When Michael Bauman retired after 38 years as a public servant in October 2018, he couldn't just sit around and do nothing.
It's why he has encouraged other people who are in a similar situation to invest their free time and energy into a lesser-known pastime - and take up dragon boating.
"When you retire you're used to doing something five days a week and the things you throw into it develop your day. I couldn't just sit around and do nothing," he said.
"If you don't do something active whether it's walking, bike riding or going to the gym you get old too quick. Not that I'm immature or too youthful, but I'm young at heart in a way where I still enjoy being active."
Mr Bauman's interest in dragon boating started 20 years ago when, by chance, he was at Darling Harbour for the Chinese New Year.
At the time he thought "geez, I'd like to do that", but due to living in the Blue Mountains the local club's training times conflicted with work so he could never do it.
After retiring in 2018 he tried the sport in Kempsey before he found paddling on the Hastings River in Port Macquarie was more to his liking.
"It's great for physical health, mental health, socialising, exercise of course and just getting some Vitamin D," he said.
"When you're out on the water I find it beautiful; you've got the nice yachts and houseboats and pleasure craft slowly going past."
The sport has also allowed him to travel overseas to Malaysia as well as attend state and regional events on the Sunshine Coast, Penrith and Urunga.
"You get to travel around a bit," he said.
"So far we've travelled interstate, but I've also raced overseas and that was a massive eye-opener.
"It was a whole new level of racing and even though you might not do well you learn and try and be better for the next one."
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