As I sit down to type this, our very own business strategy adviser Ray (AKA Dad to me) is in Norway preparing to undertake the Red Bull Ragnarok 2017.
The Ragnarock is an endurance snow-kite race, its name is taken from an epic battle depicted in Norse mythology, where only the heroes of the battlefield survive, just as only the toughest of riders will complete the required five laps of the gruelling 15-20km course using only a kite and skis or a snowboard.
At almost 63 Ray will probably be the oldest rider in the race, but I know he will be up there competing with the best of them. Although an experienced skier, it wasn’t until his 55th birthday that Ray took up kite surfing and his first experience combining the two disciplines in the form of kite-skiing wasn’t until a couple of years ago.
Ray officially retired in 2010 after selling his business but, rather than slowing down and enjoying the quieter life, he is using his retirement to embrace the elements of life he enjoys most. His life is far from quiet and snow kiting is one of many different interests and activities he pursues, from business consulting to orienteering, kite surfing and video production to name but a few.
I know participating in snow kiting endurance races won’t be everyone’s idea of fulfilment, but what a fantastic example of embracing opportunities and designing a retirement to reflect ones true highest values.
A by-product of living by your highest values is the inspiration you can provide to others to do the same. Seeing Ray take on the challenge of the Ragnarok is an inspiration to all of us who know him, and makes us realise that anything is possible.
Life is for the living, and Ray is inspiring proof that retirement provides the perfect opportunity, for us to live the life we want to lead.
Good luck in the race Ray.