Friday, October 31, 2008

Why We Sail… The Medicinal Value is so often overlooked

A view of Chicago's Skyline from my sail on 10/30/08

October 31, 2008

With all that is going on in the world it is easy to get wrapped up in the constant media bombardment of the Economic Crisis, Real Estate Bubble Bursting, Lending Crisis and numerous other ‘issues’ plaguing our society. I’ll be the first to admit it is real easy to pick up the paper or go online and be sucked into all this negative spin. Add to that an election year and it really can start to weigh you down.
It’s been almost two months since I stepped foot on any boat to actually sail it. Sure- you’re probably thinking- he gets to sail all the time. ‘The grass is always greener’ is my response. Seriously,the last time I was on our boat- was during the Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship in early September. It came at the end of a really long season of sailboat racing. Having our boat damaged during that regatta left me with an empty feeling in my stomach. Out of avoidance- I had not stepped foot on the boat since.
Yesterday afternoon- I had the opportunity to escape and get a quick sail on our stock Alerion Express 33. We’ve all probably heard the phrase- ‘the water was calling me’. Well it was a little of that, plus the fact that the wind was just right and the temperature was not bad either.
I think we (sail boaters) sometimes take for granted what a true pleasure it is to JUST SAIL. You know- just turning off the Smartphone- heading to the harbor and completely disconnecting for a short while. Just being one with the sun, water, waves and the wind. Just feeing the wind in your hair as you get the boat up to speed and take it all in-it is a true blessing. It always seems to come at the most appropriate time.
The ‘taking for granted’ may be a bit less here in Chicago where the winters can be so fierce sometimes and the summers so warm. When I lived in Miami- the complaint at the harbor was often- ‘it’s too hot’ or ‘it’s too windy’. Why because there are so many things to do in an area that has warm weather year-round. But here in Chicago- we treasure our sailing days so much more. It is very noticeable as you see people heading out on the ‘very windy days’- or with potential clouds overhead. Why? Because they can! Add to that this great skyline and a warmer than usual fall and WOW! There is no better way to enjoy our great city. All of the sudden-(if for just a brief moment) - we forget the ‘ills of the world’ and the pressing ‘things to do’. Temporary- I know- but the feeling is second to none. It is truly therapeutic. So if you’ve not gotten your dose of medicine lately- find a way to get out on the water before the weather turns- Just one more time!