Finding ‘Hull Speed’

Scan 131260001From as early as I can remember, I’ve always loved boating. It was my parents’ main passion, and every sunny day off in the summer, we’d find ourselves motoring off somewhere. Often, my mother wanted to go faster than my dad. She’d get a little bored with the puttering and ask him to “let it out a little.” And often he’d indulge her, taking us on a short but fun, super speedy ride.

Dad, on the other hand, wanted to go even slower than he usually did. He had always wanted a trawler, a boat that’s meant to go that slow (but my Mom wouldn’t give in on that point). 

When I asked him why not just go slower if that’s what he wanted, he explained about ‘hull speed’. Hull speed is the speed at which the boat uses the least effort, uses fuel most efficiently, and glides along the water smoothly. In short, it’s the speed at which the boat is happiest.

Each of us has a Hull Speed too. I didn’t know this until I lost mine somewhere along the way. By trying to follow some arbitrary rules to the letter, I completely lost touch. I second guessed every food decision, ate when I wasn’t hungry, didn’t eat when I was hungry, generally didn’t even know what real hunger or satiation felt like. And my body image? Fuggedaboudit. It tanked. Never mind that, I didn’t feel good IN my body, so I wasn’t as excited about using it in the ways that make the good feelings flow. It was a downward spiral.

It took me a lot of searching to find it again. It took some intense yoga, and by that I don’t only mean the physical, although there were plenty of mat sessions that pointed out just how far from “hull speed” I was. It took a few different holistic coaches, a  fantastic naturopath, a lot of reading, and a great nutritionist. Along with a variety of mindfulness practices and many failed attempts. But in the end, I found my flow again, my unique hull speed.

When I’m moving at Hull Speed, I feel grounded yet energetic; I’m keeping up the important daily rituals; I’m feeding myself the right amount of healthy, nourishing food; and I know exactly what I need intuitively. There’s no angst with Hull Speed. It doesn’t require deprivation, and the indulgences don’t take away from my juicy, vibrant good feelings.

Of course, there are times to let the needle stray from it’s normal groove. Even my Dad recently took us on a fast run, letting the motor out all the way and skimming over the waves to clear the pipes and “get the grass off the bottom.” Yeah, I squealed like a kid. But in the end he always returns to hull speed.

This is what I want for you. I want you to find your hull speed, your perfect balance, to know what it feels like to really be in your flow without having to strive so hard every day to make it happen.

It may take a little searching, a little effort at first. But don’t worry, I’ll help you find it, one delectable step at a time. And as I always say, you’re worth the effort.