50s | Your Life Has Just Begun


by Mary Ann Mok ( Mui & Cowboy Mum )
All videos/photos courtesy of Headmaster Herbert Ng


When most people who enter their mid 50s start to find themselves worthless and useless, on the contrary I think that this moment is just the beginning of a gorgeous life. It is inevitable that we have to face physical decline, slow reflexes and mental capacities to diminish. However, as long as we can grasp the valuable lessons that we learned from our past experiences and develop it into our own life philosophy, I trust that we can all spice up the rest of our life and bring back all the fun, passion and excitement.

Before my windsurfing trip to Boracay during the Lunar New Year, I was much fascinated by people who in their 60s learned how to fly a parachute, in their 70s reached the summit of Mt Everest and in their 80s went on adventurous expedition to the North Pole. However, my windsurfing trip to Boracay has brought me new insights.

 

 


Being a die hard windsurfer, in my past windsurfing trip I would non-stop windsurf and don’t even bother to eat or take rest. As I get older, my mentality has changed a lot. I have learned to enjoy quality time and to slow down so that hopefully I can still be playing the game at an older age. It is extremely important for us who are over 50s in particular, not to over exhaust one’s physical fitness. When we fall ill, we must take enough rest and avoid going into the water. If not, it is easy for us to get contaminated. Worse case scenario might end up with a long stay at the hospital or even lead to a life-threatening condition.

Boracay backed by palm trees, bone-white sand and turquoise water is the paradise for water sport lovers.

As a result of global warming, the earth’s climate becomes increasingly extreme and unpredictable. In the past years, we used to get good wind in Boracay around February. However, when we arrived the same windsurfing spot this year, the wind condition was very disappointing. We have a Chinese saying,”Nine out of ten things in life cannot always be satisfactory“ and so if we wish to bring more happiness to our life, we must learn to adopt the philosophy “to change our mindset when the environment does not change.” It is essential for Hong Kong windsurfers to master this saying because windless day in Hong Kong accounted for the majority.

Instead of pulling a long face against a “windless” windsurfing trip, I have learned to take the saying “Be like water” by Bruce Lee. By applying a different perspective to the “unchanged” circumstances, I took a nine-hour kiteboarding beginner course. I have always resisted to learn this sport because I am very scared of trying new things. Also, I have a perception that this sport is very dangerous. Moreover, the condition for kiteboarding beginners in Hong Kong are very unfavourable. All in all, I would rather windsurf when there is wind.

Consistent wind, shallow flat water with minimal waves and hazards provide an ideal condition for kiteboard beginners.

While we were there, we met a windsurfing couple from Hong Kong. They are windsurfers of the first generation that I greatly admired and respect. This couple was so young in appearance and at heart. What touches me is that though they are very hardcore windsurfers, they still maintain a modest, open-minded attitude to take kiteboarding lessons. During our conversation, they told me the trick of kiteboarding is the art of “Let Go”. Very zen and interesting indeed! Having a tryout of the sport, I finally realize the magic of kitesurfing and why some die hard windsurfers swapped to it and never came back to windsurfing.

A perfect holiday comprises good companions, excellent food and wine.

Can you identify my idol among this group of energetic windsurfers? He is in his 70s but still keep windsurfing and chasing the waves.

 I was very thankful to my kiteboarding instructors who take me through all the necessary skills and core knowledge in great depth and patience. They adapted lesson plans to suit my progress and ability. They put much emphasis on the safety techniques and enable me to get more riding experience under meticulous supervision. I just couldn’t believe that I was able to get on board and glide some distance within nine hours!

A BIG BIG thank you to Gilbert, Gido and Gordon from Boracay Funboard Center for providing me an unforgettable kiteboarding experience.

After the course, I understand that as long as I follow the right precaution and stay alert, danger can be put into a controlled way. From now onwards, I feel more at ease when I windsurf amidst the kitesurfers. Also, the techniques that I acquired from kiteboarding actually brought improvement to my windsurfing skill. Kiteboarding requires great sensitivity to keep the tension of the harness in order to avoid the lines to go slack to prevent the kite from falling. As such, when I get back to windsurfing, I become more focus to sail in the harness instead of using the strength of my arm. Above all, it broaden my range of condition in which I can still have fun on the water.

 

 

Whether you are living past your 50s or not, I would strongly encourage you to expand your comfort zone and try out more new things in life. This will bring you a richer life, a sense of accomplishment and capability. You will find out so much fun when you crossover your experiences. Remember “Be like water”, changing how you feel by changing your perspective ......it’s amazing to find that the world becomes more beautiful and life becomes happier.







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