Project Catalina Dr Michael Gervais, compete to create, michael gervais, paddle boarding

Project Reconnect: Catalina Channel, Episode 3

Project Reconnect was designed to reconnect to the purpose-driven and nature-connected life that many of our ancestors exceptionally lived. So I set out to stand-up paddle across the Catalina Channel (~30 nautical miles) to reconnect to mother nature, and to raise money for a non-profit that is working on ridding the ocean of plastics.

I knew it would be hard – but I didn’t quite realize just how deeply I’d be challenged.

The first 20 miles was a combination of pure fire mixed with low grade, relentless physical effort. While I’m completely new to endurance events, this seemed pretty normal. Hard, but not overwhelming.

Then at mile 21 everything changed.

There was no denying the integrated insight that was washing over me, with a knowing that from this moment forward, I would be fundamentally different: This project was to reconnect, and as I set out to prepare myself for this mission, I became more disconnected from my loved ones than I have ever been. I became intimately connected to the cost of my selfishness: the emptiness of not being there for the little things and always wondering what they felt when I wasn’t there for them. I finally realized the cost of all of my training, personal adventures and extensive work travel. It all took me away from the family we promised to build together.

It hits me, without hesitation, that I am now different. From this place of deep fatigue and aloneness, came an emptiness. There is no option for me, other than a complete and radical perspective shift on how I will be different with expression of intimate love, with my loved ones.

Our ancestors so beautifully created a purpose-driven and nature-connected life. This journey has allowed me to tap back into my own inner fire, and re-center on what matters to me most. My hope for you all is that you find your own project reconnect, that you invite opportunities that test your limits so you can continue to reveal your best; both the strength that is already inside of you, as well as the conviction to move towards the life you want.

I am deeply grateful for the support of everyone that came along this journey with me.

Together we have raised more than $21,000 for The Ocean Cleanup and it is just the beginning. Compete to Create is committed to making a difference, and we will match each dollar that is donated. Not only that, but it is not lost on us that this is just a ripple in the pond. We are convinced that in sharing this journey with you, that you too will be a ripple in your own pond. Together, with enough people in pursuit of their best, living a purpose-driven life, we can and will make a collective difference in this world.

With all the fire,


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Tags Calm  Confidence  Focus  High Performance  Mindfulness

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