The Kite Surfer
Mikaya Heart, 60 After selling her home in 2003 to travel the world, Mikaya Heart discovered kite surfing in Australia. At the time, kite surfing was just taking off as a sport. The first time she tried it, she was dragged over rocks and returned to the beach bloodied, but became addicted nonetheless to the powerful feeling and the connection between her body, the water, and the wind. Now, Mikaya “kites,” as she calls it, 200 days each year on average. In 2007, she got her instructor’s certificate to teach other kite surfers. She advises other athletes to not be intimidated by first impressions of a sport: “A lot of people look at me and think you need to be very strong to kite surf; in fact, women who aren’t that strong are often better, because they don’t try to control the kite with their muscles, like men do. Instead, they use subtle weight changes to kite surf."