Who is she?
Four mornings a week, she leaves home before 6 am. If she is out by this time, it is going to be difficult to contact her – but sometimes we get lucky. It is close to 1 pm when she returns home, with her hair wet and tangled, carrying equipment that is dripping all over the floor.
We don’t have to second-guess where she has been – if the equipment she is carrying doesn’t give it away, the smile on her face certainly does!
She has been out water-skiing.
Meet my mother, Angelina, the 61 year old water-skier who means it when she says she will ski for as long as she is able to.
Though Ange learned how to ski in her early 30s, her encounter with the sport was brief. This was partly due to my brother’s and my rising interest in the sport as well (which meant more expenses), and also because she had other priorities.
In her 40s, Ange left her corporate job, worked as a freelance copywriter from home, became a distributor for an artist brand, before finally opening an art shop close to our home.
Later in 2010, Ange decided to close her art shop and move back into her home studio. By then, her children were all grown up and she had more free time on her hands.
And so, Ange, then 50, decided that she would restart her water-skiing journey once again.
What is Water-Skiing (If you haven’t already wondered)
Gliding across the water, with the wind blowing against your face, 40km per hour feels fast, and 50kph even faster. Every increase in speed is noticeable when you’re slicing through the water, eyes set on getting to the next buoy.
(Do you see the orange markers in the water? Those are the buoys.)
The goal of slalom water- skiing is to successfully navigate around 6 buoys in one pass. The catch is, the boat speed increases with each pass, making it more technical and requiring greater strength…but also more thrilling and rewarding!
Due to the pendulum effect of the swinging rope, falls can sometimes turn into tumbles. (Ange was fine after 2 days of rest.)
Ange the Water-Skier
In her last 11 years of water- skiing, Ange has gone from being a recreational skier to one who competes. In 2016, she took part in her first Asian Championships and won the Master’s Category.
Today, Ange skis at a speed of 52 kph – it is the fastest she has ever skied in her life, and it had been her dream to reach that speed for years.
Moving forward, Ange’s target is to break her personal best when she competes again. However, her love for water-skiing goes beyond that of being a competitive skier. In her own words she says, ”I will continue to water-ski for as long as I am able to!”
As Ange turns 62 this year, she shares that to be able to continue doing the things she loves, she has to make an extra effort to keep fit and stay healthy.
As years go by and our parents grow older, time is seen from a different perspective; there’s a sense of urgency to do things that would make a change. Thus, it makes sense that our living room has turned into her little workout corner, equipped with resistance bands, weights, and a Bosu ball.
And that is why, when my mother returns home from an entire morning of water-skiing, with her hair wet and tangled, I smile back at her. Seeing my mother actively work towards her goals, just as she had in the earlier chapters of her life, has inspired me to take charge of the present.
At #fACE, we believe that stories of inspiring women are all around us.
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