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Bryce Carlson will attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland

Bryce Carlson on his boat, Lucille, in Quidi Vidi on Monday.
Bryce Carlson on his boat, Lucille, in Quidi Vidi on Monday. - Andrew Waterman

It’s a trip that takes about two months, and only 15 people have ever completed it, but American Bryce Carlson is positive about his chances.

“I like my odds,” Carlson said Monday about his impending attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Carlson started planning his transatlantic trip two years ago. While he has competed in high-endurance marathons, like the one that took him across the United States, running a marathon a day, he says one of the big challenges is not physical.

“How do you continue to endure in the face of an overwhelming desire to stop?” Carlson said. “I don’t know that I have any mental tricks other than things I’ve picked up along the way that, when a feeling of emptiness overwhelms you — an emptiness of energy, an emptiness of desire to continue — that is a temporary feeling and it will pass.”

Being alone, surrounded by nothing but water and the occasional iceberg or sea animal, Carlson will still have a lot to think about.

“You start working through the systems,” Carlson said. “When’s the last time I ate? How much did I eat? Am I keeping food down or am I nauseous? When was the last time I slept? How much sleep did I get?”

Carlson said these are all questions he’ll need to answer if he finds himself low on energy or just simply feeling overwhelmed by the 2,000 kilometres he will row.

While he has music to keep him occupied, he doesn’t actually like listening to music when he does high-endurance activities.

“I prefer to be listening to my body, so to speak.”

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