The Pleasure of Learning a New Hobby or Sport

Posted by Mourad Jabbour On Friday, April 5, 2013 0 comments

I recently returned from my holiday vacation where I spent 12 wonderful days in the beautiful country of Colombia with my wife and her family. This was my second trip to Medellin and I was surprised at all the new places and experiences I was able to enjoy during my visit.
Aside from touring the city we had a wonderful six day mini-excursion on an island called San Andres, and let me tell you, this is when the good times really started to roll.
Upon landing on this small, tropical island, I was immediately captivated by the atmosphere. The crystal blue ocean, swaying palm trees dotted across the beachfront, and relaxing live music right on the beach, all took my breath away. I knew right away I was going to have the time of my life and I couldn't wait to find out what was in store for me.
After walking around a bit I found myself captivated by two different activities I wanted to explore for the very first time: scuba diving and kite surfing. After spending ten minutes on the coast of San Andres and watching numerous kite surfers cruise by, I knew this was probably one of the best places where I can try out this active sport.
Best yet, since the water was so warm a wet suit wasn't needed, whereas on the southern California coast regardless of the time of year, you need a wet suit for any activity that keeps you in the water for a prolonged period of time.
Nevertheless, scuba diving was first on the agenda since we were only able to book the instructor Johnathan on one particular day. With that being said, I was on my underwater journey and had the time of my life.
Even though we just took a mini 3 hour course and did not become certified, scuba diving as a hobby/sport could definitely be something to add to the arsenal of extra curricular physical activities. Surprising as it sounds, scuba diving burns a lot of calories, in upwards of 900 calories an hour. That's a definite plus in addition to seeing all the underwater life you come in contact with.
After a couple days of rest and relaxation, I decided I wanted to take a lesson so I could learn how to kite surf. I was surprised to find out that kite surfing lessons were three times as expensive compared to scuba diving. I didn't know why at first but decided to do it anyways. My logic was, "How often will I get a chance to learn how to kite surf on a island in Colombia?" Once I asked myself this question, the answer was simple, so I went ahead and scheduled a time to learn with a popular instructor Memo (his son is a professional kite surfer).
According to Memo, he adamantly told me that kite surfing is one of the best exercises to burn off weight. Even though I was a bit skeptical at first, that was music to my ears since I am all about wanting to burn off weight. I was positively optimistic because if I enjoyed kite surfing, there are numerous spots near Los Angeles where I could make this sport become a regular part of my livelihood.
I found out right away the reason for the added cost when learning how to kite surf. It is much more hands on, and in order to safely learn to control the kite using the wind, and the step-by-step progression from sand, to water, to board, the instructor definitely earns his money.
At first Memo told me that he usually offers a 10 hour class for $500 but since I did not have enough time left, or want to spend that kind of money on something I wasn't sure I would enjoy, I told him that I wanted to learn as much as possible in just three hours - for 300,000 pesos. Sounds like a ton, but it was only about $150)
After those three hours I was dead tired. My arms and legs were so spent, all I wanted to do is lay on a reclining chair in front of the ocean and take a nap.
Let me tell you kite surfing is definitely a workout and I hardly got on the board at all during those three hours but I had a wonderful time! Right when I got back to our hotel I checked online and found a number of pages/groups that kite surf on the southern California coast. I definitely want to take a couple more lessons since there is a semi-danger factor associated with this sport and I want to learn proper technique before attempting this on my own, but my attention is definitely peaked.
I also found out that a good used kite surfing setup complete with harness, board and all the equipment is only around $400-$500 so once the learning aspect is covered, I will be able to go on my own without instruction, and it's FREE to do.
The point of all this is to get you thinking of sports or hobbies you may have been wanting to learn but just haven't crossed that initial hurdle to get started. I'm 38 years old and overweight but I just tried two different sports I have never attempted before.
If one of your new year resolutions is to lose weight and get in shape, this could be all the motivation you need to get going. Not only could you possibly find a new exercise alternative to help you burn excess calories and weight from your body, but you may find yourself enamored with a whole new exercise outlet and begin to enjoy working out.
Just make sure before you attempt to learn any new sport or activity that your doctor clears you, and that you get proper instruction from a qualified teacher so you learn how to do everything in the correct manner.
You want this new endeavor to be a fun experience that broadens your horizon so be sure to learn in an appropriate, safe manner.


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