We’ve all dreamt of ditching the city and trading the long commute and rain for an exotic adventure.
But while most of us will reluctantly close the laptop with a sigh and a ‘one day’, one ex-estate agent from London is jumping feet first into adventure without a second thought.
Come September, Meg Dyos will be leaving the city behind to become a record breaker as she joins the first female crew to row unaided across the Pacific ocean – all on a pink boat called Doris.
The Coxless Crew project is aiming to break three world records: to become the first all female team to row the Pacific Ocean, to become the first ever fours boat to row the Pacific Ocean and to achieve the fastest row across the Pacific Ocean.
Never has this journey been completed by a team of four and never has it been completed in a continuous three stage row.
These women are undertaking this mammoth challenge – of sleeping in shifts of two hours, of constant sleep deprivation, hungry and wet for six months – all in the name of charity.
I’ve never done a lot of rowing before but this is quite common. It’s more about mental strength, the ability to keep going…
Currently in an intense relationship with the gym, Meg is preparing for the day she replaces crew member Lizanne van Vurren and join the girls for the final leg of the 8,446 mile journey from San Francisco to Cairns.
The incredible journey all started last year when Meg stumbled across a website called Escape the City while working as an estate agent at Foxtons.
Escape the City is a resource which helps the frazzled and adventure hungry do just that – escape.
“It’s an amazing website of adventure jobs,” explained Meg. “They had put this challenge on there – to row across the Pacific – and I thought why not? And so I applied.”
Despite never rowing before, Meg found herself progressing through each round of the competitive selection process. “I got into the next stage, then I went for a physical assessment and then got into the next stage and then the final stage.
“I’ve never done a lot of rowing or sailing before but it’s common for a lot of oceans rowers not to have done any rowing. It’s more about mental strength, the ability to keep going. There’s a lot that goes in into it other than just technique.”
Last year, Meg and her dad agreed to run the Oxford half marathon together. But half way through training, Meg’s dad was hit by a car and sustained serious injuries.
The same year Meg herself was knocked off her bike and suffered a hemorrhage. But these experiences only increased her appetite for adventure and strengthened her mental resolve.
There’s nothing like a year like that to remind you to grasp life and get out there
“There’s nothing like a year like that to remind about how important your physical strength is and remind you to grasp life and get out there,” Meg explains.
“But this challenge is also about the charities and the project’s aim to empower women and their place in the sport. That’s really important.”
For the moment, Meg must wait. She will replace crew member Lizanne van Vurren when Doris reaches Samoa.
From there, she and crew members Emma Mitchell, 30, Natalia Cohen, 40, and team leader Laura Penhaul, 32, will make the final 2,810 mile journey to Cairns in Australia. It will take an estimated 45 days.
“It’s going to be great to finally get out there and spend so much time with them. I’m so excited. Everyday I’m training and just thinking how much I want to get out there.”
“The crew have had a few setbacks but they’re doing really well now and getting much faster so I’m just sitting back, rolling with the waves and waiting for my turn.”
You can find out more about the Coxless Crew and donate to the project here coxlesscrew.com