Never Stop Dreaming

As I grow older, what I notice most in conversations are the references to age people make. From the age of 40 people suddenly seem to become aware of not only their age in years, but also the havoc their lifestyles are starting to play on their bodies. The many complaints flow into lists of all the things that are wrong and how life, as a result, is basically over. I am often shocked at these interchanges, as people seem to give themselves life-sentences in broken bodies that become prisons from which they seem unable or unwilling to escape.

I think it is extremely sad if you think that the best part of your life is over at 40. I also believe that if we look after our bodies they will serve us well, and will allow us to live lives that are full of possibility no matter our age. In my other blog I have posted two entries on the Volvo Ocean Race and in my research I came across the following beautiful story that serves to illustrate my point.

In 1970 Ramon Carlin (47) was celebrating his wife, Paquita’s 45th birthday. His gift to her on this day was a magazine filled with pictures of different boats. As she paged through the magazine she discovered a picture that was circled in red: a big sailing boat with billowing white sails. “Isn’t she beautiful?” Ramon asked. His wife was taken aback a bit as she has never set foot on a boat before. “Of course she is beautiful, but what will we do with her? You will never have time to sail her with the demands of your job!”

“Well, I am quitting my job,” he replied. Ramon’s 10-hour plus workdays made them wealthy as he managed to build a successful company over the years. “My brother agreed to run the company, and our kids are grown-up, so they don’t need us anymore.” As Paquita digested this information she could never have guessed how this would change their lives. “Where is the boat?” she asked. “In Florida. That is where she is being built. We are leaving tomorrow to bring her home.” “How will we bring her back?” “We’ll sail her back.” “But you don’t know how to sail!” “I’ll learn. It can’t be that hard.”

The boat Ramon and Paquita Carlin went to fetch in Florida was Sayula II in which they won the 1973-74 inaugural Whitbread Race Around the World (now called the Volvo Ocean Race). What makes this story remarkable to me is not so much their achievement, but the fact that they didn’t think their lives were over.

They dared to live and life brought them adventure and a place in the history books. . .