Do you have a leisure pastime that motivates you or inspires you to push its limits? Blogging and writing for most of us can be considered a serious hobby that pushes us to excel and learn more. I know that I read a lot on how to be a better blogger and to hone my writing skills.
Leisure allows us to explore the boundaries of our interests.
If you will indulge me here, I will use windsurfing as an example. Since I am new to this sport, I have only seen photos and videos of competitions. I have been a sports competitor all of my life, so windsurfing was not something in which I imagined I would compete. But after the weekend I experienced, I want to share with you the WOW factor of windsurfing.
I have included some amazing photos, shot by professional photographers, of the Rio Vista Grand Slam from last weekend. Rio Vista, in the Sacramento delta and near the San Francisco Bay, is one of the premier windsurfing areas on the North American west coast, second only to the world-renowned Columbia River Gorge in Northern Oregon. Please check out the gallery!
To put this event into perspective, there has been nothing like this done since 1999, I am told. This event was organized by a fellow windsurfer whose entire family (wife and two sons) sails. Our organization, Rio Vista Windsurf Association, sponsored this event. An event of this magnitude takes some doing and requires a large group of volunteers, not to mention sponsors and other event support. Oh yes, and money.
Our organization is made up of talented professionals, including doctors, attorneys, educators, stock brokers, engineers, tradesmen, government workers, business owners, writers and consultants. The sport can be VERY expensive, so having a profession with some disposable income does help. Many people donated time, knowledge and funds to make this event happen.
In a nutshell, the three days consisted of races for children and adults, slalom racing, and freestyle competition. I was not initially interested in signing up, because, as new as I am to this pastime, the last thing I want to do is compete. But apparently I could have. Maybe next year.
Competitors, whether amateur or professional, came from all over the world. One young man, originally from Denmark, now living in Los Angeles, competed. He wrote this blog post, which really goes into detail about the event from his perspective.
Besides the truly amazing freestyle competitions for both amateurs and pros, the kids’ races were remarkable. RVWA is committed to growing the sport so it has invested time and dollars into equipment and lessons for children up to age 18. Of course any windsurfing parent wants their children to have a go at the sport, so these camps are well-attended.
On Sunday, I volunteered to help with the kids races. I stood side-by-side with some of the windsurf pros who were also helping the kids. As the kids competed in each heat, the pros would give out tips and generally help. The kids were seriously in awe of these guys, especially after watching the freestyle competition the day before. Heck, I was in awe myself.
Can people really do that on a windsurf board?
By the way, these windsurf pros (mostly young men in their late 20s-early 30s) are the most gracious and humble athletes you could ever meet. My husband knows many of them from when he camped in La Ventana a few years ago. When I introduced myself to two of them as his wife, they said, “Oh how is H? Nice to meet you!” My experience is that most young men don’t want to be bothered talking to a middle-aged woman, yet they patiently listened to me yammer on about whatever.
As the day went by and other competitions commenced, I had the pleasure of watching one young woman compete in the freestyle. I believe she inspired a large group of women and girls!
It was really inspiring to see many of my windsurfing friends participate in this three-day event, whether they competed or volunteered their time and resources. Everyone finished the weekend exhausted, but gratified and motivated to explore more about the sport. I wonder if sales went up at the local windsurf shop?
Many folks say that windsurfing is a dying sport or pastime. I beg to differ. Windsurfing is a sport enjoyed by people of every generation. Whether a Boomer, Gen-Xer, or young child under age 10, the leisure ideal of windsurfing appeals to everyone. I personally know windsurfers who are over the age of 80 and still sailing. I had the pleasure of watching a child, age six, take his first windsurf lesson recently. You would never see a prouder papa!
Whatever your leisure pastime is, I would encourage you to get involved deeper into it to see what really inspires you. As bloggers and writers, we can dig deep into new challenges which may spur us on to create something new, or revisit something old.