In the spring of 2016, recovering from burn-out and depression after many years in the NHS, Dianne Carrington was ready for a new challenge.
So when the phone rang and an old friend asked if she was ready to row the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Challenge, how could she say no?
She had always had an interest in outdoor activities and a big project like this was just what she needed to get back on track. Or was it? To row the Atlantic at any age is an undertaking beyond most of us but for a team of women in their sixties, and that was the idea that her friend was suggesting, it seemed almost impossible.
After all, the Talisker Whisky Challenge is one of the most demanding competitions on this planet.
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|At twenty-one I was in the Olympic squad for white-water slalom canoeing but left to take up my career. I taught outdoor pursuits for ten years by the sea. I've always loved the sea and canoed on it almost daily, challenging my limits. Then learnt that I couldn't have children and I trained as a nurse, working my way up the career ladder in the NHS. At fifty-five I had to end my career prematurely after I burnt out, having given more than 100%. I lost confidence and my body was racked with pain; I was in a bad place. A team of wonderful people helped me get well again and I wanted to give something back. What better way than to raise money for charity and go back to the oceans that I love? Life is too short to not live it to the full. I set out to gather a lovely team of ladies as close to my age as possible who would be passionate about rowing across the Atlantic with me. I wanted to inspire women and show them that we are never too old to do what we want to do. I wanted to help them embrace the courage to leave sight of the shore and to accomplish great things.”