Second Wind

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“Carie, what are you doing? Pull in the jib sheet!” Complete chaos is the only way to describe what is going on between the four of us as we run about in the tiny hull surrounded by water. “Is the spinnaker ready?” I rush to the corner and pack the immense, sapphire sail and attach all of the lines to the appropriate halyards. “STARBOARD!” My father bellows. I whip my head to the left and my eyes widen as I see about ten oncoming boats in close proximity. “Here comes a big puff!” I shout as I notice a gust of wind traveling swiftly across the water. We all jump to the high side and lean our bodies out parallel to the water. We get the perfect lift of wind to round the mark maintaining first place. “Whew!” I mutter as I fall back into my seat, thinking I can actually relax for a while as we travel downwind. “The spinnaker pole is stuck!” My brother yells from the foredeck. Even with all the chaos, pandemonium, bedlam and commotion, there is an intensity to our sailing passion that never seems to tire. The wind and the water are in my blood.

I believe that everyone has a passion that is unique to them. Mine happens to be sailing. During the summer months, my brothers, father and I race competitively in the largest ensign fleet in the nation. Sailing has always been an extremely important part of my life. My first sailing experience began aboard a tiny, 5 foot sailboat called a pram. From that point on, I knew it would be something I would be able to enjoy for the rest of my life. Over the years, I have looked up to and admired all of the competitive sailors in my family, hoping to someday be as skillful as they have grown to be. Slowly, I progressed my way up, boat by boat, from the tiny boats up to the bigger ones. As my ability increased, so has my confidence. Although I enjoy the competition during races, it’s not the element of sailing that I have grown to love. It’s the sensation of total bliss and ecstasy that I feel while I’m out on the water.

I believe that sailing is one of the most natural feelings in the world - almost like my own personal form of meditation. When I am on the water, it’s as if the wind is blowing all of my troubles away. My senses are awakened as I feel the breeze against my face, I hear the lapping of the waves against the hull of the boat, and I look out at the beautiful scenery of the lake and shoreline. My mind becomes clear of everything except for what is happening on the water, and my reflexes know instinctively what to do with each gust of wind. The combination of all of these things places me in that given moment, and for that instance nothing in the outside world matters. It’s nice to have a place to escape to. To allow Mother Nature to take hold of the moment and direct your next move is probably as close to paradise as I’ve been.





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