FIGHTING FIT: Eighty-year-old Judy Wilkie has a new-found passion in stand-up paddleboarding.
FIGHTING FIT: Eighty-year-old Judy Wilkie has a new-found passion in stand-up paddleboarding.

Judy, 80, jumps on board with new sport

YOU'D be hard pressed to find Judy Wilkie just hanging about at her unit in Bargara.

She's more likely to be hanging 10 down at the beach.

The sprightly 80-year-old likes to keep active and on Sunday took her first stand-up paddleboarding class, mastering the sport in a mere hour on the water.

"It was so beautiful. It was like meditation," Judy said.

A quick tutorial from Keith Drinkwater from Enviro-Reefs Paddle and Surf School was all Judy needed before she paddled out, bouncing effortlessly from her knees to a standing position.

"Everyone was amazed. They couldn't believe I'd done it," Judy said.

"It's a bit like tai chi - it was so calming and just a lovely feeling."

 

WATER BABY: Judy Wilkie is not only into stand-up paddleboarding but also teaches tai chi, does pilates and enjoys water aerobics.
WATER BABY: Judy Wilkie is not only into stand-up paddleboarding but also teaches tai chi, does pilates and enjoys water aerobics.

When she's not slaying juniors on the paddleboard, Judy's teaching tai chi, taking a pilates class or hitting the pool for some water aerobics.

"As you get older you need to stay active," she said.

Casting a glance at the younger ones in the class on Sunday, Judy said she had just as much stamina only "the skin doesn't fit as it used to".

"Eighty is the new 60, don't you know," she quipped.

Posting photos of her paddleboarding efforts to Facebook, Judy was surprised by the positive response, with friends giving her endless thumbs' up for her tenacity.

Before settling at Carlyle Gardens, Judy and husband Don, who passed away three years ago, led an adventurous life, travelling and working at locations across Australia.

The pair landed a dream job at Hayman Island, Judy as a receptionist and Don as an electrician.

"I had to pay $2.50 for board - this was back in the 70s - and you'd do the three-island tour for free," she said.

She is also a keen photographer, capturing nature photos on her travels, and when she can find the time, leads computer studies at the retirement village.

"It's good to stay busy," she said.

Asked whether she eats a healthy diet, Judy said she tried to but had a weakness for chocolate, her homemade salted caramel sauce and happy hour drinks at the village.

She would like to take up SUP once a week now she has a taste for it and says she will take a friend along too.


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