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Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean Hardcover – October 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Savage, a famous ocean rower and motivational speaker, was a thirty-something non-athlete when she took up the sport, having just chucked her job and left her marriage. The only solo female entrant in the grueling 2005 Atlantic Rowing Race, Savage chronicles her initial voyage with a memoir of peril and perseverance. Savage's lack of seamanship was her first major obstacle; almost immediately she developed "an ominous grinding pain in my shoulders that I knew... indicated the onset of tendonitis," and discovered that "rowing on the River Thames and rowing on the ocean were... as different as climbing the stairs and climbing Mt. Everest." Despite numerous challenges, Savage adapts and rises to the occasion, learning to handle the equipment ("less than a sixth of the way across I was already halfway through my supply of oars"), stay alert ("while I sleep my ears are pricked for any unfamiliar sound") and appreciate the open water: "I loved the solitude, the wildness, the beauty. But the ocean and I would have got along better if she would strop trying to get in the boat with me." Happily, this travelogue-with-lessons is minimally prescriptive, making it a great armchair adventure.
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About the Author
A latecomer to the life of adventure, Roz Savage was previously a management consultant and investment banker, before realizing at the age of thirty-four that there might be more to life than a steady income and a house in the suburbs. In 2005, she was the only solo female competitor in the Atlantic Rowing Race, the first solo woman ever to compete in that race and the sixth woman to row an ocean solo. In 2010, Roz was selected as an "Adventurer of the Year" by National Geographic.
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My wife and I read "Rowing the Atlantic" aloud to each other on the drive down to Florida for our beach vacation, and it opened up topics for conversation and discussions we'd never had before in 18 years together. It was the perfect book to share.
There were revelations that made my jaw drop, observations that made us laugh out loud, and lessons that I ruminated for days as I looked at my own life and the path I've followed. In her own way, Savage shows that an ordinary person has the capacity for extraordinary.
While her story is unique and complex, I think every reader will find some element that resonates with his or her own life. Savage has a gift for inspiring readers to see broader possibilities while never coming across as preachy or egotistic. The way she unspools the adventure of crossing an ocean is in turns hilarious, nail biting, and touching.
It's Roz Savage's willingness and talent for sharing her life experience--tempered with a British flair for understatement yet full of vivacious personality--that made me into a fan. It's her positive attitude and undaunted belief, forged in her own experience, that we can make a better future for ourselves that has turned me into an advocate and supporter.
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Full disclosure: I recently interviewed Roz for our Inspire Nation...Read more