>This is the 700th (public) post on this blog. The post below is a paraphrased version of part of what I wrote in a card to a good friend. As she received it yesterday I will share the thoughts here. It’s not word for word as I didn’t think to note them down before I sent it.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Andre Gilde
The above quote came to mind a lot when we were at Rutland Water a few weeks ago for the regatta. Not the exact wording, I had to look that up. But the words “lose sight of the shore” and the meaning behind them. Rutland is a huge reservoir, it’s 26 miles around if I recall. It’s substantially bigger than my “home” reservoir, Farmoor. By the time we had sailed out to the race area we’d probably sailed the equivalent of to the opposite side of Farmoor if not further.
And there were one or two occasions when I would look out from the racing circuit and have to take a moment to work out exactly which way the shore we had launched from was and which of those beaches had my wheelchair. I’m used to one beach so hadn’t paid too much attention when they said about remembering where you launched from. You go all over the place racing, following a circuit and doing laps. So I got a little turned around.
It wasn’t scary it was just more than I had been accustomed to in terms of distance from things. And it wasn’t my usual place or set up. I had briefly “lost sight of the shore” in some ways. Literally a minute or two of thinking of it and I knew the answer. And I thought of that quote.
But that weekend and all the sailing involved made me push myself and expand my horizons a lot. I’ve never sailed for that amount of time in one go before. I’ve never been out in that much wind before. I’d never raced before. I’d never seen that many challengers all at once before. I’ve never gotten so wet or flew through the water so fast before. And I thought of that quote.
It was fun. It was hard work. It was tiring. It was scary. But most of all, it was worth it. And I thought of that quote.
I got so much out of it. I discovered my “new oceans” and I’m glad I did. But only because I had the courage to literally and figuratively “lose sight of the shore.”
That quote isn’t just apt for me for that one weekend however, I think it’s true of a lot of things I’ve done this year and things I plan to do with the remaining months, weeks and days of 2008.
EDIT, Tuesday: It is well worth reading the comments on this, I really feel like people commenting have understood and furthered what I wanted to say