The Adventure Begins

I’m writing from Kenosha, Wisconsin–and I apologize for the delay in posting until now. It’s been a rough three days. I was very seasick for most of it and the idea of sitting down with a screen in front of me made me want to throw up (even more so).

Let’s back up a bit. Thursday night was the Send Off Party, hosted at the Chicago Yacht Club and led by Fran Tuite and Michele Willmott.  These women threw an amazing party! We raised over $24,000 for ROW. The exact grand total is yet to come, but one thing’s for sure…we did some major cancer butt kicking that night. I was amazed and inspired by everyone Thursday night. It was certainly a night to take with me on Liv, one I will never forget. Thank you Fran and Michele…you ladies are rock stars.

Friday morning we had NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC and WCIU come out to the dock and see me off with interviews and appearances. Every boat I’ve seen since Friday has cheered, “I saw you on TV! You go! GO JENN!”. I’m assuming that affiliate stations picked it up as well, because the folks in Wisconsin know how I am too! I haven’t had a steady enough internet connection to see any of the interviews…so I hope I did all right!

The overwhelming amounts of support has gotten me through these last three days. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to get texts, emails, Facebook shout outs from all everyone. There have been moments in the last two years where I’ve thought this trip wouldn’t happen. There have been times since I stepped into the boat on Friday that I would fail, but I haven’t given up. And you can’t either! Even if it feels like the change you’re trying to make is like trudging though thick sludge…you’ll get there. And hopefully all the news stations will be there to catch you in the act :)

I’m feeling positive today and trying to remember this feeling.  The first few days were really hard, I got really discouraged and at moments–terrified. My first night on the lake I threw the anchor and it took some time for the anchor to hold us in place.  I stared at the GPS for an hour to make sure we weren’t moving into shore before I went for a swim. Even after that I couldn’t keep my eyes off the GPS.  The thought of waking up to crashing into shore terrified me.  I wasn’t extremely seasick during the day because when I’m rowing I see the horizon and my body is working hard to move us along. I don’t have time to be sick. But at night the cabin is so small…and the waves toss us around. I couldn’t eat after 11 am on Friday…and didn’t get anything solid in me (besides electrolyte chews) until Saturday night.

But I’m becoming familiar with Liv…I’m becoming familiar with the lake.  My stomach is even acclimating!

Now, when giant waves come in my path, Liv and I ride them and row through them.  I used to be so scared of giant waves…now I see them as a way for Lake Michigan to say hello. It’s almost like the lake is cat….and I’ve just entered her environment. I’m the new species. She’s splashing herself into my boat to sniff around to see what Liv and I are up to.  We are getting to know each other and working together.

My iPod died today which left me with a lot of alone time with the lake in silence.  I know it sounds weird, but with no one to talk to I told Lake Michigan about why I’m doing this trip. I hope she understands…I really need her help to make this happen.  I’ve been really lucky with weather the last three days. Let’s hope this luck continues, my blisters begin to heal, and my butt miraculously gets less sore. It’s going to be a long couple of months.

Thank you for your continued support of ROW and this trip. Please consider sponsoring a mile of this adventure for $100 or making a donation online.  GO ROW!!

2 comments on “The Adventure Begins

  1. Keep at it, Jenn.

    I am so humbled that you are doing this for us.

    Go ROW!