Saturday, July 09, 2016

Performing in sports

I run, I bike, I swim, I sail, I ski. I participate in organized events in all theses sports, I completed the 1/2 Ironman in Tremblant last year, I participate every year in the Canadian Ski Marathon and sometimes in the Morin Heights Viking Loppet. I used a 21 year old bike to race in Mont-Tremblant, I use old skis, or very cheap fish scale skis for cross country skiing and I sail on boats made 50 years ago. What's wrong with me?

I'm enjoying these participations more and more. Few people were out on the Lake St-Louis today, it rained all day, there was a thunder roll every twenty minute for a good part of the afternoon and the wind was cool and strong. The boat next to ours lost it's mast on one of the starts. I was sailing with Ralph and Collette, pictured below by Lucas, in the Beaconsfield Yacht Club annual regatta.

Two weeks ago I was cycling in Vermont, completing the Long Trail Brewry Century Ride to benefit adapted sports on my steel bike.

Ralph's boat is #901, about 5 years newer than the boat I usually sail on. It has a nice fibreglass floor, but few of the improvements that other boats have in the fleet: halyards that run inside the mast, twings, a backstay that can be adjusted by the middle person.

What I'm saying is that it's not about the boat, the bike or the skis. It's about having the equipment that will allow you to participate and have fun. I most thoroughly enjoyed the bike ride in Vermont and the ski Marathon because those events are not timed, there are only reasonable time limits so that organizers and volunteers can take a break after a long day. Slower skis allow me to have more fun for a longer time skiing the same distance. A slow bike is the same.  A fast boat on Lake St-Louis, only forces you to do a few more laps around the same course.

I had fun today because Ambitious is a solid boat that can handle strong wind, just what I needed to get on the water. I always told my students when I was a sailing teacher that the best way to gain experience sailing was to race. Today, the only sailors out were racers. So racing is to me the best way to get people sailing because it's often the only way to get on the lake. Once out we realize, it's so nice to be out.