Maybe you are one of
those people who will make a new year’s
resolution for a healthier, happier life. In
that spirit, I would like to offer this valuable
self-improvement tip for living a longer,
healthier, happier life. Give the woman in your
life expensive gifts.
Just kidding. Here’s the
Take up boating.
I’m sure that somewhere
there is scientific research that shows boaters
are healthier and happier than non-boaters. How
could that not be true? Boaters just doing what
boaters do are healthier and happier than people
who run marathons and eat tofu. Ever notice the
look on the face of a runner versus the face of
someone out sailing? What a difference. Boaters
must be healthier and happier than their
non-boating counterparts. At least they look
like they are. Runners and bikers look strained
and exhausted. (Too much tofu, don’t you think?)
Boaters look happy and relaxed. I’m sure this is
new scientific data that has never been studied
Anyway, the point is, if
you’re not a boater then now you have no more
excuses. If your Doctor says, “get healthy” then
we have the perfect prescription. Go boating.
But you’re probably wondering, “How do I get
started?” First, don’t fret about the pain it’s
going to exact on your bank account. Actually
you can be a boater and never own a boat. All
you have to do is wear Sperry Top-Siders and
hang out with people who actually do have a
boat. Show up on the docks on Wednesday nights
or Saturday mornings. Every now and then you may
be asked, “want to crew for us?” You act
surprised and say, “who me? Sure, I could go out
for a little while.” You could meet the man or
woman of your dreams, get married, buy a boat
and raise more little boaters. But, I digress.
Here’s the best part.
Boating is a heckuva lot more fun than jogging
six miles or going to bed after a supper of
sprouts. All these years you were thinking “no
pain, no gain.” It doesn’t have to be that way.
Dr. Atkins says you can eat all the cheese and
butter you want. Dr. Barb says you can go
boating all you want. Life really is good.
The beginning boater,
like the triathlon athlete, needs to start
his/her program toward a healthier, happier
lifestyle carefully. Since a trip of a thousand
miles starts with the first step, as the Chinese
proverb tells us, I think your first step should
be to go to your local boat show. Smell the
smell of new fiberglass. See the lights play
against the shined up gel-coat. Eat a hot dog.
Watch the people. These are your kind of people.
(Well, some are.) Walk the docks, listen to
Jimmy Buffett and buy some new Top-Siders.
Step two. Don’t buy a
boat. Not yet, anyway. Take some classes. Spend
time on the water. Decide what kind of boating
you like. Do you want to sail, paddle a kayak,
or cruise in a big comfortable yacht for weeks
at a time?
You see, boating is not
one activity, but many. Your boat is just the
vehicle to do your thing. Is your thing fishing?
Then ask yourself if you want to fish from an
aluminum skiff, or a long-range, offshore
sportfisherman, or anything in-between.
Want to sail? Then you
need to determine whether you’ll sail on a
sailboard, a sailing dinghy, a cruising sailboat
or a racing sailboat.
Want to run around and
water ski? You might tilt toward a personal
watercraft, a runabout, a bow rider, a pure ski
boat, a deck boat, a go-fast boat or a jet boat.
Want to cruise? Maybe
you’d like to own what we call a “vacation home
that floats.” Then tour a houseboat, a motor
yacht, a trawler, or even a megayacht. Spend
time on a similar vessel. I mean go on a
friend’s boat or charter a boat for a week.
There are hundreds of different vessels out
there so be sure to try before you buy.
Like I said, there’s a
lot to learn before you pull the trigger. Which
brings me to…
Step three. Buy your
wife some jewelry.
Step four. Buy the boat
and use it, often.
Step five. Live happily,
and healthily, ever after.