Everything about sailing is fun. The weather, the water, the people, the boats, the equipment, the competition, the education, the challenge…it is all fun. But I am sailing towards the Olympic Games in Rio because I love that it is all about self improvement.
The people I sail against, the people I sail with, the people I meet are an amazing group of people that I am privileged to call my friends. People that are called to the water for this sport are always caring, giving and genuine people that love to work hard, and play hard. The people in my life pretty much all sail and they all have the attitude that nothing is impossible! We all can reach our dreams if we are willing to focus on self improvement to make us the best we can be!
The equipment I sail on is state of the art. The Viper F16 is by far the most advanced and well boat in the F16 class to date. The NACRA17 is just exciting to look at and is amazingly technical to sail. Every time I jump on board my adrenaline starts pumping and I can see myself on the starting line at the medal race in Rio! Sailing over 20 knots is exhilarating, but it takes a lot of strength, focus and knowledge to be able to handle these boats at their maximum limits. It is a constant effort of self improvement to handle the boat as she is intended.
In order to compete against the world’s top athletes, I have to be able to perform at their level. This requires me to constantly be developing my strength, agility, cognitive ability (notice the use of a big word to prove I am growing mental capacity), tactical knowledge and, well everything to be the best I can be. When I go to the gym each day to work out, I have one goal…to push myself to the limit, to force self improvement through extreme effort and physical pressure so that I walk out of the gym in a state of utter exhaustion. I am not focused on looking good, or sounding appropriate…I am there to improve myself so that I can be better than the competition when strength is needed.
My path to self improvement is enhanced by and I am motivated because of the opportunity to make the US Olympic Sailing Team for the 2016 Games in Rio. But it should be clear that my life, my self worth is not based on my current goals of winning Gold in Rio. I am in it to win it, but I am doing all of this because I want to continually make myself better. Self improvement is a life-long journey. To become better in life includes being stronger, smarter, faster, better, more outgoing, more giving. The list goes on and on and and will continue to change and morph over my life, but it will always be the same objective. To improve and better myself.
I am doing everything I can to be able to win, to achieve my goal and to ultimately win a Gold medal in Rio, but no matter what happens at the US Olympic Trials in a couple of years and then at the Games, I will know that I have experienced tremendous growth and have become a better, smarter, stronger person through the experience and my friends and supporters will benefit from this growth for my entire life.
As you are reading this, I hope you can relate to your lifelong journey to better yourself and maybe can reaffirm your dedication to making yourself better each time you see me in the gym, on my bike or at a boat park somewhere around the globe! Rock on, you are awesome because you are working along your own path of self improvement!