I spent the weekend sailing but this wasn't your average sailboat race. These 100+ year-old sailboats called log canoes hang people ten feet above the water on planks to keep from tipping over. Why? Because there's a ton of sail and hardly anything under the boat to counterbalance it. The end result? Two hours of exhilaration (read: sheer terror) that you're about to capsize or get whacked by a huge piece of wood while flying through the water at fantastic speeds. This video from the Wall Street Journal gives you a pretty good idea of what my experience on the log canoe Noddy was like.
Log Canoe Racing Thrills on Chesapeake Bay by WSJ_Live
I sailed one two-hour race. It was incredible exercise sliding in and out of the boards. But alas, my 'death grip' wasn't deathly enough and I fell off my board while we were tearing through the water at a good 10mph. The boat didn't stop; I got thrown a line and pulled in while it kept going at those ten miles per hour. But we finished -- upright! -- and this was apparently the first time The Noddy had finished a race all year. They called me their 'lucky charm.' They also called me their newest heavyweight.
It was a joke. You see, as a boardman on these boats it's best to be on the heavy side. While I hate the fact that I weigh 155 pounds and I feel enormous, they wanted someone heavier than me to help keep the boat upright. But no one else volunteered so I was it and apparently I was enough. But they still made fun of the fact that they wished I had weighed more, because it would've made the job of keeping the boat upright easier.
They. Wished. I. Weighed. More.
It's very strange to think that these people had no problem with my weight; I was told for years by my family that I was overweight and therefore unhealthy, fat, ugly, and unloveable. Often in more words, though. This weekend gave me a rare moment of self-acceptance and validation. My 155 pounds helped us to our first finished race all season.
It also gave me one hell of an appetite. I had trouble getting full after both Saturday's race and after sailing my usual small boats on today. I keep telling myself that it's just the insane amounts exercise I got sailing. I didn't binge and I let myself eat. I let myself have a 200-empty-calorie hard cider after the race instead of a diet soda. It was hard for me but ultimately okay because those 155 pounds of an awful lot of muscle needed fuel.
I still worry about my hunger, hoping it's the exercise and not the med. I'm taking a day off tomorrow to rest. Hopefully my appetite will calm down. But in all it was a great, exhilarating weekend. Oh, and I got to see a river dolphin just as we crossed the start line :o)
p.s. For those of you who were wondering how I got into this, in the video you'll see the red-shirted "Silver Heel" crew capsizing. What you can't see is my aunt getting dunked in the water as she crewed that boat.