Many years ago I took up cycling to get some exercise. It became a regular activity and the distances kept increasing. I took a trip from the Chicago area to visit a friend in Washington, D.C. and returned through Lake Placid and Canada. After that, I opened a bicycle store and spent the next ten years promoting bicycles and riding. Then, unfortunately, rides had to be completed in one day. Cycling is still a favorite activity even though work, etc. has reduced my time on a bike.
At the same time I was becoming active in cycling, this area was having heavy winter snow falls. Cross country skiing was becoming popular; albeit, just a fad. X-country skiing filled the need to get outside and exercise during the winter and was a good off season product for a bicycle store. When there is enough snow I still like wax up the skis and get out. These days ski wax is hard to find; I may have to breakdown and get a pair of wax-less skis.
Ornithology (the study of birds) was one of the more fun classes on the way to a degree in zoology. The course was a field class requiring early morning trips to the Southern Illinois forests to identify and observe the various species of birds. It is still exciting to identify an interesting or rare species.
Sailing was one of my first loves when it comes to things to do...well there was camping and canoeing too and they came before, but sailing is different. I was fortunate growing up in Chicago because the park district had a youth sailing program, the Rainbow Fleet. It is open to everyone 14 or older who can pass the swimming test. It was free—it may still be free—so at 14 I learned the basics of sailing. We sailed Penguin class dinghies in Burnham harbor. That was a great start. After a couple of years, my dad and I built a Lightning class sail boat that I raced on Lake Michigan until I joined the navy (I was never on a ship in the navy). I also crewed on larger boats. But, alas, you need a boat and place to sail neither of which I currently have.
A good book, usually an adventure or swords and myth fantasy, is a good companion. Unfortunately, work related reading has taken up too much of my recreational reading time.