Ifs… Buts… and Maybe’s

And I’ll I ever know whether my decision was the right one.

It was a tough one for me, really tough. I embarked upon ‘the challenge of a lifetime’ thinking it would be the sailing; the sea conditions that would test me, not to mention interpersonal relations in such cramped and challenging conditions.

None of that.

Just a decision about me. That was the challenge.

One great piece of advice I received from my great friend of a few decades now, was this, “if it was someone else and they were asking you about the same thing, what would you say?”

Well that was great and eminently sensible however emotion was blobbing around right in between me and sensible, rational decision making.

To race from San Francisco to Panama or to take a pause to allow an injured abdominal muscle to heal so that I could complete the rest of the race. I mean, what is 3300 miles, nearly 1000 of which would be motoring, not racing.

Taking out the motoring phase, it’s less than 5% of the whole race and well less than 1% of the rest of my life. And it’s a vertical bit, not crossing an ocean, ‘just’ skimming the coastal bit of the Pacific. With migrating whales and champagne surfing… Shhhhhh. NOooooo!

And if I was to mention that on the way to San Francisco I’d had 48hr in my bunk in considerable pain and fatigue as well as a day in hospital on morphine once we arrived, I imagine it provides a little more colour to the situation.

Bit of a no brainer really, albeit my crew mates and my skipper had all said they were happy to take me – so long as I didn’t do anything to exacerbate the problem. And that’s the crux really. You simply cannot rest an abdominal injury on a racing yacht. You simply move ALL the time. Even in your bunk!

So – decision made. My long term health and well-being is way more important than 3300 nautical miles. There is life after the race and I certainly want to be able to cycle without further discomfort, not to mention ski and generally ‘live’.

Graham Bower, a cancer survivor, wisely said to me when I was bemoaning what I couldn’t do following shoulder surgery. He said, “Alysoun, remember all that you can do”.

And I can smile and laugh, I can continue to advocate for KULE; Friends of India and Mercy Ships.

I can support my crew from a distance. I can recover and I can finish the race on July 12th in London having passed through the Panama Canal on its 100th anniversary; race to Jamaica and New York then then across the Atlantic “home”. I can see my children and top up on hugs. I can see my friends who are supporting me in this mad endeavour not to mention thanking them in person for all the help they’re providing James and me. An unexpected treat out of adversity oh, not to forget the errrrr little trip to St Lucia supporting James during his job interview process.

I can do all this because I’m looking after myself right now – With a massive amount of support from all my family and friends and the fabulous crew of Team Switzerland not to forget the rest of the Clipper family.

Thank you lovely people. xxx



3 thoughts on “Ifs… Buts… and Maybe’s

  1. Mary Dee

    Am glad you made the decision to rest and take care of yourself. ! Good to see you ! Mary Dee


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