Skip to content

Set Sail for New Goals in this NewYear of 2016

December 31, 2015

Recently I received an email from Toshi, a long-time class participant who asked for ideas about how to train effectively for a rigorous sailing competition in the spring of 2016. Over the course of our discussions, he demonstrated the process I encourage everyone to follow to move toward their new goals for the new year.

Determine the Skills and Physicality That Need to be Acquired

Tosh began his process by finding and sending me a YouTube instructional video in which an expert sailor demonstrates the position Toshi will need to maintain for a long period of time while navigating the small, 1-person sailboat around the race route.

Seek Guidance

After asking me for ideas, Toshi allowed me to show him how to use a roman chair inversely (featured below) to simulate what he’ll have to do by 1) anchoring his feet under the sailboat strap, 2) sitting on the edge of a boat and 3) leaning back out over the water to balance the small craft. By performing core flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotations, he’d  build and strength endurance throughout his core and hip flexors.


Once he had that idea, Toshi went one step further by finding the directions that allowed him to build a piece of equipment that more accurately simulates the specific dimensions of his boat.


IMG_1948That’s a great move on several fronts. Unlike other sports like running or biking where getting out to practice is as easy as walking out the front door, Toshi appreciates he has only so much time per week to practice on the water. Having equipment at home that he can use between open-water training will help him gain sports-specific practice in a consistent time-efficient way.

Practice With the Intent of Progressing

Lastly, Toshi set up a practice schedule that’s realistic. Specifically, he’s given himself several months in which to achieve his physical goals.  Secondly, his weekly workouts are designed to progress him toward building strength and endurance. For example, when he began using his simulation equipment about 5 weeks ago, he was able to hold himself in the laid-back sailing position for a minute. Then after a few weeks he could maintain the position for three minutes. Now he’s up to 10 minutes. And so he’ll continue to increase his endurance until reaching the time that will serve him during the race.


Get Started!

If there’s an activity you’d like to do this year, but are unsure of how to begin, considering following the same 3-step process. If you get stuck, go to step 2 — seeking guidance — until you find the article or person who provides you with the piece of information or idea that gets you moving toward the next step.

And remember, the only way to fail is to not try, whereas trying guarantees advancement. While you may not get the results you desire the first time around, the amount you learn and the experience you garner puts you in the category of doer, which puts you in the running for winner, the definition of which you alone should determine.

If you’ve got a story like Toshi’s — and advice to help others toward their goals — I’d like to hear it! We humans do best when we share what we know.

Happy working out in this New Year!


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: