Sailor, Puppy Owner, Reader, Music Aficionado, Wine Lover, Runner, Traveller, Adventurer, Crew of Dare to Lead on the 2017/2018 Clipper RTW Yacht Race
Who else am I? Hold on to your pants, darlings, this may go a bit walty…
In a nutshell, I’m a “yes man” but not in a sycophantic way…being a critical thinker is an exceedingly important part of being a good sailor and means you can’t kowtow to others. My YES! is instead to the experience of life. I want to grab life by the scruff of its neck and squeeze out every last drop of adventure.
I’m in love with love and beauty. I’m entranced by people who strive to make the world a better place and hope that I will leave a happy mark too. I revel in the things my senses tell me – that deep wet-earth smell of a forest; the scent of jasmine wafting through a hot summer’s evening; the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair…tasting salt on your lips. Being surrounded by nature is where I feed the wild woman inside me…that intuitive, instinctual part of me that is strong and empowered. Where I feel like I can scream YES into the howling maelstrom in front of me and laugh.
Figuring out Happiness
Being a dedicated optimist is hard work – not for the faint-hearted – and there have been periods in my life when the work of happiness has been just too hard. I have suffered with depression since my early teens…possibly before that. I’ve always managed to manage, though; It didn’t really stop me from handling my day-to-day existence for very long. Then in December of 2015, I had a complete and utter meltdown. Not just the crushing, numbing nothingness of depression but also the dizzying horror of panic attacks too. It was, hands down, the deepest and darkest period of my life. I felt like my life was over when in fact, it signalled the beginning of something else and taking part in the Clipper Race was one of the steps I took to take charge and heal myself. 2 important notes.
- If you are someone reading this who has been or is currently affected by depression then please get in touch. I’ll happily help if I can and if I can’t, I may be able to hook you up with people who can. I hope that by reading my story and following my adventure, I can show you that no matter who you are or where you started, you can do amazing things with your life.
- This is why I chose MIND in Mid Herts as the charity to partner with to fundraise before, during and now after the race. They helped me and I want to ensure they can support others who’ve had to face their own demons. Too many people with mental health issues do not have the support I was freely given by friends, family, coworkers and healthcare providers. All of the people I know and love rallied from all corners of the globe and threw their support into helping me to heal. The only reason I was able to do the race is down to them and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. They have helped me to rediscover parts of me that I needed.
And so here we are….my epiphany. My lightbulb moment. That to make my life my own and to feel contentment, I have to follow my heart as well as my head. I have created a good life for myself through hard work and now I get to capitalise on that.
This is why I did the Clipper Round the World Race. I have loved sailing ever since I stepped onto a dinghy in Albany, Western Australia in 1995 and again in Freemantle later that year. I walked away from that to do the sensible thing in building a career and a reputation. It was time to go back to do something that was completely and utterly about my love for the sea. My Dad instilled in me a spirit of adventure and so off I went to become one of 700 people per race who do something remarkable. All with the patient support and guidance of the amazing staff, trainers and support teams at Clipper HQ!
I have learnt so much through preparation for and completion of the race…that asking for help is always the best idea, and accepting it is hard but vital. That I’m not superwoman and I can’t do everything…and even if I do screw up, that’s OK. It won’t be for want of trying to get it right. I learnt from my Mum the value of dusting yourself off and trying again. And again and again and again until you get it right. And you will…
To say this race is an experience of a lifetime is to make the understatement of the year. The Clipper team asked me to try and explain what it meant to me and I did that here in a video you might like to watch…there are also quite a few blog posts from during the race and I’ll be adding to that in the coming days and weeks. This race has UTTERLY changed my life and perhaps you’d like to find out just how deep this rabbit hole goes 😉
As a result of the 2 1/2 years of preparation, training and racing, I have made friends and had experiences I’m never going to forget. I touched the face of mother nature at her absolute wildest and I wasn’t scared…I felt ALIVE. Now I’m back, I’m looking forward to living life and making space for more. I’m allowing myself to be myself and seeing where that takes me. I’m allowing my heart to guide my decisions. To say yes.
Incidentally, I said yes to a marriage proposal along the way too 🙂
Speak soon my darlings. Look for me on the Blog pages.