Jack Trigger: Keeping the mind and body sharp
Contrasting times. As a solo sailor, I’m used to exercising my freedom. Spending lots of time travelling and out in the environment, adventure and pushing boundaries are what drive me. So, to find myself suddenly at home and with all racing cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future is a bit of a shock to the system. On the other hand, solo sailing prepares you well for these situations. It teaches you how to be isolated, how to deal with uncertainty and how best to make do with what you’ve got.
So while the closest I’ve been to the water recently is jumping on the rowing machine and closing my eyes, which I can assure you is not as serene as you might hope, I’ve found time to focus on other important areas. I’m very lucky to have some gym equipment at home, and access to some great running routes from the doorstep, but it’s also about being creative and changing it up – circuits in the garden or living room are fun and easy and there’s no shortage of suggestions out there!
Of course, maintaining fitness while not on the water is important, but having the opportunity to make progress here will no doubt be rewarded when we get back on the racecourse. I’ve also taken the opportunity to catch up on all other aspects of the campaign: spending time working with sponsors and partners, not to mention climbing the pile of admin that so rarely shrinks.
I’ve been able to spend time studying core skills like meteorology and strategy, and I even profess to a quick delve into virtual sailing – keeping the mind sharp! There is no substitute for being on the water, but there’s a lot you can do without it.
As a type 1 Diabetic, I do have to be a little more cautious during this time, but there are so many unknown factors that being cautious is advisable for everyone. I’ve been managing my condition for many years now, so I know what risks and signs to look out for, and I’m doing what I need to do in order to keep myself safe at home. On the positive side, any impact this has on my training is well worth it for the bigger picture.
One of the great and unexpected things through this period has been all the archive content shared online. There’s no shortage of inspiration out there, and it’s been refreshing to take a step back, rediscovering my own inspiration and motivation. The Vendée Globe channels are particularly interesting right now, especially with the historical content being shared.
I think it’s fair to say that we’re all looking forward to being outdoors again, being in the elements and finding where our limits are. When you start to appreciate how far you can go, you begin to understand what it means to truly feel alive. However, we are rarely forced to stop and appreciate where we are, where we’ve got to and what exciting challenges still lie ahead.
Text by Jack Trigger
Photos by James Tomlinson