Most of us have a deep desire to live a life of purpose and meaning, and to understand what we are capable of. Each of which is incredibly challenging and at times so overwhelming that we find ourselves slipping into the daily rut of to-dos rather than designing a life to explore the deepest questions: What is my purpose? What is my potential? Do I have what it takes to live an authentic, purpose-based and meaningful life? Which internal skills do I need to meet the most radical challenges in life? The entire design of Project Reconnect was to develop a way for all of us to explore and stretch both physical and emotional capabilities, while at the same time reconnect to mother nature.
As an initial Project Reconnect expedition, on September 27th, 2018 I attempted to cross the Catalina Channel, a 30-mile trek from Catalina Island to Redondo Beach, CA, on a stand-up paddleboard. We captured my experience and insights in a three-part series that we will release over the next few weeks. In return, the hope is that you will also design your own Project Reconnect by setting up a unique challenge that will stretch the edges of your physical and emotional capabilities in order to explore the deeper questions in life.
For this project I wanted to experience that 30-mile stretch of the Pacific Ocean with just a board and a paddle, similar to how our ancestors would have. For most of my life I’ve had a front row seat of Catalina Island and often thought about the Native Americans who crossed that stretch of the channel. They traveled back and forth across this channel to gather resources to bring back to their family members under similarly treacherous conditions, with no access to modern technology for survival. I wanted to connect to that primal, tribal, purpose-driven and nature-connected life that many of our ancestors thrived in. A desire that was born out of trying to counterbalance the rip-and-run, modern-day business and technology-saturated current way of life. You might be feeling this, too.
I also wanted to connect this project to the state of our ocean’s health. I grew up spending many hours in the ocean surfing, and I am passionate about keeping it clean for generations to come. We set a goal to raise $25,000 before December 31st, 2018 for The Ocean Cleanup on our Go Fund Me page. I am grateful for the swell of support that so many have demonstrated for Project Reconnect so far. At the time of this posting, we are just shy of our goal. When we reach our goal, Compete to Create and the Carroll Family Fund will each match your donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $25,000. (Let’s go!)
Paddling the Catalina Channel was radically more challenging than I had imagined, and the insights gleaned were perspective shifting and life adjusting. This is the first episode of the three-part series. In this first episode you’ll find out why I wanted to do this project and a look into my preparation and training. In the second episode, you’ll see what the paddle was like out in the middle of the ocean and how I learned exactly what I was running from and running to. The struggles were real, and the physical pain was excruciating. In episode three you’ll see how far I got and what I learned on the other side. I’m excited to share this journey with you, in hopes that it’s a gentle reminder for you to explore your edges and to connect to mother nature in a meaningful way.
Regardless of the outcome, there’s so much to be gained in exploring those edges.
With so much gratitude and fire,