Ok, so my first attempt at Level 1 training had gone disastrously. Distraught and unable to think of much else, I noted down the things I felt I had struggled with:
- standing, walking and generally moving around on a moving, slanting deck;
- standing or balancing over a winch while operating it with both hands;
- keeping my balance while sweating a rope;
- moving quickly from point of work to being seated in a race position, and vice versa;
- dexterity of my right hand in particular, eg when taking a sail down;
- walking round deck while helping to carry something heavy such as a sail;
- the sensation in my left leg when kneeling down, while the kneeling was supposed to lower my centre of gravity and make things easier, in fact it was extremely uncomfortable to the point of reducing me to tears – much to the consternation of some of my fellow crew;
- seasickness – I do get seasick but there is usually some warning time during which I may be feeling ill, to go from feeling absolutely fine to actually throwing up in three breaths was not normal;
- the leg injury was a torn muscle which I believe was caused by me trying to use the muscle against the restriction of the cord at the top of my sailing boots.
There were several conversations with Carol, the Crew Manager over the next few weeks, and with Mel, from Conductive Education.Gradually I came up with a plan to address the problems outlined above:
- I would have some individual sessions of Conductive Education with Mel to address the balance and movement problems;
- to address the fact that I just did not feel strong enough for some of the tasks I needed to do, an Olympic swimming coach, who also happens to be Dad’s cousin, would work with me on my strength and fitness.
- any more sailing would be done with decent boots;
- further sailing would be done with a padded knee protector to alleviate the discomfort in my left leg;
Eventually Carol agreed that I could re-take the Level 1 training, after I had some time to start to address these issues. So I could attend my theory course in November, as planned.