As we enter our fifties, there’s a disarmingly common notion, and complete misconception, that we may be too old to do certain activities. Well, newsflash: we can indulge in the frolics and fun we used to, and if anything, it’s as good a time as any to take on something new.
Ride, a new film written, directed by and starring the Oscar-nominated Helen Hunt, 52, is inspiration, if it was needed, that you’re never too old to take on something new.
Hunt is no stranger to new experiences, having stripped naked on screen in 2013’s critically acclaimed The Sessions, based on a true story about a sex therapist who helps a disabled man lose his virginity. Here are a few suggestions for things to make the next few decades even more fun than the last.
Helen Hunt took up surfing in her forties, and credits it with keeping her looking youthful to this day. It certainly went some way to inspiring her new film, in which Jackie (played by Helen) follows her son to California when he drops out of university to become a surfer.
As Jackie berates her son for giving up school to take up surfing, he challenges her to learning the ropes herself before she judges him.
Challenge accepted, Jackie learns a lot about herself, her son, and of course, surfing. Hunt goes to prove that it is never to late to take on a hobby that you perhaps may have thought was a little out of your reach.
Skydiving or bungee jumping
If you have not taken the plunge (excuse the pun), you absolutely must. This is a hobby that is too often associated with people in their late teens or twenties on their gap years when they head off to find themselves.
But in reality, you can never be too old for that feeling when your stomach flips, your blood races through your body and your face physically hurts from smiling (or screaming…). With people skydiving in their 80s and 90s, what are you waiting for?
No one is ever past busting a move on the dancefloor. While it is not only a fun way to stay fit, who can honestly say that if they’ve really danced around the room, let themselves go on their own or with a partner they have not come out the other end with endorphins coming out of their ears?
Getting a tattoo
“Helen Mirren” is all we need to say on this one. The actress got a small tattoo on her hand several years ago, when in her sixties, while working with an American Indian theatre group in Minnesota. She has revealed that the symbol means ‘love thy neighbour’.
Falling in love
No one is ‘past their sell by date’, as some think. If you have already lost a loved one it doesn’t mean you could not possibly find love again. Whether you are 50 or 80 years old, there is always possibility around the corner.
Maybe the new hobbies could speed the process up, as Helen finds in Ride, falling for her hunky instructor (played by Luke Wilson) after a tricky divorce. Falling in love never gets old. See High50’s Dating section for advice.
Ride is available on digital and DVD now