Originally published: SYRACUSE.com
Pressure and stress were twins in my work life as president and CEO of a cable network. In the highly competitive television market-place, programs had to appeal to viewers whom advertisers would want to reach. We were a start-up network and had to balance income with expenditures. Stress was a common companion. Fourteen hour days were not uncommon.
Many in our community deal with pressure and stress: work requirements, children’s schedules for music or Little League, volunteering in community or religious activities, finding together time with family and spouse. The list can go on and on.
To deal with stress in a healthy way, I discovered I needed to balance my life on two fronts. Much is written in the media about physical fitness and how important it is in dealing with life’s stresses. Exercise and healthy diet contribute to our physical well-being. Less is written about our spiritual health and how we nourish our spirits.
One of the most spiritually nourishing activities for me is sailing. When I step onto the deck of a sailboat, I step out of the world of day-to-day pressures and stresses. Here the crew and boat are pitted against weather, sea condition and natural or created hazards. When a boat leaves a harbor on Lake Ontario or the ocean, the crew must deal with whatever they find on the water. It can be fog or thunderstorm or high winds – or idyllic sailing conditions. Unlike on land, the crew has limited purposes: to sail the boat efficiently, to be safe and to have fun. They are in it together. There is good food, good conversation and good camaraderie.
God’s natural world offers healing. Beautiful sunsets. Wind in the hair and sun on the face. New places and ports. On the ocean, there is the meeting of dolphins with their seeming curiosity and whales with their enormous size and strength. We realize that we as humans are only a part of creation. Landside concerns are diminished to a more reasonable size.
For the entire article: http://blog.syracuse.com/healthfitness/2008/09/how_one_man_uses_sailing_to_no.html
Post-Standard’s Healthy Central New York supplement in October, 2008.