Day 44 — Surrender to the sea

by Katie on February 15, 2010

It is said that it takes six weeks to develop a new habit and, now, with over six weeks at sea, my daily life is certainly feeling habitual.

During yesterday morning’s rowing shift, my shoe detached from the footplate as the footpiece corroded away from the saltwater and, with only this one particular piece on board, I had a bit of a problem. But, instead of describing exactly what the problem was and the solution (well, we shall see if it lasts), I found it interesting that there was clearly a surrender. When things happen, there is not that immediate emotional reaction. Just a little, “Hmm, let’s see what I can do.”

Broken footplate

This may be a bit shocking, but the physical surrender to row 8–10 hours everyday has not been the most difficult part of the journey. The first week was demanding but I have certainly plateaued quickly after that initial adjusting stage. Rowing another hour or two isn’t daunting in the slightest. At the end of the day, I feel ready for another and, if anything, I am growing anxious to push harder (but would not be sensible with several more weeks to go and could leave me prone to injury). And I certainly don’t feel special, as I believe anyone can physically manage rowing all day. It may seem like a stretch, but I believe as humans we are all very capable of enduring, perhaps something that can easily be forgotten if not required to expend much energy physically.

It really is all mental.


mulleeboyz February 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Keep it up Katie – we never doubted you for a minute. Please send a pic – we NEED to see your face! All the boys miss you and can’t wait to see you when you get home.

Pauline February 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Hi Katie, another Pauline from Perth, Western Australia (noticed another one yesterday). I am following your journey and check on you many times a day (just like a mother hen) to make sure that you are safe. You are a legend. Lots of love from me.

Liz February 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Really enjoying reading about your progress! What an amazing journey.

Rick Barkley February 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm

SO, the suspense continues about how you fixed the plate. As for being special, you want to keep an even keel, so you say you aren’t, but the folks who love and support you feel that way about you, and you might want to let them (and me) have our way. It’s worse than mental; it’s in our hearts, too!

Mike D February 15, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Hello Katie!

RE: “I certainly don’t feel special, as I believe anyone can physically manage rowing all day”

Sorry to break this to you, but Katie… You ARE special!!!

mostthingsonce February 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Hi Katie; Glad to hear that your mental state is on an even keel. Steady as she goes.
Vancouver, Canada

AlanP February 15, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Either you are one absolutely amazing athlete or I’m just a lazy bum. I hit the wall after an hour or two of exercise! I choose to believe you are an amazing athlete physically and mentally…lol.

Keep up the good work. Would love to see more pix of you (always more fun to see people than scenery!).

Continuing to pray for you.


Alan and fam

ed & joann February 15, 2010 at 11:56 pm

keep up the good work we been following you every day. god bless

Harry and Judy February 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Keep your eyes on the prize and all the little things like a broken shoe mount will just be things to fix along the way. Keep up the great atitude. Harry and Judy

flowerlady64 February 16, 2010 at 1:25 am

Katie, You are one amazing woman! Keep doing the great job you are!!!!!
Good Luck!
Kathy from Lowe’s Greenhouse

Carol February 16, 2010 at 1:54 am

I’ll be you won’t let a little thing like your shoe coming undone be a bother. You are so focused on your goal that nothing will stop you. Still following you with my class every day and they are so amazed by what you are doing. God speed.

Mata Momma February 16, 2010 at 5:31 am

I am praying for you this day. It has been awhile, since I have been able to check on your journey. I was just thinking the other day i wish i had a easy button. The only easy button is surrendering. Take your time and keep the pace. I am traing to do a 1/2 maraton and I sometimes want to push too hard(can’t push hard when you have had seven kids..because of risk of injury). i pray you keep the pace of grace. May God bless you with clear skys and calm waters. AMEN from Oklahoma momma…

Pal February 16, 2010 at 6:14 am

May passion be the wind that leads you
through your days
And may conviction keep you strong and
guide you on your way

God Bless you Katie

Mike D February 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Hello Katie!

I just listened to your ½ way across sat-phone interview. It was fun hearing your answers to the many questions posed. What a lengthy interrogation too! I hope that guy is paying the sat-phone bill :-o

I really enjoy trying to get into your head and read between the lines when I hear your interviews (which is fairly difficult considering that I only know you from your Blog sites.)
I can just hear you thinking, “ah, dude… you’re really cutting into my mileage and I can’t row with all this talk, talk, talk, so… Get to the point!” and “I haven’t spoken to anyone in weeks (not even Mini-Wilson) and of all the people I’d most love to talk to… Guess what? It ain’t you!”
Nah Katie, I’m just teasing you a little bit ;-)

I’ve been thinking about your boat though, and being out there baking in the sun all day long. Of all the things that would make it rough for me to be out there (especially at that latitude) doing what you’re doing, I think the sun would be the worst.
I wish I could put a small bimini top up over the cockpit for you to get a little break from the sun while you row. I know… It would be taken for a sail and not allowed on board.
Hey, maybe a little umbrella hat next time! Ha, now wouldn’t that be a picture?!

If I could get it out there to you, I’d juice up a gallon of ice-cold carrot/apple/celery/wheatgrass/ginger juice for you. Very tasty and refreshing, Yum, Yum!
(Don’t knock it till you try it people!)

Wishing you a long deep sleep and dreams of wheat grass dancing in your head.


P.S. Sam is the best of friends! He’s doing a great job too!

elli February 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Don’t kid yourself my friend – you ARE special!

Mentor John February 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm


Keep up the great work. As I said before in a previous post, I am currently training for my first marathon. My first big run (nothing compared to what you are doing) 13.1 miles was this past Saturday. I must say you were a source of motivation several times throughtout my run.

Several times I thought to myself, “if this kid can row across the Atlantic by herself, I sure as heck can keep on running.”

As always, may God continue to Bless you on your journey, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mentor John

DOO312 February 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm


LOVE YOU, DOO % ellen

N5719R February 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Hope you brought the duct tape. Number one for all wilderness adventures

Keep on rowing

John Langdon February 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I just went to your site after reading the Popular Mechanics article. This is a terrific thing you’re doing. That you would give so much of yourself in an effort to benefit so many whom you will never meet and may never even know your name is truly noble. My hat’s off to you. I’ll watch how you’re doing and add you to my daily prayer list. Best wishes!

Andrea February 17, 2010 at 12:50 am


Again, your approach to problems is quite remarkable as I know several 22 year-olds who do not have your level of maturity. Sorry………that makes you special! Inspirational, truly! I love watching your progress and telling everyone. Rowing, inspiring, being, surrenduring…….. Prayers for a peaceful row home!


Claire February 17, 2010 at 2:10 am

Hey Katie!!

We’re pulling for you!!! Keep up the amazing work you’re doing.

mike February 17, 2010 at 2:19 am

Thanks for the reminder.There are all different kinds of rowing. Peace

joanie_babelonie February 17, 2010 at 2:21 am

Katie, I hear that some people consider you crazy. I’d remind them of what Dr. Martin Luther King said: “What this world needs is more creative malajustment.” You’re fabulously, beautifully brilliantly crazy and have a right to be darn proud of it! Keep up the good work!

chrismartin60 February 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

Please don’t tell me that your foot has to sit at that angle when you’re rowing now… Doing fabulously well and you obviously prepared very well mentally for this. You’re a rock. Very well done on everything you’ve achieved so far. That small bar in London near Waterloo seems a million miles away now. (well the speed you’re rowing at it certainly isn’t getting any closer)
Loving your work.

Tom February 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm


To do what you are doing is SPECIAL. Don’t kid yourself.


jbutton February 17, 2010 at 11:07 pm


You are a machine…!!! Absolutely amazing! I watch with trepidation…What’s Katie having to endure today…? Please be safe! You are in my thoughts and prayers! – Joanna

jennie February 18, 2010 at 1:00 am

Someday, if you’re a new mother remember this. ‘surrender” was the biggest lesson I learned and life got easier when I no longer fought it…

michaeljdenk February 18, 2010 at 7:42 am

Katie, I’m a friend of Fr Tom Johns. He knew how much I would appreciate what you are doing. You are very special andGod has evidently gifted you and is blessing you along the journey. Be assured of my prayers and support. Fr Michael Denk

Phillip Gibson February 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Hi Katie! There are bunches of people here in Asheville keeping tabs daily on what and how you are doing. The Asheville newspaper, The Mountain Xpress has also been reporting on where you are and how you are doing! Warren Wilson College gives you props! I have even been reading your blogs to my work crews. You are inspiring many with how incredible you are! Wish I could send you some chocolate! Happy Valentines Day!

bethP55 February 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Katie,I agree with you that we humans are capable of much both physically (which you are proving this very moment) and intellectually. We just have to have our internal flames turned up a notch to dare testing ourselves…you keep going girl!
All my best,
P.S. Read your Mom’s guest blog – very special lady : D

joshtremblay February 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Your words are inspiring. Your courage is fierce. Thank you for sharing what is really possible. I think of you daily!

Eric Maas February 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm

You are amazing! 8 to 10 hours a day of rowing! I could go on with exclamation points, but I am sure everyone gives you tons of those. You are a rock star, and I cannot wait to see you when you get back.



jake57ful February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Hi. Why did you want to do this?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: