Sixteen days have now passed since I finished the 2012 Ultimate Florida Challenge. I no longer sleep paddle. Lisa no longer leaves the bathroom light on to remind me that I am not in the woods and that we do have a bathroom. (I guess am house broken now.) I no longer wake up every two hours and I am not dreaming about some upcoming paddle segment or about a plate full of hamburgers. My energy level is coming back and I have actually started working out again. No heavy-duty workouts but they are workouts which is progress. I still do have some numbness in my fingers but they are getting better each day. I can type and feel the computer mouse. Which means I really cannot use my numb fingers as an excuse for spelling errors. So over all I feel pretty good about where I am at and feel I am really lucky not to have more issues mentally and physically. People have talked about a slump or depression folks enter after complete something like the UFC. So far I have not experience that. I think it was the third day after I finished that my wife asked me “Ok what is the next crazy thing you are going to do? ” The spooky thing about my wife is that I think she can read my mind because I was already mentally thinking about a new challenge. My reasoning and excuse for thinking about a new challenge is that by focusing my energies on to a new challenge will help me avoid the slump or depression folks talk about. Sounds logical to me. Her response ” I love you, glad you are my husband but you are not right !” So next week will be the first week of training for the next challenge which also means I better start writing about the experiences and events of the UFC before I forget them. So here goes………… I have often heard that half the battle of a Watertribe Challenge is getting to the start line. There is a lot of truth in that statement and the Friday before the start really reveals the different levels of readiness folks are at. I like to show up early on this day so I am not rushed and I can take my time getting ready. Plus folks walking down the beach always want to stop, talk and ask questions. I don’t want to be rude or not have the time to talk to them. This year I decided to have some fun with folks. A couple of special people had given me some things prior to the event but this one was the most hilarious. He was my “Wilson” I took him every where on Friday and people would crack up when they saw him. I put him in the boat when I was packing. Set him on top of the boat when I was finished. Even took him to check in table and then in the seat next to me waiting for the Captain’s meeting. It added a little humor to the stress of the day. People said I should take him with me so when I needed some humor he was there. I didn’t take him for two reasons. (1) things like this you value and I didn’t want him to get messed up and (2) I was afraid I might actually start talking to him like he was a real person.
It is interesting watching folks getting their boats ready. For some it is like clockwork. They know where everything goes. They pack their boats fairly quickly and are very relaxed. Then there are others that you would think Friday was the first time that they have packed their boats with an expedition load. When I see that I wonder if they really understand what they are about to face. More on this in my next post….
Bill: thanks for sharing your adventure, from the training to the actual event, and now reflections! It is inspiring, but, not tempting me in the least! A beautiful weekend of sea kayaking in the north sea, spending nights in hotels, is my idea of roughing it! I am concerned in regards to the numbness you reference…physical therapy might be beneficial, as it would seem you are experiencing cumulative trauma…remember ergonomics 101..;)
I walked the coast of Germany today, outside of Husum, and watched the tide go out (4 meter drop). The sky blackened with geese and shore birds, who feed on the flats left by the falling tide. Unbelievable energy exchange! Easter week I explored the Swiss alps by train with one of my nieces(her 40th birthday present from me). Next weekend, when i return to Zurich, I will go hiking in the alps. It is unbelievably gorgeous!
Life is the journey you make it! I am amazed every day!
I look forward to hearing more of your reflections, and your beautiful wife’s wisdom!
Well I can tell that you have not slowed down any. I think your second to last line really sums it up. Life is the journey you make it ! Stay in touch
Thanks for the followup. I’m anxious to learn more of your thoughts. I do hope you share more.
I learned of the UFC while visiting Fort Walton Beach in the month before the event. After I returned home I google searched for more info on the event and became enthralled. From the start to end of the EC and UFC I did my best to follow everything on the Watertribes website and others like this. I admit, I was elated when you and Riverslayer finished the UFC and then rather quickly let down when the accollades and well wishing died down.
I spent a lot of time wondering what challenges you and others were facing each day; how you planned for them beforehand; and how you improvised to overcome challenges you hadn’t planned for. I am interested in learning what modifications you’re considering making in your plans as you move toward completing the North Carolina Challenge.
Thanks for taking the time to share with us.
Sorry for the delay in the posts. I have found these posts a little more difficult to write then the ones that I did tracking my training. I am really trying to capture what I was thinking and feeling on the different days. I do plan on trying to post two a week. Concerning the NCC I might do it but the NCC is not the next challenge I am training for. It is a great event but the timing doesn’t fit well for me this year. If you have a question about something that I haven’t covered in any of the post just let me know and I will try and cover it.
You are something else Whale!!!! Wilson is very photogenic. 🙂
Yes he is. He is a camera hog :-]