YOLO – Five Slightly Crazier Things to do to Fend Off Ageing

October 29th, 2014   |   Posted by

About Carol Wyer

Carol E Wyer is an award-winning and best-selling author of humorous novels and non-fiction books including HOW NOT TO MURDER YOUR GRUMPY and GRUMPY OLD MENOPAUSE.Having recently also taken up stand-up comedy, she is now intent on helping people grow old disgracefully and enjoy life. She also contributes to the Hufffington Post.

banana george

Continuing the theme of my last post Five Slightly Crazy Things to do to Fend Off Ageing, this time I am looking at more (slightly crazier) possibilities to keep you youthful, enthusiastic and healthy.

Last week, I made a young car salesperson snort loudly when I attempted to cajole my husband into buying a rather pricey sports car by waggling my eyebrows at him and saying, “Go on. We could drive it to the South of France. YOLO!” It’s true. You only live once and you should seize opportunities when they present themselves, or make them happen even if they seem a little challenging.

Driving a car through Europe may be appealing but it is also worth noting that you should be getting involved in activities that ensure you use your muscles. Taking part in physical activity is very important for those over the age of 50. There are many benefits to physical activity. These include:

  • Better quality of life
  • More energy
  • Better Body Shape and appearance
  • Learning something new

Physical activity can help tackle health problems and reduce the risks of

  • Heart disease and Stroke
  • High blood pressure and high Cholesterol
  • Arthritis
  • Some Cancers

While you are still able, I believe you should grab opportunities that are available and so, if any of the following suggestions appeal to you, book now and have a go, after all, YOLO!
water sports


No, I am not swearing. This is a growing activity in the UK and looks great fun—kayak fishing. In essence it’s a mixture of kayaking and fishing.While fishing is very popular among men and women, kayak fishing adds another dimension and allows you to be more active.

Kayak fishing has gained popularity in recent times due to its broad appeal as an environmentally friendly and healthy method of transportation, as well as its relatively low cost of entry compared to motorized boats.

Kayaks were originally developed by indigenous people living in the Arctic regions, who used the boats to hunt on inland lakes, rivers and the oceans. Today they are no longer made of stretched animal hides and come in various models to suit all sizes and budgets.

This is a great activity as it combines two sports in one.
You might even get a better catch than you thought possible. A kayak fisherman, Joel Abrahamsson from Sweden, shattered the kayak fishing record for the heaviest catch this year by reeling in a Greenland shark weighing an estimated 1,247 pounds, according to Kayak Fish Magazine. The fish, estimated to be 200 years old, was released alive and healthy after the 90-minute battle.

Do it: For more information check out http://kayakfishinguk.co.uk/

Shark Diving

I harp on all the time about seizing the day and grabbing opportunities yet when I was invited to dive with sharks at Blue Planet Aquarium near Chester, I politely declined. Sitting in a very large aquarium with toothy creatures from the deep was not on my personal Carpe Diem list. After further cogitation, I changed my mind. Here was an opportunity to do something incredibly exciting. I was a fool to disregard it.

The entire team at the Blue Planet Aquarium are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, friendly and highly professional. If you have never dived you MUST try this as an introduction to the sport.

Everyone starts their shark encounter experience in a classroom where they learn the basics of diving. Next, they move off to get kitted out in diving suits and boots before entering the small training pool. The emphasis is always on safety so you need have no fear. There is an experienced team of three to deal with needs in the pool and all equipment is to a very high standard. Only when the instructor is completely satisfied you are well-prepared for our underwater adventure, safe to dive and comfortable. You are told you can come out at any time should you suddenly develop a nervousness…trust me, you won’t!

carol - shark dive

Carol’s shark diving experience

Now, I have dived in some wonderful places and seen pretty fish and turtles but I have never dived somewhere that is a) so comfortably warm b) not difficult to navigate (normally tides and waves move you about) c) seen so many fish and variety of species in one dive d) seen or been in immediate proximity to some of the most magnificent sharks.

Two safety divers are with you as well as your instructor. They block and protect you, should you manage to get in the path of one of the sharks.

Diving with sharks has become hugely popular at this venue. I now know why. It is, how can I put it? Amazing? Awesome? Fantastic? Just wow? Yes, all of those. I urge you to put it on your Carpe Diem list.

If you do a shark encounter dive above it counts towards your PADI diving licence. If sharks aren’t your thing then have ago at doing the course online, sign up to do an open water dive locally or head off on holiday to a resort like those in Egypt.

Do it: Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire http://www.blueplanetaquarium.com/
(Note there is Dive With Sharks 20% Christmas Special at the moment.)

Barefoot WaterSkiing

Apparently, this is appearing more and more on people’s bucket lists. It is, as the name suggests, water skiing barefoot. It is very easy to take up this sport and become pretty accomplished in it. Even I rolled my eyes at this activity until I discovered Karen Putz and learned about Jill Broderick and Judy Meyers.
All of them are ladies who took up the sport later in life and display great skills and enthusiasm. Judy took up the sport at the age of 53 and today, she’s the world oldest female competitive barefooter at 70.

Still not convinced and think you are too old? The most famous barefooter of all, Banana George, took up ‘barefooting’ at the age of 46, took up competition at 65, and barefooted behind a seaplane when he was 81. He retired at 93. And, even at that grand old age, he managed to do a one-foot during his last barefoot water skiing session. In George’s words “Don’t wait for the next thing, make the next thing happen.” See:

Do it: British Water Ski and Wakeboard

White Water Tubing

It’ll give you an adrenaline rush, you can do it with your partner and courses are available for all levels, even for beginners throughout the UK–white water tubing has got to be one of the more exciting water activities you can take up. It’s simple to do. You only have to stay afloat in an inflatable ring while negotiating eddy’s, whirlpools and whilst being washed down the white water course. The rafting course is stimulating, exciting and breathtaking. Be prepared to get soaked but be prepared to feel years younger at the end of it.

Of course, you can’t convince me you are too old for it. 90-year-old GeanHodsdon was the UK oldest white water tuber when she took to the water to raise money for children in Moldova. You can read about it here: http://www.linlithgowgazette.co.uk/news/local-news/linlithgow-90-year-old-s-white-water-rafting-challenge-1-276450

Do it: Resorts throughout the UK. Details also at http://www.intotheblue.co.uk/water-sports/rafts/white-water-rafting/


If you really fancy an adventurous activity, look no further than kiteboarding. Also known as kitesurfing, it has been described as combining wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding and gymnastics into one extreme sport.

PoulRasmusson, the world’s oldest kitesurfer, died in October 2012 while riding his eight metre kite near Copenhagen, a few kilometres away from his house, at the age of 88. It would appear that age is not a barrier to this sport and besides, wouldn’t you look good in a wetsuit? In July 2012, Sir Richard Branson became the oldest man to kitesurf the English Channel. If it’s good enough for Sir Richard…

With the winds we have in the UK, there will be many occasions to try out this activity. Kitesurfing beaches are to be found all around the UK. See the map at http://kitesurfinguk.org.uk/

Do it: Further information can be found British Kitesports Association

With luck I have whetted your appetite to try out some of the more adventurous activities available. If not, then at least check out Aqua aerobics, swimming and some light paddling around a pond in a pedalo. They might not be hugely exciting but they are fun. Don’t forget, YOLO.

Carol Wyer

Carol E Wyer is an award-winning and best-selling author of humorous novels and non-fiction books including HOW NOT TO MURDER YOUR GRUMPY and GRUMPY OLD MENOPAUSE.Having recently also taken up stand-up comedy, she is now intent on helping people grow old disgracefully and enjoy life. She also contributes to the Hufffington Post.

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