March - Highs and Rows
After kicking off the month with 5 gruelling hours of Emergency Medicine exams, we decided there would be no better to way to celebrate than a 24 hour row the following day! We spent a manic morning running around getting last minute printing done, collecting the rowing machines and setting up our cake sale. To be honest, it was almost a relaxing break when we actually started rowing at 4pm.
The support that we received during the row was phenomenal and we owe so many thank yous.. To the RD&E hospital for hosting us in the main foyer, to our charities (the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and the RD&E charity) for providing us with stash, snacks and words of encouragement and to The Gym group for providing us with the ergs that we became well acquainted with.
Above all, we were totally overwhelmed by our supporters - our families and friends (and their amazing cakes), the general public, Sea Sports Southwest and, of course, all the NHS workers including our ED family who came to see us at all times of the day and night, including 3am to keep us going (and make sure we weren’t fast asleep in a linen cupboard!).
Nervous, in case we encountered any further physical set backs, we tackled the 24 hours in 2 hour stints with Rosie rowing for 1 hour 20 minutes and Charlie giving her a break of 40 minutes. In doing so we learnt that the time off the erg is precious and a strict routine shall be needed for our Atlantic crossing. We also realised the importance of good nutrition and hydration and that maybe a diet which is 90% cakes and biscuits is not a sustainable option.
We rowed a total of 320km and managed to raise a large amount of money for charity (exact amount to be confirmed). Thank you so much for your generosity.
The day of the 24 hour row also marked 6 months post op for Charlie - what a transformation!!! This means that she is finally able to ramp up the physiotherapy and becoming more focused on rowing specific training. She is now back at work full time and is delighted to see many “Emergensea Girls” stickers on fellow colleagues!
March has also seen the completion of the 2019 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. The last boat finally arrived safely in Antigua concluding a truly epic race and multiple world records! Well done rowers - what an incredible journey you have all been on - we were tracking you the whole way.
We would also like to say a massive thank you to Elvira and Kevinia (from 2018’s Antiguan team) who worked tirelessly to collect our post race data. We would also like to thank all of the rowers who participated in the study which we are sure was the last thing you wanted to do having just rowed an ocean! You have contributed to potentially the biggest database of ocean rower research. We have had a look at some of the initial changes in body composition and grip strength and will do our best to complete our analysis over the coming months - watch this space.
Despite all of these exciting developments, along with the rest of the world, COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on our lives. We are facing unprecedented pressures in our day jobs and as always, want to provide the best possible patient care in this difficult time. We do not have the bandwidth to focus on anything else, and feel we would not be doing the row justice if we could not dedicate it the time and energy it deserves. Therefore, after many difficult discussions, we have decided to delay our row until next year. I don’t think there is any doubt that we will be on the start-line for the 2021 TWAC, stronger, physically and mentally, and ready to smash that record.
We are so grateful to Atlantic Campaigns and all of our sponsors for supporting us in this decision and plan to return in 6 months time more resilient than ever.
Ever keen to make the best of a bad situation, we have decided to monitor and record our mood during this pandemic which is an ultra-endurance event in its own right. We will be interested to see how this compares to the changes in mood during the row.
To end on a high - we are now supporting three charities we work closely with and feel are of huge significance for the people of Devon - the Devon Air Ambulance, the RD&E Charity and the RNLI. We love the notion that our charities encompass saving lives by air, land and sea and shall continue to serve Devon during this testing time.
We are touched and over-oared by the support we have had throughout our campaign and now the kindness and encouragement from the whole of the UK towards NHS staff during this time.
Thank you and stay safe