When I was a young boy, my Uncle Guillo, a consummate sailor’s sailor took me under his wing. Off we would go on sailing adventures, sometimes through storm, sometimes by night, but always to paradise. It was clear that he was the ‘Capitan’ of the ship, I was one of his mates, happy as a fly on apple pie.
Out at sea, everything is restricted and unleashed at the same time. The constant motion of the bobbing sailboat, the tacking and the jiving, the occasional command by Guillo..Hour after hour, wave after wave, making slight course directions here and there, Guillo brought the boat safely to its destination expertly every time. Confident and spilling grit by the way side, ‘Tio’ mastered the depths of the sea like a seasoned poet with vision and purpose drops words on a page. My heart and his heart are intertwined. A part of him lives in me a part of me lives in him. He knows this…Young at heart and always with a quick reassuring phrase to make you smile. That is my Uncle Guillo.
Sheparding a boat and its crew is no easy feat, yet consistent sailing experience rides over hesitancy and self-doubt in a way that calms the jitters of those on board. An effective captain does not just lead the ship from point a to point b efficiently, but takes care of the very hearts of the crew also. It is not so much what he sais, as much as how he continues to make everyone feel. More than anything, this very truth keeps the crew’s attitude and heart set on an even keel, be it through gail force wind, stormy sea or mishap on the watery banks.
As I venture forth to garner the heart of a local skateboarding community, I remind myself that it is by serving them that I lead best. By putting their well-being ahead of mine I lead them from within. Uncle Guillo taught me that on a sailboat we may venture forth to paradise and have our fun and relaxation together, but it is a serious matter to take care of the crew on the way there, even if they are a young child just sitting by your side, it is the ability to balance being strong and being soft in a timely manner that makes all the difference. This is what gets the crew’s heart because they get that they matter deeply to the ‘Capitan,’ they get that their presence is valued greatly, that their being on-board is what makes all the difference.