What makes you feel alive?
As we head into winter months it can be easy to stay on the couch instead of pushing ourselves and our bodies to new limits.
Now more than ever I appreciate the benefits of getting outdoors or going sailing during winter, as I sit here in lockdown, unable to go sailing.
When you are challenged by something, (for sailors it could be a new boat, strong winds, big waves, or a long race, etc); every anxious thought or pent up frustration is suddenly directed towards manoeuvring and handling a boat planing along the water, trying to keep the boat upright and travelling fast.
Or perhaps the surprise of finding a long day of winter sunshine which you can appreciate from a boat in the middle of a harbour or lake.
I have learnt more about a healthy body as I focus on wellness and I have learnt how important Vitamin D, Iodine, Zinc, Vitamins A and C are in keeping the body functioning.
I remember the fantastic feeling I had after being on the water all weekend for a regatta (I had an office job at the time); and I put it down to the Vitamin D. Are we solar-powered, or what?
And the feeling a short sail can give you - an aerobic workout: the core and leg muscles are working constantly to balance yourself as you work to balance the boat. The muscles of the hands and arms work as you work the sail and the ropes, and control the steering.
How are you coping with your lockdown? What attitude will you take forward from this experience? How will you think about the winter ahead as we gaze outside at this beautiful weather?
I will be more grateful for the freedom to get out on the water, no matter what the weather conditions or circumstances.
What about you? How will you maintain your love of life?
At this time of year I usually teach sailing at Buckland Beach Yacht Club, and for Sailability Auckland, a great programme designed for people with disabilities. My background is in Olympic sailing, and I still compete every year at the Womens' National Keelboat Champs.
I have enjoyed some time off the water to get fitter and to put together learn to sail videos for you. I am passionate about getting people on the water and enjoying this amazing sport.
If you want to take up a new challenge but you need a little inspiration and confidence to get on your sailing journey, please get in touch!
Videos: Learn to Sail: Steering and Learn to Sail: Wind Direction
For your personal demonstration of a TIWAL or to find a dealer near you please get in touch here.
And finally here are a few ideas to inspire you to get on the water!
Check out last year's TIWAL Cup in France
⛵️ Try Virtual Skipper or Virtual Regatta - a virtual programme where you can sail and race around the world!
And just for fun…
Some footage of 18 footers sailing in my favourite place in the world to sail …. Lake Garda, Italy…. https://youtu.be/mqNt7ajZtto
AND some footage of Sail GP in Sydney https://youtu.be/gbuoQHUc-Jk
Have fun, stay safe and see you on the water soon.
I am a New Zealand sailor who learned to sail in the beautiful Malborough Sounds and then went onto represent NZ at the 2000 Olympics.