Ahoy Matey! Sailing and Your Fitness


sailing jun 2105‘Man the jib.’

‘Pinch to the mark.’

‘Time to tack.’

‘Launch the spinnaker.’

‘We’ve got dirty air’….




I could go on and on about this foreign sailing language that I’m trying to learn.

I have the good fortune of being BFF’s with an experienced sailor who’s invited me to be crew with her on a 21 foot sailboat.

We sail every Wednesday night. The BEST part is that it’s a RACE!

(To be honest, I’d be bored silly if we just went out on the reservoir and floated around. Yes, it’s be peaceful and relaxing, but after 15 minutes, I’d be ready to jump ship.)

Instead, there are about 15-20 boats that race several  pre-set courses. I’m on a winning team with super Skipper Colin and BFF, Rowena. Last week we came in first place overall and other weeks we’ve been in the top three.

How can I not love sailing when it’s a competition and we win too? barge race start

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned about sailing that you can apply to your fitness journey…

For Sailing => I do as I’m told. – As a member of the crew, I have very specific jobs that need to be done in order for us to move ahead. I concentrate on these things and let other things go.

For You => In your fitness journey, you can get overwhelmed with trying to do a bit of this and a bit of that, sort of like a rudderless ship. Pick a plan and follow it, don’t let other things distract you.

For Sailing => A hand for me and one for the boat. When ever I’m moving on the boat, I’ve been instructed to keep a hand on the boat to keep my balance and I use the other hand to do my job.

For You => As for your fitness… if you don’t want to fall off the wagon (or overboard), get a hand from an expert and then follow through to do your part applying the knowledge.

For Sailing => Do the opposite but stay the course – At the end of the night, when all the races are done, we race to the dock to see who can get their boats out of the water (and to the watering hole!) first.

I get tasked with the tiller. I’ve been trusted with steering the boat in (both an exhilarating/terrifying experience). For this, I need to steer the tiller in the opposite direction of where I want to go in order to get to the dock.

For You => Where fat loss is concerned you need to just keep going even when the results aren’t coming as expected. For example, you may lose a pound but then gain it right back.

Just ‘stay the course’ even when results are the opposite of what you want. Often times this is just a temporary situation and if you keep at it, the results you desire will follow.

barge flagFor Sailing => Keep it balanced – On the first night, I nearly had heart failure the way the boat would keel to each side. I had to learn how to keep my balance (not to mention my cool). The boat has stability that I can trust and I just need to move with it.

For You => You need to develop core stability in order to move safely and keep your balance. Without a stable core, it’s like shooting a cannon from a row boat. You’re likely to ‘sink your ship’ with injuries and you’ll definitely not hit any targets.

If you want to enjoy cool new adventures like sailing (or slack lining – like I did last weekend) you need to have balance and that starts with a strong core.

Let me talk strictly fitness for just a bit…

Did you know that the first group of muscles to fire during ANY movement are your core muscles? And that if these muscles aren’t working properly, it doesn’t matter how many ab exercises you do because you’ll never have the strength you want or get the waist shrinking results you desire.

The problem is that most people don’t understand the role your ab muscles are supposed to play in ANY movement pattern.

The solution is to learn how to reactivate your core. By turning to simple but effective exercises that not only shrink your waist and build toned or even 6-pack abs, you can also help fix old injuries, improve your posture and make your daily life easier and more enjoyable.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to do the hardest ab move on the planet thinking that you’re strengthening your core. It’s really the basics that are needed.

Here’s a great resource (text page) and if you have time to watch a video: this is an interview with an experienced doctor of physical therapy.

Click here if you want to watch a SHORT video from Dr. James Vegher where he talks about:

  • How he discovered unique ab exercises
  • What NOT to do when training your abs
  • Why the “mainstream” advice about ab training is WRONG
  • The best exercises you need to do daily to shrink your waist
  • How baby’s hold the key to flat abs FAST
  • And a TON more…

This is actually a 3 part series (each segment is just over 5 minutes).

Take a look at this page or this video to discover new ways to strengthen your core and flatten your belly – and who doesn’t want to do that with summer upon us?

barge with Row 2Okay, back to me now 😉

Rowena and I were on the ‘barge’  last night. This is a small covered raft afloat in the middle of the reservoir.

This was a new experience for me. We were conducting the races, waving flags, blowing whistles, determining winners…man, it was so cool to see the races from this perspective.

As you can see, sailing isn’t a glamorous sport and it’s not always fair weather conditions. I did my best NOT to fall overboard in the freezing water….;)