Darling on deck: Kristin Ducote on the real joy of exercising at sea | Boat International
Darling on deck: Kristin Ducote on the real joy of exercising at sea
2019-03-13By Kristin Ducote

When it comes to getting fit, forget the city spin sessions and return to nature, advises Kristin Ducote...

The Williams tender coasted up to the open beach club at the back of the boat, and I leaped off before the crew even finished tying the lines or unloading our luggage. I raced up to the flybridge and, as promised, there it was waiting for me: a Peloton stationary bike.

Remember your New Year’s resolution from January about getting fit and healthy for 2019? If you’re like me, by this time each year, your selective memory has kicked in and erased all those good intentions.

A Peloton bike is the latest high-tech way to get fit

This year, however, I was determined to succeed. It’s often been said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So, all through our snowy holidays in Aspen, I would fantasise about waking up before the rest of the boat, logging into a live Peloton cycling class with a top instructor in New York and looking out over a beautiful, sunlit anchorage while I pumped away the previous night’s champagne.

With a footprint of only 4ft by 2ft and the choice of up to 14 live streaming classes a day with real-time metrics and encouragement, a Peloton bike is the trendiest new at-home workout. So why not bring it on board? It seemed like the best way for me to stick to my workout schedule while at sea. But I had overlooked one small, invisible thing... Wi-Fi!

Live classes require Wi-Fi, and a lot of it. On-demand classes just don’t cut it. You won’t get called out for slacking at the back or praised for rising to the top of the leaderboard. You won’t recognise other riders in the class and hope those extra classes you took last week will empower you to finally beat them this week.

The view from your yacht is better than any Wi-Fi fitness class. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

When I asked the captain to turn on the Wi-Fi for my first class, he winced. Turns out, when you switch it on, all the boat’s systems automatically update, including all the maps and Navionics. Before I’d finished my first class, our wireless bill had already exceeded the entire cost of the bike!

From the flybridge, I gazed across our anchorage at Great Harbour Cay’s miles of white beach. My eyes absorbed the expanse of perfect blue water, a shade of blue so iconic to the Berry islands – equal parts vivid azure and crystal clear – that we’ve named the colour Berry Blue. And I suddenly realised I’d made a mistake.

Get back to basics when working out on board. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Isn’t the whole point of yachting to escape the hectic pace of everyday life? Why was I so eager to inundate myself with the frenetic energy of New York, the loud music and high adrenaline, the shouty instructor? If I just wanted to knock that New Year’s resolution out of the park, there are plenty of other less stressful activities that embrace the natural beauty of being on the water: swims to shore, free dives, paddle-boarding, wind sprints on the beach.

If your goal is to get fit this year, then more power to you. Just be sure you don’t make the same mistake I did. Instead, when you’re on the water, get creative with the natural beauty around you. Why connect to the outside world when the boat is one of the only places where we can truly disconnect?

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