The last time I'd seen Mariya was in 2003, and we were on top of a mountain in Peru - a mountain called Pisco. Pisco is also the name of the Peruvian national drink. (See picture left - on the summit, note the ice in my hair.) This time we were a bit warmer, sitting on a beach in Hawai'i, drinking Sunset beers on Sunset Beach, at sunset. There seems to be a certain theme emerging.
After a weekend's hard work schmoozing at the Maui Writers' Conference and a morning discussing logistics and media at the Waikiki Yacht Club I felt like I deserved some time off, so we took the afternoon to go snorkelling on the North Shore and buy a picnic to go along with our sundowners.
I may not have the chance to revisit Hawaii before I arrive there after rowing 2600 miles from San Francisco. I'm already looking forward to being there again. Maybe it will lend a sense of urgency to my paddling to know what a paradise I'm heading for.
Mariya on Sunset Beach, 2006
I can't walk. This is not ideal for someone aspiring to run a marathon in two months' time.
Over the course of the last 3 days, my right hip has inexplicably stiffened to the point where I can barely hobble across the room, let alone run 26.2 miles.
'I don't think you're going to be doing any running any time soon,' the physio said as he rubbed beeswax into my right buttock (they call this therapy?!). Treatment continued with ice and electrical charges. But all the waxing, freezing and electrocuting failed to have any significant effect.
I am indignant. I carefully designed my training programme to avoid undue shock to my body. I have been diligent in my stretching - 15 minutes every morning. Yet, over the course of the weekend, when I actually took a few days off from exercise, I have developed a showstopping injury.
Ten days ago I started tracking my time using WorkTimer to find out where it all goes to. This pie chart shows the result.
Only time I spent at my desk is included - I may be a sad case, but I'm not so sad that I take my laptop everywhere just so I can clock my time.
The slices of pie account for 32 hours out of 168. Factor in sleeping (about 50 hours), preparing and eating food (14), bathing and dressing (7), and physical training (20 including travel time), plus killing time in airports and flying to Maui for the Writers' Conference, and this seems about right.
'The unexamined life is not worth living', Socrates said. True, maybe, but in this case I feel better informed but none the wiser.
Examined my life may be, but am I using the right examination tool? Do these figures tell me if I have balance in my life? Do they tell me if I'm happy? Do they tell me whether I've made progress towards my goals? I'm not convinced they do.
Am I using a microscope to examine my life, when I should be using a telescope? Or vice versa?
Any ideas and comments genuinely welcomed. How do you evaluate your own life? Or how would you, if you had time?
Speaking of time, must dash!
I've just published my first ever iMix to the iTunes Store. Music is pretty important when you're spending hours and days on a rowing machine preparing to row an ocean, so I became quite a connoisseur. This playlist is my selection for high-energy workouts rather than the slow-and-steadies.
Sadly, my amplifiier packed up just after New Year, about 5 weeks into my 103-day crossing, so after that I had only my own thoughts to keep me occupied. I'd never have thought I could row an ocean without music, but it's amazing what you can put up with when you have no choice, and eventually I even grew to relish the peace and quiet.
For the Pacific, AudioBooksForFree have given me 600 audio books to listen to, plus I've bought a CD of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - no let-up in the quest for self-improvement!