When everything becomes a challenge

By Anja Kruska | Adventure

Everything becomes a challenge

Everything becomes a challenge

When everything becomes a challenge

Have you ever experienced brushing your teeth when water leaves the tap 30 degree off it’s normal course and outside the sink? Or standing under the shower, when the water hitting the wall but not your naked, water-awaiting body? My neighbour in the opposite cabin told me that he was holding himself to the pipe of the shower as if his life depended on it. And praying that it will hold until he finishes. Good plumbing, we agreed on later ;-).

Everything becomes a challenge. Getting out of my bunk is like climbing upwards on a moving mountain. If I don’t take care the forces will catapult me out of it against the door.

Everything becomes a challenge. I am so used to nicely filling up my cup of coffee till 1 cm under the rim. Now it shouldn’t be more than half of the cup, otherwise the tea flies literally out of it. Even a slice of toast takes leave off your plate, preferably the ones with marmalade, for the better after-effect. I refer to it as “Attention, flying object coming!” Only porridge behaves nicely and sticks to your bowl.

We are all balancing like in circus acts, only now 24 hours long. Every step I start wide-legged, at least one foot against something that holds me and the crew are always helpful to support us. Sailors rule: one hand for the ship, one hand for whatever you need to carry. Sometimes we are standing nearly horizontal. The crew are trained, they feel the coming moves of the ship perfectly and look like jazz dancers gliding through the ship. Merel, one of the crew, calls her horizontal standing her ‘lazy pose’. We are busier calculating every step, learning from the times it goes wrong. Blue bruises everywhere are our witnesses.

Everything becomes a challenge. With opening and closing doors it’s the same as with my body. At one moment you are working hard against the force of gravity until that force all of a sudden works the opposite way and the door flies out of your hand.

Getting dressed after your watch-wake-up call is nothing like stepping out of your pyjama and taking 5 minutes to put on your underwear, pants, shirt jacket and shoes.
Number one: balancing on one foot with two hands on your pants is not a good idea. Number two: outside it is about zero degrees with continuous freezing wind, so the credo is layers! The Australians go for 6 to 7 layers, we North Europeans for 4 to 5.

Here is my daily dress act to be ready for sailing:

  • Apart from normal underwear I wear thermal long-johns underwear, trousers, two thermo shirts, a hoodie fleece jacket, socks, and over those a pair of waterproof socks, then sailor-trousers, down jacket, a raincoat, and a buff.
  • Hands are in waterproof gloves and a woolen hat.
  • Can I still move?
  • Haha, bending down is a challenge.
  • Setting the heavy sails and pulling together the ropes, are a challenge, too and I feel like I am in a sauna, just overheating with sweaty face.

I have never experienced this before and it still amazes me how creative I get to deal with when everything is a challenge.

How about you? Give yourself a challenge tomorrow. Take a different way to work or get up 2 hours earlier than normal. Try some different food and taste it intensively. Meet somebody you hesitate to talk to.

Enjoy your challenge and feel really alive!