From a young age, Katherine Knight has been a sailor. Since then she’s created a life centred around the adventure she loves. When she’s not working as a physiotherapist for the Swedish Olympic sailing team, Katherine is sailing around the world, competing in speed sailing competitions, and leading expeditions.
Her story is one of creating a life full of elements of adventure and inspiring others to do the same. Read on to find out how to incorporate more adventure into your everyday life.
1. Surround Yourself with Passion
Even though Katherine began sailing while only a little girl, there wasn’t a clear path to a career as an adventurer and sailor. Sailing was a big part of her life, but it started off as simply a hobby. Eventually, Katherine trained as a physiotherapist and got a job working with an Olympic sailing team which took her to the Olympic games in London and Rio.
With all the different elements of sailing from racing and exploring to big boats and small boats, Katherine always enjoyed the variety and adventure in the sport.
Katherine shows us how simple it can be to create a life surrounded by adventure. She may not be sailing 24/7, but her work involves working with people who are also passionate about sailing. You may be able to incorporate your passion into your everyday life in unexpected ways.
2. Find Your Family
A friend at a local club recommended that Katherine try sailing a moth boat, so she jumped right in. When her home club hosted the National Championships, she participated and capsized 10 times just trying to get to the start. Slowly, Katherine began to improve. It was the amazing group of people who sailed these boats and were free with advice that helped her learn so quickly.
These sailors became a sort of family that inspired Katherine to go to more races. Later, she won the National Championships in the women’s category. Katherine said going to these races was almost like a group holiday with her friends.
Whatever you’re interested in doing, don’t hesitate to reach out to people who are already doing it. Their advice can make a huge difference as you’re learning and you’ll make friends along the way!
3. Control Your Frame
Although Katherine certainly has a love of sailing, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Participating in sailing competitions often means racing for 5-6 days on and off. First, you have to deal with the exhaustion of being on the water a long time and then you have the tactical pieces of figuring out how the wind works and how to best get around the course.
In windy conditions, the boats can be really difficult to control. Katherine related, “All you can do is try to stay in control. You can’t think about anything else.” She shared that some sailors will come back from a tough run having had the most terrifying experience and others will have had the time of their lives. Katherine pointed out that it’s all about framing. You decide what to tell yourself about an experience and that will help decide how you feel and what you do next.
4. Share Your Experience
After enjoying plenty of racing, Katherine wanted to get more into exploring the world on a boat. She crewed on a number of expeditions and found herself drawn to exploring high altitude areas including Norway to the Faroe Islands.
Wanting to share this with other people, Katherine got a boat and began setting up for chartered adventures into Arctic Norway and Antarctica, launching Narwhal Expeditions. While leading her own expeditions is quite the change, Katherine and her partner practiced with smaller expeditions to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Sharing your passion can be an incredibly rewarding way to bring more adventure into your life. Consider what you could do to lead others or encourage a friend to experience what you love.
5. Break it Down
When planning a trip, even if it seems like a big challenge in your head and you don’t know how to make it happen, Katherine encourages you to go and find out what it does involve. “Don’t be put off by a big challenge. Find out more about it and break it down into the elements you need to do,” she said. On the other hand, if it does feel like too much, don’t feel bad about doing something smaller.
As soon as you start researching, you have a plan rather than a dream. You have something you can work towards and goals you can check off. And when you speak to someone else about it, it starts to take on reality and you get accountability. Follow Katherine’s lead to actually make your adventure dreams come true!
6. Listen to Yourself and Go Try It
To find your passion, start by finding out about what is out there. Learn about things that inspire you and do the same or something completely different. Listen to yourself and ask, “What keeps coming back into my mind?” Then find out more about it.
Katherine suggests finding a club, going on a walk, running, or biking. See what it is that calls to you and open your eyes to the possibilities. Katherine will often go on Google to find out more about an adventure, see if she can find someone who’s done it, and pick out the pieces that inspired her. This is a great process for getting started on your own challenge.
7. Be Clear on Your Objective
When we set off on adventures, we can often get lost in our determination to reach a certain goal. Katherine mentioned aiming to sail around Cape Horn. The reality is, being able to accomplish this goal is weather dependent. Sometimes things will make your goal impossible. So instead of setting a goal to accomplish a certain feat, Katherine will turn her attention to experiencing an area, learning what the environment is like, and getting to know the people.
Before you set off, decide whether you want to accomplish an objective goal or focus on the experience. This can make a big difference in whether you see your trip as a success or failure.
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