It fills my lungs with scent
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Without a timeframe
It fills my lungs with scent
If science not proof
human body from stardust,
your stellar presence.
Music and windy staff
Several attempts of explorations were recorded also among the representatives of the animal kingdom. The curiosity to pursue the unknown is inherent in all living beings. Here is one of my favorite examples. If only humans had this shameless courage!:
“M. Colon, Vice-President of the Geological Society of Paris, saw a ball of lightning descend slowly from the sky along the bark of a poplar tree; as soon as it touched the earth it bounced up again, and disappeared without exploding. On 10th of September 1845 a ball of lightning entered the kitchen of a house in the village of Salagnac in the valley of Correze. This ball rolled across without doing any harm to two women and a young man who were here; but on getting into an adjoining stable it exploded and killed a pig which happened to be shut up there, and which, knowing nothing about the wonders of thunder and lightning, dared to smell it in the most rude and unbecoming manner”!
(Superiority of nervous system over the metabolic aspects of performance)
of Electric Eel
Brendan the Voyager
"Great crystal pillars"
Scientists call it "solid state of dihydrogen monoxide at sub-zero"
But what do they know of the heroic journeys?
"a painter who lived with the religious terror of the overwhelming ocean"
"It was commonly believed that the mind, body, and soul each had to be developed and prepared for a man to live a life of arete. This led to the thought that athletics had to be present in order to obtain arete. They did not need to consume one's life, merely exercise the body into the right condition for arete, just like the mind and soul would be exercised by other means"
"Arete is a significant part of the paideia of ancient Greeks: the training of the boy to manhood. This training in arete included: physical training, for which the Greeks developed the gymnasion; mental training, which included oratory, rhetoric, and basic sciences; and spiritual training, which included music and what is called virtue."
all connect to.
Amazing fragment of Jungian psychologist on conditioning of the Hero within:
It is just a brief introduction to the psychology of adventurers, expeditioners and all the Hero archetype related characters. I will write more on this topic on other occasions. Two stories Hillman quotes are very obvious. The story of our Hero within might have been less obvious, or we keep it less obvious to ourself. But in the end the same mechanism applies, the story seen from the other end looks more reasonable.
I recently moved website to new platform. Some links or images might be missing temporarily.
Break through points lead to choosing extreme conditions, and extreme conditions lead to break through points. In whichever case, a person will turn more toward exploring the purpose of their life, and its meaning.
Now finally the most interesting and important connection: Embarking on a expedition always has the potential of bringing you the rare opportunity to perceive your life in the ultimate perspective. It is only at the moment when you are sure you are going to die in a minute or two that you have your last seconds to review your life and state honestly to yourself whether or not you lived your life and to what extent. As long as you have plan B and plan C to escape, then you won't be forced to be direct enough to consider the things you could have thought of before but never had a 'chance' to face. In such a near-death situation this statement will naturally appear without the wrap-up bullshit that our lives are full of. Years of introspective struggle might not be able to take you there; such is human nature. I would estimate that this experience is worth $1million.
The conclusions we get to at that point are often very similar. They have one predominant tendency: emphasis for living one's own life instead of what is expected by others, and enjoying life more now instead of waiting for the goal to come...
I decided to paste below a list of the most predominant regrets that people who were actually dying have stated. Maybe it will inspire you to give a moment to consider your own life in a similar light:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
(based on research by Bronnie Ware)
In terms of mental preparation all of your life that you've lived so far is a preparation. All of the moments in your past that you executed more effort from yourself, more determination, persistence, focus, and all of the moments that you handled pain and discomfort and that you pushed your limits... these will be an asset...
Now a bit of humor in the end to chill out.
It is going to be black humor though, sorry. The funniest or most amazing death accidents:
458 BC: Aeschylus, the great Athenian author of tragedies. Valerius Maximus wrote that he was killed by a tortoise dropped by an eagle that had mistaken his head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile. Pliny, in his Naturalis Historiæ, adds that Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avert a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object.
1518: In the Dancing Plague of 1518 a woman (and eventually a league of 400 people) uncontrollably danced for a month causing dozens of participants to die of stroke and exhaustion. The reason for this occurrence is still unclear
As the dancing plague worsened, concerned nobles sought the advice of local physicians, who ruled out astrological and supernatural causes, instead announcing that the plague was a "natural disease" caused by "hot blood." However, instead of prescribing bleeding, authorities encouraged more dancing, in part by opening two guildhalls and a grain market, and even constructing a wooden stage. The authorities did this because they believed that the dancers would only recover if they danced continuously night and day. To increase the effectiveness of the cure, authorities even paid for musicians to keep the afflicted moving. Some of the dancers were taken to a shrine, where they sought a cure for their affliction[
1916: Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic, was poisoned while dining with a political enemy, and supposedly he was given enough poison to kill three men his size. When he did not die, one assassin sneaked up behind him and shot him in the head, and while checking Grigori's pulse he was grabbed by the neck by the mystic and was strangled. He proceeded to run away, while the other assassins chased. They caught up to him after he was finally felled by three shots during the chase. The pursuers bludgeoned him, then threw him into a frozen river. When his body washed ashore, an autopsy showed the cause of death to be hypothermia, not drowning.
My coach is a bit unconventional. He is wearing weird clothes. Well, he definitely has his own style. I am happy when I don't have to wear the same clothes during most of the trainings, but occasionally it is not that big issue to put them on.
But please don't ask about my previous coach......
Now regardless of whether you believe the information above or not here is a piece of a story which credibility I vouch for.
Back in my competitive rowing times, during the winters, I would always row on the erg early morning when the gym was empty and nobody was working out yet. Sometimes I would have my own keys to be able to enter on my own. Coach (not the one described here, just a regular human coach) would sometimes come one hour later and would find me there rowing. Lights were always off. He could never understand it and laughing he would say: "I bet you are preparing for 24/7 rowing?". Could he have planted an idea in me back then having repeated it so many times? I guess I liked the lights off more than watching boring square walls.
Are you not afraid you are going to die?
-In most cases that I've seen, working day to day in an office is like already being dead. I would definitely prefer to die on the ocean than lose my life to a typical career. Moreover, [death on the water, ocean, ect] would be beautiful. Consider the people who die of heart attacks due to business stress. That is an ugly death.
Is it worth risking everything for one ocean crossing?
-I see people who never risk anything and it hasn't taken them anywhere. The opposite attitude might, in the worst case, take me to the same place.
Why do you do it?
-The times we now live in offer so few gentle ways of living a life. I find extreme feats like ocean rowing to be among the most reasonable responses to our highly dehumanized reality nowadays. It contains something of the indigenous man with a bit of an adventurer touch. If you read the book Siddhartha (my favorite book and I highly recommend), you can see that even he who explored all of what life is, in the end chose to become a rower. I thought I would save time and get straight to the core :)
What kind of effort it is?
-If you really row for the record, it's more or less like this: Imagine you run a marathon. Now imagine you run two marathons a day. Imagine that you row them instead of run. Now imagine that this is going on for one month, and meanwhile you are not going back to a cozy clean bed, but sharing a small space with another sweaty big guy like you.
Are you not afraid of sharks?
-Not to lie and not to say the truth: I'm afraid of no sharks as long as I'm on the boat, or as long as the shark is in the water.
What if one or the other isn't?
-So as not to lie and not to say the truth, I don't think I would have any time to think about it. However, I always carry with me a little bag of curry in my pocket that I would pour over myself. I am for animals rights. When I lived in India, they would always tell me, 'when you see Bengali tiger approaching you, sit down, don't disturb him'.
How do you rest?
-I row 2 hours and rest 2 hours while another crew member is rowing. So it goes continuously 24/7.
Can you sleep?
-You try to, it ends up averaging 4hrs a day of successful sleep.
Do you take water with you?
-No, it would be impossible. Instead, there is desalinator that is powered by a solar panel
What do you eat?
-As you are on the ocean, you maintain a see food diet: You see food on boat, you eat it. However, you really should not practice a humanitarian diet (eat your crew mates)......not. You eat freeze dry food. You put hot water into it and it saturates in a few minutes. It tastes like plastic but it is the best you can get in this case.
How much water do you drink?
-Average 10 liters per day, depending on the day.
Do you loose weight?
-Yes, big time. Average weight-loss is up to 1kg (2.2lbs) per day. Plus, the food that you eat consists mostly of fat because it is the most compact form of energy. Such food doesn't really allow you to build muscles. Instead, being unable to regenerate, muscles are lost. It may seem that ocean-rowers would come back very strong, but it actually turns out to be opposite: one comes back totally exhausted and drained.
Do you really choose to put on weight up to 20kgs before the expedition?
It depends on personal choice and the way you cooperate with your body constitution :) It is not always clear answer "yes" or "no". I described it more extensively here (scroll down to the end of the chapter 4).
Do you see dolphins?
-We see all sorts of sea creatures occasionally. In fact, their presence is very supportive. Whenever someone produces stinky odours, says loudly as if annoyed: "Dolphin just did it!".
How do you wash?
-Hardly ever honestly, it is the last thing you think about.
How do you solve the toilet?
-There are all sorts of installations. Each boat has a different idea, but in the end, one way or another it ends up in the ocean.
How do you share such a small space with other people for such a long time?
-Space and time are factors, yes, and there are many others as well like being hungry, tired, dirty, stinking, injured, bruised....more than ever makes the conflicts appear way easier than it would be otherwise. You must simply try to repress it for the well-being of the row and work it through when you arrive on the land.
What do you like the most about it?
-Many things described in the blog... I think what first comes to my head though is this huge rollercoaster feeling which sometimes lasts 24/7 for free. The bigger waves the more pleasant.
How big are the waves?
-The waves stayed at a 6m peak (18ft) for many days on the Atlantic Ocean. On the Indian they are said to be 11m (33ft).
Is it comparable to being on a ship?
-No, a ship is big enough to stabilize the movements and doesn't entirely follow waves. The boat does. It is very different to see from zero level perspective.
Do you hallucinate of being tired?
-Yes, I described some of them in the journal. (blog archives)
How do you keep your ipod charged?
-plug it in to the same solar panel as desalinator for example. It might be unavailable during cloudy days.
What do your friends and family think about you doing it?
-In most of the cases they understand me and rather support me.
How many people rowed the ocean?
Is it an official race?
-In a sense it is, yes. Part of the skill though is to estimate the best departure date, so it is not required to follow a particular time frame. What matters is average speed.
How can one prepare him/herself to such attempt?
Only to a certain extent... The challenge is 50% mental, 50% physical, though the proportions might vary depending on conditions on the ocean.In terms of mental preparation, your whole life that you've lived so far is a preparation. All of the moments in your past that you executed more effort from yourself, more determination, persistence, focus, and all of the moments that you handled pain and discomfort and that you pushed your limits... these will be an asset... For this reason, it makes logical sense to me that a person could take particular workshops and developmental classes as well that extend people's abilities in such fields, but I have not heard of people doing it just for the well-being of a planned expedition.
Physical preparation is also limited: In truth, you can never be totally ready. The performance of ocean-rowing is degrading to one's fitness rather than evolving because of its intensity. During the preparations stage you have to stay within the right amount and the right intensity of exercise that will evolve your fitness as much as possible without yet degrading (allowing you to regenerate). You also have to stay within the right amount/intensity of exercise that will make stamina and strength grow while weight continues to increase... It means you would work out in a very intensive mode for 3 hours a day in preparations stage. This has to be an aerobic mode though (not anaerobic). Otherwise, your weight will drop and in the long run, so will performance. So practically speaking, on the ocean a person will row for 12 hours a day but during the preparations it doesn't even make sense to row even for 4, because it would not let your body regenerate. Can you really be prepared? It is a tricky question. One day you just do it.
What else can you do to make it better?
-Personally, I use old Icelandic magic that I briefly learned from local sorcerers.
What might the conditions of the ocean be like?
-This video and it's description totally stands for ocean conditions. When I saw this video as a teenager I thought that it was surely an unreal interpretation of what ocean could be. Having rowed across though, I can now say that sometimes it looks exactly like this. The thing is, when days like this one come around nobody thinks about recording. Also, a camera wouldn't capture anything except for the darkness and the sound of howling wind. Regardless, no matter what kind of day it is there is no other boat next to you that could record your boat from a distance either. The wall of water spreading across the entire frame is absolutely realistic though. That's why I decided to keep this piece among my videos.