|A letter from Richard Jones|
I saw the announcement, on the ORS website, about your decision to end your quest to row around the world, and I heartily applaud this decision. There is no question in my mind, and there should be no question in anyone's mind, concerning your ability, and determination to complete the goal you set for yourself. You have it within you to finish the row you started so many years ago, but in an instance, in the twinkling of an eye, your priorities have changed.
The dream - to be the first to row a small boat around the world. What an incredible physical, and mental challenge this would be. You had a vision of how this could come to pass, and you were brave enough, and bold enough to go for it. You believed in yourself, and you committed yourself to the challenge, you prepared for it, and you succeeded. You set your goals, your dreams as high as you could set them, then rolled up your sleeves, and went to work to bring to pass the seemingly impossible. You have become an inspiration to countless numbers of people. You have shown that no dream is impossible, as long as their is belief in oneself, followed by 100% commitment and total preparation to the dream. This is what sets the successful person apart, regardless of the dream, from those who merely daydream.
However, when the dream began to take shape those many years ago, you were a single person. You didnít have a lot or responsibilities, and you werenít responsible, or answerable to anyone. Even when Stacia came into the picture, she bought into your dream, and fully supported you. Then came the twins. They were small and still in diapers when I first visited you in your home in Malibu in the spring of 1998. You left on your voyage across the Pacific, and made it to Hawaii, and the twins grew. Then you rowed to the islands of the South Pacific, and on to Australia, and the twins continued to grow. Then you made it to Indonesia, and came home for a year. The twins changed from babies in diapers to young girls ready to enter pre-school.
Seeing you stay home for a year, after returning from Indonesia, I suspected your priorities, would change. Certainly, I hoped they would. You have become a family. You are a husband, with a loving and charming wife, and the father of two adorable girls. Priorities change.
Yes, you could go back to Indonesia, and continue to row across the Indian Ocean, and then across the Atlantic, and finally back to Hawaii, and it would only take you another couple of years. And, I suspect you would have made it. But again, thereís always the chance that an accident might occur.
There is no greater priority than those related to family relationships. You had some hard and difficult choices to make, regarding whether to return to the ocean, and continue to pursue your dream, or remain at home and work at developing and nurturing close relationships with your wife and the twins. Isnít it interesting how quickly priorities can change. One moment youíre heading down path "A," and the next, youíre committed to path "B," and feeling very comfortable with the new course, in fact, feeling that itís the right choice.
Mick, you made the right choice. Stacia and the twins need you. Youíre now accountable and responsible for others, and they take priority. The accolades, and honors of men, the certificates of achievements, and letters of merit quickly gather dust, and are soon forgotten, but relationships endure forever.
Someday, weíll meet again, and it will be my turn to make the waffles.
Ocean Rowing Society
Design by REDTED