I took the boat back to the yacht club today, and finally got to meet the decision-make-lady.

Remember I took little kids racing this weekend, at an event that was only children new to racing. It was supposed to be a FUN thing.

She asked how it went and started to tell her “It was SO cool! We had the bes…”

But she just rolled her eyes and cut me off. “I don’t care. How did they do?”

“They did great! They all learn…”

“NO! Did. They. Win!?”

Ouch. Is that all we care about? They’re just kids. Anyway, I gave her the results, and told her again what a great time the kids had. They are all totally addicted now, and can’t wait to race again. There’s another race near by next month. We all really want to go. It involves camping and a haunted boat ride.

And she got MAD at me!

These kids are never using the boats again! They must be members. No one is going to the camping regatta. You can just forget the whole thing. She also implied that should probably become a member too.

Right lady. I can barely feed my dog half the time. There’s no freaking way I’m joining a yacht club. Especially one that’s an hour and 20 minutes from where I live. Nope. Nope. Nope. Not gonna happen.

I’m crushed. We had such a great time, and were so excited to do more.

It doesn’t make any sense. It’s NOT a kid friendly club. There’s no pool or “camp” or any typical yacht club things. No same parent is going to but their 8 year old a full priced membership to a glorified bar. A bar that has ironically poured thousands and thousands into a brand new youth fleet, but refuses to create a reasonably priced youth membership.

They’ve also arranged to lease a small fleet of 420’s, but won’t let anyone sail them… Because the club doesn’t own them??? Basically, it’s like they have $24,000 lawn ornaments.

Seriously. It’s a yacht club. It’s a place for people who are passionate about sailing to gather and share that feeling. It kinda seems like anyone who actually loved something would want to help make it accessible to the children, who will eventually have to power to grow the sport.

Why pour tons and tons and tons of money into something… That no one can use.

It’s dumb. And frustrating.


The Bubbles

I’m a former Olympic level athlete, with an eating disorder…

I ritualize.

This weekend, I coached my first regatta. The night before the race, one of the moms asked how early before the start time should they be there. She figured if it takes her kid 8-12 minutes to rig up, than 15 minutes should be plenty early enough…

At which point I had a full on I-can’t-breathe-and-feel-like-I’m-going-to-die-can’t-stop-crying colossal melt down.

It may only take 8 minutes to pop the sail into the boat, but it takes AT LEAST an hour to get ready!

One of the things I do before I race is a relaxation/visualization technique while stretching the toes to get the bubbles out. Most athletes have some quirky thing that MUST happen in order to compete. For me, getting the bubbles out is just as important as putting my sail in. So after the mom asked about only leaving enough time to rig, I stayed awake all night crying because there’s no possible way to race with the bubbles still in.

Anyway, they arrived on time, the start ended up delayed two hours, we had plenty of time to sit around. Her son was really nervous. So, while we were waiting, I taught him how to get the bubbles out. At first he laughed, but then he said it helped.

When we finally did get out on the water, the conditions were challenging. We had 14 little Opti kids out on the water, and 12 of them cried, screamed, freaked out, and asked us to find their parents. Mine was one of the two who didn’t.

This morning, he told me he didn’t cry because I got his bubbles out before he launched, so all he felt was calm and relaxed.

Stick it out

We were talking the other night about how in the bible the 12 spies go to check out Israel; 10 come back positive it’ll never workout, but Caleb and Joshua disagree.

I tend to be one of those other ten dudes… Actually, I think most of us do, that’s why they were represented by such an overwhelming majority.

But still, let’s be honest. Things don’t really tend to work out for me. I mean, what normal person needs an entire decade to earn an AA degree? Pretty much just me.

All these years I’ve been working on an education degree, knowing full well that I want nothing to do with teaching. At least not as a classroom teacher. It just seemed like the best option… Until I went to the orientation and it was completely paralyzing. I can’t devote that amount of time and money into something I already hate.

Fortunately, I have an eating disorder, and complicated, unresolved grief that probably can’t ever be fixed… But it means I’ve spent a lot of time with a bunch of therapists too. So that means I’ve spent a lot of time trying to create a clear picture of what I do want.

I want to:
Help people
Be creative
Work outside
Do yoga
Advocate and support anyone with special needs
Have a flexible and dynamic schedule
Financial security

Turns out… All that has a name. It’s not just a bunch of random whims bundled up. There’s a thing called recreational therapy. I found a program in state and applied. I’ll get in because I have an AA degree, so they have to accept me. There’s some mess with prereqs, but I already talked to an advisor and it won’t be an issue or keep me from being accepted.

I’m determined to stick it out this time. I really want it, in a way I never thought I’d experience again. As a world class athlete there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to get there. I didn’t make it, the accident derailed that dream. But all of the the hours and hours and hours training, traveling alone, sleeping in yacht club bathrooms, it wasn’t a burden. Suddenly, finishing school doesn’t feel like such an oppressive task either.

I need a job and stuff… But if I can just hang in there for two more years, I’ll have all of the training and background to land or create my perfect job.

The MV is harsh. Critical. Every time I try to move forward it shouts

You are sick. You always will be. This doesn’t go away. It doesn’t get better. Restrict. Restrict. Restrict. You are safe in here.

I have to fight that. I am. But I can’t take rests.