If you’re not capsizing…

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25/08/2016 by Chris Green

I tend to be a cautious bloke.  Like to know where I am and what’s about to happen.  By and large, pretty controlled.

So learning to sail last week was a deliberate exercise in getting out of my comfort zone.  Way out.  I say ‘learning to sail,’ meaning ‘starting to learn to sail’.  Meaning, ‘learning how to capsize with good grace.’ Mostly.  And get quite bruised in the process.

And over drinks of the evening, some of my more experienced fellow-sailors (see what I did there?  I am one too, now) gave me a couple of nuggets of wisdom.  On capsizing.

1.  If you’re not capsizing, you’re not having enough fun. 

I could have paddled around with a more experienced sailor all week, staying upright and dry-ish.  Controlled. Everything in its place.  But, if I wanted to learn to get a boat out on my own, I was going to have to take the plunge (I know) and get out there on a ludicrously tippy piece of plastic with a ludicrously complex set of stringy stuff and canvas, and learn how to control the wretched thing.

And get wet a lot.  Because the fun part only comes when you’ve learnt it the hard way.  And actually, when you’re learning to sail off a Greek island, capsizing can be quite fun in itself.  In fact, over the space of a week I went from capsizing with uncontrolled panic, to capsizing with an almost bored sense of déjà vu.  Here we go again.

2. If you’re not capsizing, you’re not trying hard enough. 

Because even the best sailors capsize sometimes (I’m relaying this from the bevy of old salts over a beer – I think I got this right), and it’s because they keep pushing themselves to go a bit faster, a bit closer to the wind.


Do I need to make the leadership lessons obvious?

  1. Are you trying hard enough that you might just capsize if it goes wrong?
  2. And if you do capsize, are you having enough fun that you can learn to get in again and have another go?
  3. Christian leader – while you must take your task with great seriousness, is there a risk you might be taking yourself a bit seriously, too? Go and get a dunking.


    Fun and holidays aside, you can order The Message of The Church (discount) from 10ofthose here,

    Otherwise, from Amazon here, and for your Kindle here.

    US edition available from Amazon here, and for your Kindle here.

    Aussie? Koorong has it here.

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