As leaders, we all need a way to refresh, renew and recharge from time to time. One of the ways that I do this is through sailing.
I was born in Arizona in the middle of the desert, which begs the question – how did a desert rat end up becoming a sailing fanatic?
In 2017, a long-time friend invited me to join him for a weekend sail. He and his wife are members of the Harbor Sailboats sailing club in San Diego.
We spent two nights on a 36 foot boat, my first time on a boat that big. We anchored one night in Glorietta Bay and one night in Mission Bay. We had such a great time that we decided to make it an annual event.
The next year we chartered a larger boat and had another great weekend. At that point, I was hooked.
I decided to take lessons. After I passed my first class, I started traveling to San Diego on a regular basis so that I could practice.
I then took my commitment to the next level. I took additional classes, and decided to invest in a used 34 foot sloop. Her name is Kayleigh, which in Old Celtic means “celebration of life.”
Then, I placed my boat in the club’s charter fleet. They maintain it, and I use it whenever I’d like. This allows me to enjoy my outings to San Diego with very little expense.
Sailing is a terrific sport and once I made the decision to jump in, I’ve never looked back. I’ve made some wonderful friends and already have many great memories. I’ve become a very proficient sailor, but I’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of knowledge and experience.
And sailing helps me improve my leadership. Here’s how:
Health — Being on the water brings me peace. The ocean’s vastness, beauty and sea life fascinate me. This engenders gratitude and thankfulness that refreshes me mentally and physically and keeps me focused.
Connections — My world has been made better through the great people I’ve met and sailed with. From instructors, staff, and fellow sailors, the journey has been amazing and I’m constantly expanding my circle of sailing friends. And new connections lead to new opportunities.
Confidence — Sailing, for me, represented a big personal challenge. Honestly, I was fearful. Never having spent much time on the water, the power and ferocity of the ocean were daunting. By facing those fears, both my confidence and enjoyment have increased. Now I can’t wait for my next adventure! For leaders, stretching our limits from time to time is beneficial.
What’s next for me? I’m in the process of earning my commercial captain’s license, and am becoming involved in offshore racing. I also just obtained my Open Water Scuba Diving certification.
How about for you? How do you refresh, renew and recharge yourself? Are you creating adequate margin in your schedule to allow for this?
And… if you travel to San Diego give me a shout. If our schedules line up, I’ll get you out on the water.
Who knows, you might get the bug like I did!