Steve Manson told us in Sailing Flow that it's not about the trophies. Sure, I agree. But when you comfortably make the top half of the fleet in a regatta one year and then are almost last the next year you can't help feeling down. But then you have to look on the bright side and turn to those sailor's consolations...
- A bad day on the water is better than a good day at the office. True. But I'm retired now. So I don't have to go to the office any more. What would I have been doing if I hadn't been sailing on Saturday? Probably going shopping with Tillerwoman at the local farmers' market. I've nothing against farmers' markets (or Tillerwoman for that matter) but a bad day on the water is better than a good day shopping with the wife.
- What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. I must be learning something thrashing around at the back of the fleet like this, surely? Even if it's only that I ought to exercise more and lose ten pounds.
- At least I'm getting some exercise today. I haven't done any running for a few weeks. These days, sailing and gardening are about the only exercise I get. And even a bad day's sailing is more fun than running or working out at the gym. If it weren't for sailing I would just be some fat old guy sitting on a couch tapping away on a keyboard. Come to think of it, I am.......... you can fill in the blanks.
- At my age Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were both dead. I'm sixty years old, I still have my health and enough fitness to chase some of the best Laser sailors in New England around a race course all day. I should be thankful.
- It's sunny, the sky is blue, the water is warm and I'm out sailing. What is there to complain about?
- I'm sailing in the capital of yachting, Newport. There's a lighthouse over there on Rose Island to the west, historic Newport harbor and waterfront in the east, Fort Adams home of the Museum of Yachting in the south, and the spectacular Clairborne Pell Bridge in the north. There are all kinds of classic yachts and former America's Cup 12-meters sailing around. Where else would a sailor rather be?
- The bad days make you appreciate the good days even more. If you won every race you sailed it would become awfully boring after a while... I imagine. (I can only imagine such an improbable scenario.) The one day in three years that I won a regatta was only rewarding because it was the only day in three years that I won a regatta.
- Failure is a great motivator. "That guy" may be beating me today. But I'm gonna get him soon. Tomorrow is another day. Next time I'll get it right.
OK. You get the picture. How about you? How do you console yourself after a bad day on the water?