Mooring Minute – Stand up and hold your ground!
I was recently asked, “When is it the right time to hold your ground and follow thru on that protest?” Based on my experience, many of the top sailors I have raced against, are not involved in as many protests as they chose to sail thru and around issues versus creating issues and sailing through conflict. But there comes a time to stand up and hold your ground.
I believe, great sailors instinctively know that the results they desire are bigger than any moment. They understand that each race or series is a collection of thousands of decisions, each more meaningful than the last. That those future opportunities, offer the opportunity for bigger gains and those gains are sought by having a clear heart. They have learned that being caught up in a disagreement over a difference of vision on a situation and that the time debating or defending that decision while racing, takes away from the time which can be better used, focusing forward, being in the moment and having a clear heart, to seek gains when the opportunity arises. It’s not that they don’t defend themselves and role over, they do defend when required to do so but they have learned its more effective to duck someone on starboard, and sail on to continue with a big gain, then to win the crossing and force someone to tack or to force a protest. They have learned it’s best to sail around a pack of boats at a leeward gate, then to be caught up in the group while being sailed out of the game. But there does come a time to defend yourself, to hold your ground and to do whats right, and sometimes doing whats right is to follow through and protest and when you do it, it comes from the heart as you are doing whats right versus following the path of anger and vengeance. Rules are rules and rules that they are there for everyone to follow. Sometimes as fleets grow, there are those who feel they have grown above the rules, sometimes there are those who feel that the rules don’t count for them, I believe that it’s their way of finding the position their ego believes they should be attaining; Or, that they feel that in some way that its ok for them to foul the fleet and sail away for that same internal reasoning, that their inner ego is telling them that no one was looking and it’s ok, when we all know it’s not. It’s then that following your heart and following thru is the right thing to do, so too restore order to the village, as rules are rules and rules are meant for everyone to follow. So the next time you are out on the race course and in the heat of battle, do whats right, hold your ground, building your legacy and but do so while sailing in grace!
So untie the ties which are holding you back and head out and make new friends and some lifetime memories.
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By Walter Johnson
The Mooring Minute
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