Three Takeaways from Chris Bertish's Incredible SUP Crossing
He endured sleepless nights, terrifying shark attacks and the monumental mental challenges that go along with being alone in the middle of the ocean. But when he was standing on the dock in Antigua, surrounded by friends and supporters, he had something really important to say.
"My god it was the most frightening thing that I've ever done before. Every single day, you know we talk about the challenges that we have in life, and how we need to get through them. One stroke at a time. One minute at a time. One hour at a time. Day at a time. One night at a time. Don't worry about the end goal. If I had had been thinking of this end goal when I started; I never would have got here."
"You break everything down into little bite size chunks and just focus on what's in front of you, every single day I was just going; I've just got to get through the next hour. Then it was, I'm just going to get through the day. Then it was, I'm just going to get through the night. Every single day for 93 days it was like that. So you know what, you can get through anything if you just focus on it. Nothing is impossible!"
So for the average paddler, one who's not quite intending to cross the Atlantic Ocean by stand up paddle board, what can you take away from this amazing feat?
Chris's words, spoken in his raspy voice between swigs of beer on the dock, holds three important things that will improve your paddling, your life and perhaps someone elses.
1: Nothing is impossible… Even the thought of paddling across an ocean is monumental. The logistics of it all, the equipment, the time off work, and of course the physical effort required for such a feat is so unbelievable it goes without saying.
2: Break everything down into little chunks… You're feeling tired? That's nice, try and make it through the next minute. To the next marker. To the next wave. The next stroke. Break. It. Down.
3: Goals… Everyone needs one! It might not be paddling across an ocean, but everyone needs a goal or two at the forefront of their mind. Racing in a national level event. Completing a marathon downwinder. Raising money for charity. Losing 20kg. Running 10km. Whatever it might be, dream big and write it down on the fridge, with a completion date. Make it happen!