In the 1960’s there was a song entitled ‘Five Hundred Miles From Home’. The song was part of the folk revival and it’s singer Bobby Bare lamented how he was missing home.
In the past couple of days Damian Browne has just reached the 500 miles (from the finish) mark. He is blistered, sun burnt, cramped and his muscle memory is rounding his broad shoulders which were once so prominent on the professional rugby fields across Europe. Still, he is in fine spirits and is going to finish this Tailisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge in aid of his preferred charities of Médecins San Frontiéres Ireland, the Strong Roots Foundation, Rwanda and Madra.
Before Damian left for his Atlantic challenge I had the pleasure of interviewing him at length. When it became apparent that Damian was attempting this lonely Atlantic crossing of over 2,600 nautical miles without being able to swim, the dangers of what he was freely choosing to attempt came to the forefront. In reaction to this angle of conversation Damian retorted:
I don’t have a death wish!
From chatting to him then, and seeing his facial reaction to this comment I knew that I was talking with a very lucid man. Rather than showing any signs of psychosis and having an ulterior motive in attempting this awesome challenge, his positive intelligence came to the fore when he relayed the astute planning that went into the adventure. This then rejigged the conversation into new light.
Right now there is no doubt that Damian is feeling what Bobby Bare sang in the 1960’s:
Away from home, away from home Cold and tired and all alone Yes, I'm five hundred miles Away from home
Yet, when he hits dry land within the next couple of weeks, I’m sure that this present adventure will go a long way to cementing his place as an international adventurer. When Bobby Bare became noted for his rendition of ‘Five Hundred Miles from Home’ he wasn’t long in adapting his career into other forms of musical performance such as the Eurovision and acting on film.
Within months of Damian Browne finishing this race (and once his recovery is completed) we’ll probably begin to learn of the next quest he has in mind. By having months alone on the Atlantic, his healthy mind will have conjured up some dreams to conquer. Of that, there is little doubt.
Considering what Damian has given his followers so far in his life time, I’ve no doubt that before long his stories will be documented on the big screen for the world to amaze as he epitomises the words ‘strength’ and ‘endurance’.