Day 259: The Greatest Job in the World

I had the greatest privilege today, and by far the best job in the world.  I was a body for a group of students on a massage course with our sponsor Celine from Tonic Massage.  After an incredibly hectic few weeks and lots of presentations and meetings, and still not quite over my flu, it was wonderful to be able to be still for a while whilst the students practiced their art.  All I had to do, was to lie on a table, wrapped in a towel and let the students work their magic on all my muscular knots and stiffness.  If only one could enrol in a career as a professional body for masseurs, wouldn’t that be just the best job in the world!

It wasn’t long before the students were working on their head massage technique, and within moments I was transported to another place…Hawaii to be precise. I imagined myself having just rowed from California to Hawaii and now being pampered in some luxurious hotel by the beach.  A powerful image, and one that is sure to fire me up for the next busy week ahead.

I’ve been enjoying sports massage, ever since I started my fitness training in January, and today I remembered how it all came about, and counted my blessings as one of the luckiest people alive.  How did I meet Celine? Well, I walked in to a brand new gym called Urban Fitness in Henley, and they agreed to give me complimentary gym membership so that I could train for my ocean row.  There I met Personal Trainer Rachael, and it was Rachael who introduced me to Celine, who it turns out, is also connected with my other sponsor Purestretch, which is where the massage course took place today. Sometimes it’s a funny old world, made up of seemingly random connections.  I’m amazed at how many new friends I have made through preparing to row across the Pacific Ocean, and I’m always incredibly grateful for how much support I have received, especially from the local community.  My happiness and vision of me in Hawaii was not about the row or about getting a world record or winning a race, or anything material.  It was happiness at the thought of being surrounded by all the people who have unconditionally given their time and support, or believed in me, and knowing that I couldn’t have rowed over 3 million oar strokes across an ocean, without the dedication of people like Celine, to take me from couch potato to ocean rower. By the time I finish my journey, I wonder what changes Celine will have felt or seen in my body and muscles, and in me as a person, what an incredible thing time is, and to be able to share such a big journey with so many people and in a very special way. No matter what happens in life, I know I’ll never be rowing alone when I have the support of my community, loved ones, family, and friends.  In my mind, I’ve already rowed across my own ocean.

Day 257: #Fundoodlefriday

Each week our wonderful Oceans Project Artist and IllustratorHelen Pateman turns an aspect of our project or a story from the week into a fun doodle.  At the end of our ocean row, all of the doodles will be collected together and turned into a published pictorial journal of our expedition, which will be sold to raise extra funds for the two charities: Oceans Project, and the Thai Children’s Trust.

This week, Helen has come up with a doodle of our Expedition Medic and Patron Dr Alexander Kumar, who has just returned from a year with the European Space Agency in Antarctica, and as medic for Sir Rannulph Fiennes’ ‘Coldest Journey’. In this week’s #Fundoodlefriday Alex can be seen in his Antarctic beard and hat, with his husky dog Mishy.

Check out Alex’s website here, which has some wonderful images of space and life in the freezer. You might also like to support us by having Helen do a little doodle just for you.

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Day 256: Federation of Small Businesses, Maidenhead Presentation

Thanks to Carla Delaney Communications for the photo of myself at last night’s Federation of Small Businesses event in Maidenhead. Next to Sue Ryder’s Business Woman aka ‘The Ironing Lady’, and Paul Mes from FSB. Thanks to Marlow FM for the invitation to present. Not quite as nerve racking as I expected, thank goodness!

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Day 250: A Day in London

Another busy but exciting and wonderful day today.  Susannah arrived from Dublin, and we met up with Chris and Paul for a photo shoot in between several interviews about our Pacific Ocean row. Not long to go now!!! In the evening, we visited the Royal Geographical Society and caught up with Emily Penn, a fellow environmentalist.

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Day 249: Sports Massage

Spent most of today doing paperwork, but later headed off to LA Fitness to meet with Celine for my sports massage.  Still at the end of my flu and coughing a bit, I wasn’t feeling especially great, and the biting wind didn’t help my headache and ear ache much. But as always, Celine worked her magic, worked out every knot in my body, and I’m now a new person again. Sigh of relief!