anigo: (sailing_is_hard_work)
[personal profile] anigo
Last night I went sailing with my Wednesday night guys. I saw this post on Facebook this morning and it underscored the crap that's under the cut.

I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:

I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.

The Wednesday night guys are a random group of guys on a half decent boat. There are 3 guys who are always there, another 3 or 4 that are almost always there, and a cast of others who come and go. They range from knowing how to sail well to barely knowing which end of a rope to pull. They have the potential to be amazing, but they're not there yet.

All in all, though, the 3 guys who are always there are really decent people, and most of the other 3 or 4 are pretty ok too. There are a few people who make me raise my eyebrows inside, but you're not going to love EVERYBODY you meet now, are you.

Last night we had 2 of the three that are always there and one of the almost always there guys. And we had two ladies that rarely show up. One of the ladies had sprained her back and was just along for the ride. The other lady is one of those ones who makes me raise my eyebrows inside, but to be clear, not my boat, so I'm hardly going to toss her overboard right? Everybody gets a smiley Gina, regardless of where my eyebrows are.

So if you're keeping count, we have me, two regulars, one almost regular, one sometimes sailor and an injured body. So that's 5 able bodied sailors. That's not ideal on a boat the size of the boat we're sailing, but it's certainly not impossible. Quite the opposite. It means you probably won't fly a spinnaker (we could have, but we didn't) but you can race everything else just fine.

So. Usually on this boat I'm rail meat and get to fly the spinnaker if we put it up. I'm ok with that. I know there's a pecking order and I'm fairly new to the boat. I don't ever expect to do anything more. All good. The girl is newer than I am and much less experienced, but she came with one of the guys who's a good friend of the owner so, well, she gets extra seniority points for that. Two guys usually do the jib (take care of the front sail on the boat) and she "helps" (meaning she stands around and gets in the way). Those two guys weren't there last night so I got to do the jib. Before that though, the guy who usually does the main had to do something so he handed it off to me. To be clear, I've done this before. Excuse the brag for a moment, but I can do any position on the boat. Some of them better than others, but I can, and have, done them all. This is my sport. So for a while I was on the main (the big sail in the back) and then I was with her on the jib.

So the race gets going, and we've done a couple of tacks and somehow something's pissed off this woman.

We're getting ready for another tack... the process for a tack goes like this:
- Skipper says we're going to tack.
- Crew scuttles about and gets into position for a tack
- Skipper asks if everybody's ready
- Crew all yells out "ready!"
- Skipper calls the tack
- The tack happens.
(Tacking is when you change the sail from one side of the boat to another.)

Our tack went like this:
- Skipper said we're going to tack.
- Crew scuttled about and got into position for a tack
- Skipper asked if everybody was ready
- Most of the crew yelled out "ready"
- The woman did not.
- The skipper once again asked if everybody's ready
- Most of the crew again yelled out "ready"
- This woman, again did not.
- The skipper asked the woman directly if she's ready
- The woman mumbled yes
- Skipper called the tack
- The tack happens.

The woman then promptly went belowdecks and didn't come back for the rest of the race. She sat on a berth and looked at her phone until we docked, at which point she grabbed her stuff and left as quickly as she could. A couple of times I stuck my head below and asked her if she wanted to help with the tack. She ignored me.

It bugged me for a bit, and I wondered what I could have done differently, and then I remembered... I'm a 47 year old woman (and she's older than I am, for chrissake!) This is not kindergarten. This is a grown up team sport. If somebody pisses you off you either deal with it as an adult, or you suck it up and move on.

Afterwards the rest of the crew kinda looked at each other in bafflement and asked what I did to piss off the other woman. I told them I truly didn't have a clue. One of the guys said he figured it was because I took over the jib and she must have figured that SHE was in charge. Fair enough, but in a grown up world if you have a problem, you say something. I gave her plenty of opportunity to do what she wanted to do. At the start of every tack I asked her what part she wanted to play. When we started, she said she liked to release and then tail (pull the sail in). Ok, well, um... in a tack, the release and the tailing happens AT THE EXACT SAME TIME so you can't do both. You can release and then help grind, or you can tail. So she started with the release, and then she did nothing, since I was already starting to pull the sail in. We got to a point where we were flying the sail on a stupid angle and I was flying it - because I can. And she said that this was her favourite sailing angle. I told her she could fly it if she wanted. She walked away.

Yup. Kindergarten.


Anyway, I apologized to the guys afterwards. I told them I sail better than I "girl" so if I pissed her off inadvertently, since she's a friend of a friend of the guy who owns the boat and I'm just a sailor, I'm happy to shove off. To be clear, I have a lot of other Wednesday night options. The guys were pretty adamant that they needed sailors more than they needed girls.

But what grown up deals with conflict (or with not getting their way) but going away and pouting, and not answering when asked a direct question?

Didn't matter. I did the jib by myself. The release, the tail AND the grind. And I rocked it. It's what I do.

Class dismissed.
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