Sorry for the rather late New Year post- it seems a bit ridiculous writing a new year post at the moment if Im being honest with myself…
When I sat down to finish writing this piece, I never expected to be where we are now, I don’t think anyone could’ve imagined we’d be in the midst of a global pandemic, and questioning everything about our lives and our futures.
So about 12 weeks ago, I was sitting here at my desk worrying about the fact that I hadn’t been able to write for a few months, worrying that the titled New Year post just wasn’t coming out. I was worrying that people weren’t being kept updated with my plans, and were my plans still the right ones, and what even were my plans?
I’ve also been worrying about how to keep not only myself, but HSR running; having committed to being self-employed and investing everything I had into the future…
Now I spend my days worrying about the amount of cleaning I’m doing, the amount of biscuits I’ve eaten, reading and re-reading the scary NHS letters some of us have received, and wondering if its ever going to be possible to get a Tesco online delivery slot without staying awake and refreshing their website 43,256 million times??
When I step back, all of those worries seem pretty insignificant right now…
But at least we can keep trying to find the positives in this crazy situation we’ve all found ourselves in, and whilst there’s definitely been tough times as we fight this pandemic, and we all think about the future and how different that may be, we can only make the best of it, and that for me includes learning from my journey…
For me, 2019 was one of those really weird years; It wasn’t horrendous, but at the same time, it didn’t exactly feel fantastic, and perhaps even worse for me, it felt like I didn’t really achieve anything.
I think because 2018 was such a big year for me, not only with the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race, but also because I finally started feeling like I was getting some traction and making things happen, it made me have really high expectations for 2019; even completing the Rolex Fastnet Race didn’t really feel like much…
As my deadline came and passed, I saw my chances of making the Vendee slip away, and I had to reevaluate my entire dream, and come up with new plans and try and refocus myself towards the new goal of 2024.
I spent a lot of 2019 fighting my own emotions and feelings, and it’s something I’m determined to not let get the better of me this year. I’m starting each day as positively as I can, I’ve got a lot of plans on the horizon, and I’m working hard to keep pushing forward with my dreams and ambitions.
So I’m taking this rather weirdly enforced time to continue charging forward with those plans…
I am still invested in HSR and my dream of one day being able to compete in the Vendee Globe; I have a clear set of steps that will get me there, and I’m still on the hunt for sponsors and partners to make that all possible- including finally being able to stop chartering and eventually own my own boat!
I’m still working on my speaking and coaching, and as a result of that, I’m staying with Fieri Leadership and Development to continue coaching and learning about myself as a leader- once that work is back on. In the meantime, I’ve taken myself online, and I’m working with some sponsors and charities that I support doing talks and questions sessions via the gift of zoom- come on we’re all now zoom addicts!!
I’ve started working with the Andrew Cassell Foundation on their social media and helping out behind the scenes with some of their aspiring sailors- this in particular I’m finding really rewarding, as it was Andy himself that got me into Paralympic sailing in the first place, and who also taught me that its ok to break down those barriers and race against able-bodied sailors, and that we aren’t weaker just because we’re disabled!
I’ve also got another campaign in the works that will be announced a little bit further down the line, but there’s one thing I will tell you; it’s all complimentary to my overall dreams and ambition.
But aside from all those really big and grand plans, I’m just like everyone else… I’m struggling to find routine with this new way of living, I’m struggling to find motivation, and often question myself daily, I’m also really really scared, but do you know what? -that’s ok! It’s ok to feel these things, its ok to take all the time you need, it’s ok that you haven’t learnt 47 new languages or suddenly become the fittest human on planet earth.
If this awful virus has taught me one thing, it’s that you need to surround yourself as always with truly supportive people who understand you, and do what works for YOU, and stop being so hard on yourself!!