Perseverance: Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

There are some people that have a drive like no one else. They know that there is no such thing as “stop”. They accept every challenge presented to them and find a way to get what they want.

The most amazing true tale that I have ever read is “South: The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition, 1914-17″ which is his account of his crew’s harrowing tale of being stuck on an ice flow just off the coast of Antarctica. Read it or listen to the audiobook. Or if you don’t have the time then watch this clip to get a sense of what these men went through.

I just read about Oskar Speck (read his story here), a German who in 1932 decided he wanted to get to Cyprus for work as Germany was going through the Great Depression. So, he decided to do what any sane person would do and try to kayak there in a collapsible kayak. Now, along the way he decided that it would be a great idea to change course and head to Australia. ‘Why not?’, that’s what I say! Well, it only took him 7 years, had to cross some 100 mile channels, malaria and paddle through a monsoon off the coast of India. Well, he finally landed in Australia after 7 years of paddling only to be taken in by the Australian’s as Germany was the enemy. The war had started just before his arrival but the Ozzies allowed him to continue onto the continent so that he could finish his journey he had begun. Don’t think the Swastika on his sail was too intimidating as he landed on the coast. He spent the next 6 years in prison camps but while there he learned a new craft of Opal cutting. He spent time in the opal mines and then begun a successful career as an opal cutter.

A quick view of what Oskar did is here:

Now, the modern equivalent that I saw today is short of incredible. I cannot believe that

  • He wasn’t injured so that he couldn’t complete the race
  • He got back on his bike and kept going
  • And to watch the rest of the course that he had to do and just keep on going

Nicholi Rogatkin, you are truly an amazing man. I wish that I had your balls and perseverance to be able to do what you did.

Mike H.
Hi there,
I am photographer, father, son and ultimate frisbee player.
I've recently switched my career path into Mechanical Engineering.
As someone once said, "What a long, strange trip it's been."