My name is Lukas Haitzmann, I’m 20 Years old, and am currently studying Mechanical Engineering at Swansea University.
As a child, I suffered a lot from Dyslexia. I was pulled out of sports and my favourite subjects to learn to read and write properly. I wasn’t performing well in school, and I was missing out on the things that made my days at school fun- just to ‘catch up’. It defeated me and I let it keep me down. It wasn’t until my secondary school days that one short moment changed my life.
This brief moment in time led to me eventually rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean completely alone and unassisted in the Talisker Whiskey challenge. At the age of 18, I spent almost 2 months alone at sea. Rowing for 16 hours a day. Every day. For what seemed like an eternity.
The adventure offered a different challenge to the one I had become accustomed to – dyslexia and surviving school – instead, the fight was against waves the size of 2 story buildings, mind-numbing solitude and hallucinations. All that aside the biggest battle was the one to purely stay alive. There were no timeouts, no ‘comeback tomorrows’ – I had no place to hide and it was time for me to step up. To no longer be the kid that couldn’t read, but the man that rowed across an ocean.
This challenge sparked my interest in extreme sports and adventures. I realised the importance of challenging yourself on a regular basis and jumping out of your comfort zone. The opportunities for growth and the exponential learning curve far outweighs any negatives.
I decided to join this cycle as I strongly stand behind the crucial message of our challenge, and I have no doubt I’ll learn a lot from it.