When I think of my experiences with sailing, two words come to mind, freedom and unpredictability. I now realize what attracted me to sailing in the beginning and why I continue sailing.
It’s human nature to yearn for freedom, and I’m human. When I go sailing, I feel free and can do whatever I want to do. Whether that entails sailing straight into the horizon or heeling is up to me and my current mood. Also, when sailing the skipper is free to make changes and choices. I don’t know how many times I have thought, “should I hold my course or head to that puff?” It’s not like saying, “should I do my homework or not?” The freedom of sailing is what addicted me to sailing.
If freedom addicted me to sailing, the unpredictability made me love it. The first time I ever went sailing, a storm came up. One minute we were sailing in great weather, and the next minute it was pouring down rain! We capsized a lot before sailing to shore. For a ten year old on a sunfish with two girls in hysterics, I should have been terrified, but I was exhilarated. I could not wait to go out sailing the next day! From that day on, I loved sailing, especially the fact that everything could change in a second.
Sailing gives you a certain sensation that is hard to explain. Whenever I get on a beam reach where I’m heeling a lot, I can’t keep the smile off my face. It is like the part of your brain that stores all of your stress has been opened and all of your troubles fly away like ripped telltales. In a world that is so uptight, I’m glad I have the freedom and unpredictability of sailing.
This story placed in the author’s age category in the 2000 “Why I Love Sailing” writing contest sponsored by Sunsail, Performance Sailcraft, Douglas Gill, Boatscape.com and Interlux. Meredith PIckett of Houston, Texas, was 14 when she wrote this story, which was first published on www.kidtravels.com.
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