Closure. That's what this final Team SCA blog post is going to be all about.
Why? Well, earlier this month we had our very last outing as a team at the Getty Images Gallery in London, where they are currently showing a very special exhibition dedicated to our time in the Volvo Ocean Race.
With this, Team SCA's time in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race has finally drawn to a close and we have hung up our sails - for the time being that is!
Yes, this is the end of the line for 'Team SCA' as you know it but, as we walk around the exhibition and remember some of the incredible women we encountered along the race route, we are hopeful that all we have been able to accomplish over the past two years will continue to live on.
For instance, taking a stand for the empowerment of women everywhere and encouraging them to live life with confidence.
A big part of this was working with our sponsor, global hygiene company SCA, to raise awareness of important women's health and hygiene issues all across the world. This saw us work in conjunction with UN body the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) to break the taboos surrounding menstruation. It was amazing to be able to inspire and motivate so many women across the world, of all ages.
We were also fortunate enough to work with some of SCA's brands on some truly inspirational campaigns, like the Bodyform #LiveFearless campaign - which encourages women to be confident and daring in how they approach life. The campaign helped draw attention to some incredible women and their amazing stories, exactly like the ones we are remembering at the gallery today, including my Team SCA teammate Dee Caffari.
If you've been following our blog, you will know all about the hair-raising moment she got stuck at the top of her rig whilst solo-sailing in the Southern Ocean. By drawing on her inner strength, Dee was able to stay strong in the face of adversity and it's made her a stronger person.
For others, like blogger Grace Victory, inner strength enabled her to step out of her comfort zone and face her problems. Watching her overcome her anxieties and do exactly what made her happy was empowering to watch, and reminded me of the first time I set foot on the Team SCA boat.
If you want to hear Grace's story, you can watch it here:
I love sailing, really love it, but choosing to embark on a mammoth 38,000 -mile journey sailing around the world in the world's toughest ocean race certainly required some inner strength. Saying that, as soon as I stepped on board, all of that nervous anticipation started to melt away and I immediately fell in love with competitive ocean racing, just like Grace fell back in love with dancing.
But living fearlessly isn't just about inner strength, it's also about a personal journey - a journey which, for me, has reached its conclusion. To think back on my Volvo Ocean Race experience now, with all of its excitement, frustrations and once-in-a-lifetime moments - I wouldn't change it for the world. It's amazing just how much a big personal challenge can change your outlook on life. I am now surer of my abilities as a sailor, more confident about stepping out of my comfort zone and more open to challenging myself, both personally and professionally.
So, to finish, I want to reflect on another inspirational story, this time from a lady called Sophie Radcliffe. Sophie's own journey of change began when she got on her bike for the very first time. Fast-forward just a couple of years and she was taking on the gruelling alpine coast to coast challenge! I mean, you can't do anything much more challenging than that - just take a look for yourselves:
Simply by watching videos like these, remembering the inspirational women we have met in the past two years and reflecting on our own experiences in the Volvo Ocean Race acts as a stark reminder that women are incredible.
So, while it is with fond memories I say a final goodbye from Team SCA, I want to leave you all with a final piece of advice. Never underestimate the power of simply jumping in at the deep end. Believe me, from someone who is standing on the other side of that leap of faith, there is nothing more satisfying than looking back and seeing just how far you have come.
Thank you for your support over the past two years - it's been an incredible journey. Remember you can share your own inspirational stories on social media using #LiveFearless and @Bodyform.