In the early 1980s, when this dratted MS was just starting to affect me, my wife Margaret and I went for a short break to York.
Whilst we were there I decided with Margaret's agreement to hire a rowing boat to go for a trip down the River Ouse. I had never rowed a boat before, and I was surprised to find how easy it was.
I assumed that Margaret would be very impressed with the professional manner of my rowing, and we went speeding down the river with ease.
After we had gone about half a mile, I thought that we had better make our way back to base before our allotted time was up. But what a difficult job that turned out to be. We were now rowing against the current. Needless to say I was well and truly knackered!
As Margaret was pregnant, she couldn't help. I was very tempted to dump the boat, but that meant losing the deposit. Through sheer perserverence I managed to get the boat back to the starting point. Never again did I want to go in a rowing boat!
But some years later, after we had three sons and two daughters, we bought a superb 14 foot Skipper sailing dinghy. We joined the Bala Sailing Club where I took a crash course in how to sail. I needed to learn how to sail against a prevailing wind. This involved 'tacking to the wind'. With some tuition I soon got the hang of things.
As BSC members we were expected to do a duty about 6 times a year. As we didn't know the finer rules of dinghy-racing we were given a 40hp rubber dinghy, which was a little easier to handle. We were required to wear wet suits because the water was so very cold. If you were to fall in without a wet suit on, you could die of exposure.
I have ridden and enjoyed motorcycling over 1000s of miles, and have done two sponsored tandem parachute jumps, the first from 10,000 ft and the second from 16,000 feet. I didn't particularly enjoy the jumps, but it felt excellent raising money for MS research.
For the sheer thrill and enjoyment I would say dinghy sailing is my favourite pursuit. Alas this is just a fond memory now.