Am I Too Old to Take Up Surfing?

Until a few years ago I would probably have answered yes had anyone over the age of 60 asked my opinion. Being the south side of 30 I thought it was something that you either started young or at least should have given a go come middle age.
All that changed however when my surf buddy Kate informed me that her dad had decided to take up the sport at the ripe old age 64. Now, a few years down the line, he is an avid silver-haired surfer who can give anyone a run for their money. Here is his story.

A leap into the unknown
Given Mike's background, it would have been hard to believe that he would one day become a surfer. A bank manager who rarely ventured from his desk, Mike had been happily married to his wife, Susan, for over 30 years, with whom he also had a younger son, Tyler.
A knee injury while playing football in his youth had relegated him to the sidelines long ago, so he had never dreamed of doing anything more physically strenuous than his daily brisk walk along the beach.
Although Kate knew her father to be relatively fit, if not tremendously active, it came as some surprise when one Sunday morning 3 years ago Mike asked her opinion on whether he should give this "surfing stuff" a try. She told him that he had nothing to lose by giving it a go at least once.
So, at her insistence and with some additional prodding from his family and friends, Mike worked up the courage to venture out into the waves one unseasonal May morning with Kate alongside.

That first ride experience
As they stood on the shores of Daytona Beach, Florida on that overcast, unusually crisp morning 3 years ago, Kate recalls that Mike had been apprehensive at first. "Come on, Dad," she coaxed. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You won't regret it. I promise."
Naturally, Mike considers his first ride an unforgettable moment in his life. His initial attempts were, literally, shaky. After a few hours spent simply trying to stay on his board, followed by the inevitable, yet nonetheless disheartening wipe-outs, Mike was beginning to wonder if his decision to brave the cold had been a foolish one. Despite his frustration, however, each gradually longer pop up and balance was evidence that Mike was not a hopeless case after all.

In fact, at long last, Mike began to notice a change in his body's command of the board as his brain began to seemingly rewire itself.

As Mike explains it, "It was as if my mind gradually became totally in sync with the rhythm of the waves and the feeling of the board under my feet so that everything else around me was blocked out. All that existed was the board and the waves. It was incredible."

A love of surfing takes hold
Given this eventual transformation, it is unsurprising that Mike has grown from a stiff and scared rider to a much more sprightly, experienced, and dedicated surfer. The family now go on surfing holidays together and Mike spends even more time in the water than Kate can manage these days. "I feel more fit now than I did 30 years ago," he says. "It's a fun way for anyone at any age to stay active."
It's pretty clear from Mike's enthusiasm that he has not regretted his decision to try surfing for a single moment. He is the perfect example of someone who defies the assumption that you are ever too old to start surfing. With the right attitude, you can never be too old or too young to surf. Indeed, as Mike puts it, so long as he keeps surfing he may never feel his age again!

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