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The Mental and Physical Workout Anyone Can Do (And It’s Beautiful)

sailingUp until this summer, the only watersports I’d done in my life were SUP and tubing (hey, it takes considerable core and arm strength to hold on!). And if you’d told me a month ago that I’d be sailing on a lake — and actually kind of knowing what the heck I was doing — I would have said you were crazy. But, hey, it happened and it was really, really cool.

Me and the fam headed up to visit some friends in Wisconsin, and besides tasting delicious Wisconsin wine, we had some awesome lake time. I mean, how pretty is Green Lake, Wis.? God, I love water.


And, really, just hanging on a boat and the dock on our friend’s family’s property would have been enough for me to consider the trip a vacation success, but then our friend’s mom Julie insisted I go out with her on their catamaran. Correction: Julie didn’t just want me to go out with her on the catamaran. She wanted me to sail it.

Um, I’ve never been sailing before. Unless you call “sailing” a booze cruise in Jamaica, and then I’m way experienced at that.

Sailing seemed kind of scary. The maneuvering, the logistics, the wind, the pulling, the boat lingo! But, as Julie explained, she regularly teaches kids how to sail in one day. So, clearly, she could teach me with a quick trip out. Right?

Turns out, right. In less than an hour, and with minimal instruction, we were out in the middle of the lake, and I was following the wind. It took a lot of mental concentration, taping into my intuition (I was surprised at how intuitive sailing was), physical strength and a sense of adventure.

Sure, when the wind completely died off, I got a little panicky about how we were going to get back to shore, but Julie taught me some tricks and, with some calm patience, we got back home. It was one of those active adventures that reminded me that when it comes to being active, the sky is the limit.

I tend to think of “workouts” in terms of WODs or trips to the gym or miles run, but there is a whole wide world of things to do and try. And there is a big ol’ outdoor world to get out and see. If you’ve never been sailing and think it’s totally hard or scary or takes lots of training, think again! The American Sailing Association has a ton of resources online, plus classes you can take.

And, if you’re in Green Lake, be on the lookout for Julie. She’ll be the one out on the water sailing a Hobie Cat and encouraging you to just try it!

Have you ever been sailing? Tell me about your experience in the comments! —Jenn

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