The Season of Visualization
As much as I yearn for the warmth of the summer sun on my face as I cruise Muskoka waters, I also spend a great deal of my winter yearning for the feel of a golf club in my hands. While the snow flies, I get my fix of the former through work obligations and my fix of the latter by snuggling up for hours on end with the latest PGA tour event on my boob tube.
I took up golf six years ago when I met my now husband. (Incidentally, he’s also the Muskoka connection that allows me to enjoy some recreational time on the water during the summer months.) For anyone who partakes in this insanely frustrating and highly addictive pastime, you know that golf instructors, fellow amateurs, experts and tour stars all seem to agree that visualizing the shot is a key ingredient to consistent success. Apparently, repeatedly running the perfect shot through your mind actually helps to train muscle memory.
I broke 100 for the very first time last summer. It felt amazingly good. But, truth be told, I really know don’t how I did it, and have therefore been unable to come anywhere close to replicating the result since. So I chalk it up to a fluke, a good day on the links, and hope that incorporating some visualization techniques this season will get me into those double digits again.
So what does all this have to do with boating? Well, I received Dusty Miller’s boat handling column while in the midst of watching the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and suddenly the connection was made. It seems the power of creating a mind map of sorts is pervasive.
In his column Dusty writes, “Proper anticipation begins with a plan.” In order to gain control and get the desired result when at the helm, a boater needs to think about the wind and other conditions and make a plan before committing to the manoeuvre. In this way, a boater can anticipate and react accordingly – not overreact and make things worse. Seems so simple…
The theme of the importance of planning also wove its way into our Cruising Life article for this issue. For the last year we have been following a couple as they dealt with the trials, tribulations and triumphs of life on board while completing the Great Circle Loop. Now that we’ve inspired our readers to venture away from their home ports, we decided it would be beneficial to bring you a piece on all the things you should know before heading out of Canadian waters. Again, the idea is that going into something with a plan – anticipating what may happen and what to do about it if it does – increases your odds of bringing about the best result.
At its core, visualization is the practice of seeking to change the outer world by changing one’s thoughts. Although I don’t know whether I fully subscribe to the idea that visualizing a result or a particular happenstance will bring about its actualization, I choose to believe that altering one’s perspective definitely helps to change one’s experience within a set of circumstances. And there’s absolutely nothing merely visual about that. So perhaps you’d like to join me in making this the Season of Visualization… really, what have we got to lose?