Thursday, 21 February 2008

Kiwi Muscles

There’s a guy named Mike Beazley with whom I used to sail a lot. He’s from New Zealand, as are many good sailors. The problem with Kiwi sailors is that the huge majority of them are really very good, but there are a sneaky number of them who basically suck, but get by on their accent. Anyway, Moose (as he and 2/3 of sailors with a BMI over 24 are known) is a phenomenal sailor. He was part of a crew that broke the around the world nonstop record, has made a couple of other laps around the planet and has plenty of game when you’re sailing shorter distances as well.

Anyhow, there are two great things about sailing with Moose other than his skills. The first is that he keeps everybody on the boat in line and focused on the job at hand. This is NOT to say he’s one of those bad cop douches that you sometimes get stuck with. No, he’s one funny mother f-er. The other part about him that’s great is his vocabulary. I feel fortunate to have supplied him with one word, which I have since heard used many many times by others. That word is “cane.” As in “we’re caning them,” or “don’t make me get my cane out.” I started saying this just after that kid in Singapore or wherever got the crap knocked out of him for doing some ‘ugly American’ type thing. I fully supported the treatment he received and wished to verbalize that support. Anyhow, now you hear it every once and again on boats and yes I do take credit for it. I also invented baby carrots.

During one race from Annapolis to Oxford, we were trying to decide whether to leave one sail up or take it down. It’s a sail called a spinnaker staysail, and you fly them only in certain conditions. Anyway, we were about to make a bit of a left turn, freeing up our angle, and Moose declared “goys, when we moik this lifty, this sail will be roight in it’s elemunt.” Again, I need my special font that this time would make that sound a lot more Kiwi than it does. Anyhow, since that day, I have cherished the phrase “right in its element.” As in, “if it warms up 20 degrees, these gloves I’m wearing will be right in their element.”

My favorite of all Beazley-isms, though, is Kiwi Muscles. This is based on the Kiwi equation which states that tan fat = muscles. So really, when you are feeling a little doughy and soft, all you have to do is head to the local electric beach and - PRESTO! – you’ve got your Kiwi muscles. Sleeping off a hangover on the beach is equal to the hardest interval workout.

Of course, when you get a bad sunburn, you’re overtrained and need to throw in a rest week.

The point being, of course, that soon enough it will be warm enough to wear knee warmers, and then shorts. And I will have to look at all of your pale nasty chicken skin looking legs. So go get a Kiwi workout, would ya?

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