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Work-life Balance for Windsurfers

Home Forums Windsurf Forums General Windsurf Chat Work-life Balance for Windsurfers

This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  waxhamMk2 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #59815

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    Hi Guys,
    I am a passionate windsurfer and besides that have many other hobbies as well as a regular 9to5 engineering job.
    I am aiming to adjust my work-life(surf) balance and to get more tips I started a blog where I also interview people who are role models in this regard. Check this out:
    Do you have any good tips to share??
    cheers Balazs


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    Looks good!


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    Good blog. There’s a few regulars on here that certainly seem to have a better balance than me. work/life was fairly simple pre-kids. work/life/family is tougher.


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    I have a full time job and then wife kids etc means i sneak of to go sailing when i can and its not very often. It’s an issue of time and money. I don’t get to sail much so when you factor in the cost of gear i struggle to justify buying new stuff. If i can only get out 20 times a year, in a good year, and sometimes just for an hour on the water then i just can’t justify the expense of new boards sails. One plus now though is gear has been well sorted for over 10 years so buying older stuff cheap is fine when you can find it.

    Back pre wife and kids i did a lot of traveling and that included windsurfing, surfing and snowboarding – good times but the one thing i kind of regret is that i never focused solely on windsurfing for any period in the same way as snowboarding where i did a number of seasons riding every day (easily done if you sign up to work in a resort). Windsurfing is more difficult and another level of commitment as there is not a big tourist industry around it. You need a van or to live on a decent beach and a lifestyle that revolves around it and i never did that. When i retire that is my aim – to set myself up so I can sail every day.


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    The thing is when is enough water time enough? It is easy to think if you can sail more you will be happier but I’m not sure that is the case. I live 80 meters from the water, I can sail just about any time I want. Is it enough? No. I have been in a bad mood for about a week now because I have a commitment next weekend. It might not even be windy but the potential of loosing a chance to get on the water becomes a issue. Going sailing is no longer even a decision, if its windy I sail, its just the way things are. I enjoy each session as much as I did 35 years ago but I am the ultimate plateaued sailor. I could do more stuff 20 years ago than I can now.

    You would think I would become more choosing about the conditions I go out in but no if anything cold weather is now a challenge to be conquered. Here I am getting a snowy sunset session in.A view from my hose and if you look carefully you can see me sailing

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Sailrepair1.

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    When I was studying Addiction theory (in relation to alcohol and substance misuse at uni) I realised I was properly pyschologically “addicted” to windsurfing. The situation where an alcoholic walks into a bar and says, yeah, I’ll be alright, just an orange juice, and before you know it he has relapsed and on a bender. With my wife wanting quality time, yeah, I can walk along the seafront with you and just watch, turns into “sorry, gotta go and I’ll be bloomin miserable if I don’t…..
    Two addiction approaches, complete abstinence or “controlled drinking”, and obviously “work life balance” fits the second model. That’s the one I try to follow, but it isn’t always easy. At all!

    A further extension of the addiction theory…….Unchecked, addiction leads to hospital, prison or death!! Well a bit extreme for windsurfing but the damage to relationships, the risk of injury learning to loop (not for me) or getting rinsed in the shorebreak etc etc. Its a fine line between getting out of your comfort zone to improve and pushing the limit….yes, most people reading this know the risks and how toi take them but it is interesting to work out out where the motivation comes from. The line between “having the bottle/balls to go out in extreme conditions” and the insatiable craving for MORE!

    So whatever, for me “Balance” is an important concept, and knowing I am an addict helps get the balance right. Almost. Sometimes……….


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    In many professions getting some flexibility isn’t all that hard – essentially if you can do a significant amount of your work on your own on a computer then a lot of employers will allow some flexible hours or home working. That’s the easy bit. Having kids is what really impacts your free/flexible time!

    Kids are not flexible at all. They have to be dropped off and collected from school/clubs at certain times – you cannot just leave them to fend for themselves because its windy! If you want windsurfing time when you have kids you need other willing and able people who can look after them – basically going windsurfing means at least 2 people need to be free and one of them (you) is being very selfish! Sometimes your kids will even make you not want to go windsurfing even if you could – I wouldn’t miss my sons saturday morning football matches for windsurfing…


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    I think of it as trying to achieve a 3 way work/family/windsurf balance. With 3 kids – including a baby and one with special needs – and with me really wanting (and needing) to be a hands on dad. I have only achieved this balance by working part time. The weekends are 100% for the kids, 3 days a week of full on work and 2 days for me to go windsurfing (although in reality that means gardening, chores and more kid time when its not windy) – albeit often juggling emails and conference calls dripping in a wetsuit inside the car.

    Holidays are almost always Vass or weekends away in Poole where kids can be happy and we (wife also windsurfs) can get some windsurfing done. Rare to go on a holiday where windsurfing isnt an option – but kids need to be happy too, so sometimes that means meeting up with the grandparents for childcare.

    Of course there is an obvious financial cost to being part time, and in terms of promotions and probably job security too – but thats the trade off. On the upside, Im a lot saner now.

    Part time work fits best with windsurfing if you have at least the possibility to rejig your days when you can see the forecast. I can do this to a limited degree (hence why I spend a lot of time on calls from the beach) – and when I can it can make all the difference.

    A recent development for me is now one of the kids is into Team15 and Zone squad it means I get to windsurf vicariously at the weekends quite often (and occasionally in reality too) whilst combining family and windsurf time.


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    Smidge, hats off to you sir for juggling everything there.


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    Excellent blog. Especially enjoyed the part about banishing Sunday blues (not that I suffer any, because I’m practically perfect in every way 😉 But as for work life balance. I would recommend becoming a chef agency cook,(nevermind the 30 years mechanical engineering;) where one can bodge about to any part of the country for a few weeks, ponce about with a silly hat on an make a play at the Europeans in the laundry room. An you’re completely untouchable in your role as a French ski chef because they cannot seal a English fry up if Macrons matron was gagging for it(which she is). If anyone ask for credentials point to the empty plonk bottles in the deep freezer an leg of Hamon Iberico in the boot drying room.

    You could always get a loan?

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