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Beating the Odds

Rowing to the Impossible

If you’re going to do the impossible, one thing is certain: You’re going to have to overcome adversity.

That’s what Roz Savage did in setting four world rowing records, including first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

Today is Day 3 of a 17-day series on “How to Do the Impossible.” Rob Gilbert is offering it on his Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690. And I’m blogging at Totalgameplan.com.

Savage’s road to history was anything but, pardon the expression, smooth sailing. She’s had oars broken, and had equipment dumped into the seas. Winds blew her backward. She’s faced long days of solitude.

None of that forced Savage to quit. She repaired her oars while at sea, and rowed forward every time the winds pushed her back.

In her book “Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Sea,” Savage tried to explain what kept her from quitting.

“I don’t for a moment think I am any braver or better than anybody else,” she wrote. “This is how I attempt to explain what gives me the strength to do what I do; when that thunderbolt of an idea first hit me and inspired me to row across oceans, it filled me with a sense of purpose so strong that it overcame my fears. Even when boredom, frustration, fatigue or despair threatened to overwhelm me, it was that powerful sense of purpose that kept me going.”

To do the impossible, you must do what Savage did, namely, find a positive that’s great than the negatives. For Savage it was a sense of purpose. For Joshua Slocum, the first person to sail solo around the world, it was the common belief of others that such a feat was impossible.

“My advice is don’t keep asking yourself if you can do something,” Savage said. “Just get out there and do it. You can really surprise yourself.”

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Think Better, Win More!” will give you a mental game to match your physical game.

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Are you a teachers, boss or sports coach? Here’s “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” by Mike Tully and Gary Pritchard.


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