A lively conversation that I had yesterday about sailing has gotten me thinking about balance. I wont go into the details of the conversation, but I found myself explaining (defending) my need for balance. I have always been a very driven person. For better or worse, whenever I decide to do something, whether it is a hobby, a career, or a relationship, I dive in headfirst and I dive deep. Although sailing has been a lifelong passion, I have certainly done that with taking it to the next level lately. I am very serious about learning and growing as a singlehanded, offshore sailor. I know that it takes dedication and practice, and I am beyond willing to do dive into that as I can. What I was able to get clear on yesterday though was that I will not do it at the cost of my love for or enjoyment of sailing. The whole reason I am doing any of this is because sailing feeds my soul (you can read more about that here)….from being surrounded by nature to the quiet reflective solace it provides, to the ability to push myself mentally and physically, to the utter relaxation and joy it brings…..sailing is my sanctuary. If I lose that by pushing myself too hard or taking it (or myself) too seriously, then I will have lost everything. I refuse to do that. Every experience on my boat from the most lighthearted and fun to the most intense and serious is as important as the other. I would never give up or trade any of them, because the balance that they create is what keeps my passion alive. Every time I head out of the marina, whether on a fun day sail with friends, a trip to Catalina, a race, or a solo practice sail, I say a prayer of gratitude and take a moment to soak in the blessing of being able to have this outlet in my life.