physical therapy for my abused joints from a life-time of extreme sports.
Then all of a sudden, we started getting intense interest from South American about my medical device invention and Trina and I spent a couple of weeks writing, compiling and translating already existing information into Spanish for her connection there to submit for consideration.
Then to make matters simply impossible, the weather forecast for every week since our return from the Maryland trip has looked like this: And still does. This is from today:
Trina is off visiting family in Miami and trying to get a customs matter straightened out about some things she had shipped from the UK to Venezuela so I was determined to go rowing by myself again Friday. The weather as usual promised scattered thunderstorms so I called my chiropractor and made an appointment for 3:30 to get my hip adjusted. But I told him if it weren’t raining, I would go rowing to adjust it that way instead. He’s a Global Rowing Club supporter and knows me well. When I left having lunch with a friend, I called to say it wasn’t raining and rowed mind-numbing laps at Lake Purdy for 36 miles. I felt GREAT.
My hip is pain free again, but I still have to put in some more miles to get it completely back to normal.
I had my gear all ready to go back out to Inland Lake early this morning for some REAL mileage because the weather showed no signs of thunderstorms last night, but the big thunder claps started extra early and it has been dark and ominous all day. Tomorrow looks the same, but I will still try to get out early and hopefully dodge the scattered storms. When it is 95 degrees (35 Celsius) I don’t mind getting rained on. Getting hit by lightning might give me super human powers, so whatever happens, it’s a win win — the way I see it.
I just have to row again, darn it!
So there it is … why I have been conspicuously silent in my blog posting … and took a hiatus from rowing. Life got in the way.
36.1 Miles — 58.1 Kilometers
I only had 36.1 miles (58.1 K) in me today after not rowing in my boat Hummingbird since April 19 … nearly 7 weeks ago when I did only 34 miles. I was planning to row 60 miles that night. The conditions were ideal. A full moon was rising just as it got dark and while I was moving, the temperature was perfect. But I got a phone call and stopped to talk. Then I got too chilled and stiff to continue. This afternoon and evening, I didn’t answer the phone, text, or even take pictures. I just rowed non-stop except for a quick pull-over to switch my running lights on at twilight. Is mine the only scull in the world that has a lit dashboard and running lights? I think it might be.
18.2 Miles — 29.3 Kilometers
The wind was up and only going to get worse. Gary at Lake Purdy kept telling me, but I had checked and I already knew. I told him I could handle it. (Yeah, I’m so tough.)
When I got out … windy it was. I pulled out an elastic band immediately to put around my hat to keep it on. I had intended to head straight down to the Bald Eagle nest but decided to make a run for the new Marsh Labyrinth in hopes that the wind would in fact get calmer instead of worse by the time I ventured back out into the main lake.
Once I got back there, it was a sheltered paradise. As I was only out to test my leg and work on my tan (the only sunblock I ever use is sun … I’m strangely not as fair as a Scottish lass should be) I lingered in the maze amid the wildlife. I saw all three Bald Eagles there, countless herrings, ducks, geese and even chased after a surprisingly relaxed and friendly Water Moccasin lazily swimming with his head above the water and sticking his tongue out a lot. It was forked.
I took lots of pictures. I was in no hurry to leave. There are a couple of the snake … look for them.
I managed to get at least four miles out of the Marsh Labyrinth and went places no scull has gone before. Skegless sculling means being able to go over logs or almost anything. And after rowing so much in the dark, my balance in the daylight is effortless! I can pick my way through narrow passes by raising my blades high above all obstacles or pulling them inboard all the way. It has become uncanny! I can go anywhere!
Once I got back out into the main part of the lake … it was soooooooo windy. Oh my God was it windy. Up to 20 mph winds for the next hour. I just opened my bailer and left it open and struggled against the wind to keep up the 3 miles per hour it takes to keep the water going out as I was constantly swamped with swell after swell. There were times I was rowing as hard as I could and the Speed Coach read zero miles per hour! I tried like Jesus to talk the wind into calming down. I’m not as fast as Jesus, but it eventually worked. I kept going until dark mapping the perimeter and managed to get 18.2 miles in one lap. Now I have a GPS line to follow. When I got off the water and up to my car … this time there was a sticky note on my window with the combination to unlock the gate to get out. Thanks Gary.
He knows how I am. :)