being there

From our friends at J-Boats. This J/22 provides sailing therapy and extraordinary experiences for a unique individual in Chicago. Recently, we received an endearing note from a police officer/ detective in Chicago- Jeff Snarski from Bensenville (near O’Hare Airport). Here is his story:
jeff j 22“Hi, my name is Jeff Snarski and I live just outside of Chicago, but most importantly, less than a half-hour drive from Lake Michigan.
Also, I am a 48 yr old police officer/detective. I only mention this as my career is leading to an end of my sailing days, not to mention my career. Near the end of 2011, I was severely injured on-duty after an encounter with a very violent offender. I was not shot, or anything, but a resulting fight left me with a torn hip and shoulder. And, later diagnosed, back damage that has now turned into severe arthritis.
By 2013, (I was not diagnosed with the arthritis until 2014) I started “slowing down”. Doctors did not fully understand why at this point. But, I can tell you that you just know when something is seriously wrong with you. I began to knock things off of a bucket list. At the top of that list was learning to sail. Something I had wanted to learn since I sailed as a passenger on my Dad’s friend’s boat.
I began my research and decided on a course through Chicago Sailing on Lake Michigan. Sailing 101. Chicago Sailing uses the J/22 as their go-to instructional boat. All I can say is I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t think about the wind in my face, skyline in the background, and the J/22 slicing through the early spring waves. I was so happy and wanted to do this and advance into my later years as a sailor.
I, more than likely, will not sail again as an active participant of a boat. But, I wanted your company to know what a heart-felt place the J/22 will always have in my heart. You build dreams and memories. I was fortunate enough to experience both until the severity of my condition fully took hold.
Thank you all for being there.