Traci Lynn Martin's Great Lakes Circumnavigation Adventure

Editor's note: On December 19 Traci Lynn Martin's journey around the Great Lakes was halted by a foe that's bagged many an adventurer: Winter. "It doesn't make any sense to continue so I think it's time to stop. Realistically I'm not going to make it. But I've done a lot. I came up here pretty naive about what I was getting myself into and I learned."

You can read The Buffalo News' wrap on Traci Lynn's incredible journey at this link:

Imagine taking a year off from your job, cashing in a large chunk of your 401K, saying goodbye to your family, and setting off on a journey to achieve one goal but also to show people with chronic illness how to triumph over adversity. Traci Lynn Martin is doing just that in her quest to become the first person to circumnavigate all five Great Lakes via Surf Ski. The Kansas City Missouri native began her trek March 9, 2017 when she started her aquatic journey in Port Huron, MI. And in between us meeting Martin last week when she paddled into Cleveland, she had circumnavigated Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and Lake Huron.  

Martin's journey would be a significant enough feat by itself, but she's doing the paddle while she manages rheumatoid arthritis that affects her hands, wrists, feet and ankles.  "There are some days when I hurt from the RA and I'm not making a lot of miles and I wonder why am I here, why don't I just go home and be with my kids? But then I look towards the next day. I'm trying to accomplish something not just for myself but I'm trying to show people that no matter what type of adversities you might have, you never give up hope, you never stop trying." 

Our conversation with Martin included some powerful thoughts about personal fulfillment and humanity:

  • Have you ever had a dream where life got in the way of you achieving it?
  • Do you ever worry about having regrets?
  • Do you want to see if you are the person that you think you are in the back of your head?

The story behind Martin's journey to circumnavigate all 5 of the Great Lakes while enduring rheumatoid arthritis will inspire you. Check out our conversation to see what we're talking about!

Traci Lynn Martin: Why I'm Doing It

You can follow Traci's progress and contribute to her effort several ways: