'Sailing instills discipline, a desire to learn'
From his full-time position at Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas to his role as husband and father, and sometimes tri-athlete, Alex Oviedo seems to always be on his feet. ...
Oviedo serves as the command’s Military Construction and Sustainment, Renovation and Modernization Manager, and Assistant Regional Engineer as well as leading an active lifestyle participating in marathons.
When his schedule permits, Oviedo gives his legs a break when the weather is just right, relaxing to the ocean’s waves aboard his Laser Pico, a single-handed dinghy.
“It is a lot of fun,” he said. “Being out on the ocean with a gentle breeze pushing the boat is a relaxing feeling. At that instant you feel part of nature and the quietness around you is delightful.”
Growing up in Chile, Oviedo was always attracted to the sea and used to watch boats with longing from afar. He started sailing in college, while attending the State University of New York Maritime College.
“The school had a fleet of several types of small sailing boats (or) dinghies and its intercollegiate sailing team was one of the top in the country,” he said. “I was a recreational sailor and not part of the varsity team, but it gave me the opportunity to learn.”
Oviedo does not just use his sailing knowledge to laze among the waves, however. He spent some time competing, as a part of the Naples NATO Yacht Club, competing against other NATO countries and now with the Marianas Yacht Club against Japanese sailors during the annual Goodwill Regatta.
“Racing is another story,” he said. “Your heart gets pumped while you push the boat and yourself into fast maneuvering. At that time you measure your sailing skills against other sailors and you always learn something.”
Oviedo said participating in extra activities carries a lot of benefits for health and overall wellness.
“I think that everyone should have an activity that brings happiness, relaxation, being outdoors and exercise,” he said. “For me, sailing is one of them. I think that sailing instills discipline, a desire to learn new things and improve in what you do.”
He added that lessons he has learned from sailing have helped him in other areas of life, including work.
“When you race you have to follow rules, be fair, be honest and give it all you can,” he said. “I can translate all these qualities directly into my family life and work.”See More