Week 8 - Day 2 - 850 days remaining

Posted on: Tue, 2019/05/28 - 21:02 By: kevin.klop

Sometimes a little thing can just derail your mental attitude and determination.  I had to resign from a board for various reasons, but the effect on my psyche is disproportionate.

Even though the decision to resign was the right one, the feeling of quitting and giving up on something is very difficult for me to swallow, and it gets even more difficult with each passing year.  I’m not sure if it’s wrapped up in feelings of failure or what.

Anyway, the resultant is I’m feeling really down today, at low ebb.  It’s difficult to get up and do nearly anything other than stew about it and the woulda/coulda/shoulda that runs circles through the brain. It’s here that “resilience” become important - being able to put it behind and continue on doing what needs to be done.

In some ways, it’s a bit easier because I can take longer to do just that.  If I need to take the day off, I can.  During the race, there just isn’t time for that.  Three or four hours from now (or even less if it’s all hands on deck) I’ll have to put whatever is in my head behind me, or at least compartmentalize it enough to work my next shift or turn out for something that the captain needs.

So, in essence, today becomes a “mental toughness” day.  Of course, having something to focus on, such as a shift, helps one to put events behind you.  There’s something to distract you and keep your attention looking at what’s happening now and in the future rather than recriminations about the past.  

Part of mental toughness is having the physical reserves to support you.  Being in decent shape, having had enough sleep, etc.  While being on the boat should help keep me in shape, the part about enough sleep may be problematical.  I’m tempted later this year to try an experiment in which I live for a week on the watch schedule used on the clipper boats just to see how it affects me.  Maybe make it two weeks unless somewhere in there my wife threatens to behead me.  That will end the experiment right quickly.


It's a good idea, but no time soon! Right now, sleep, exercise, and good food are the combination to get us (us, she says) in good shape! Sleep is part of that recipe.

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