Look, Sis, Mom’s Hangin’ Ten!

It’s sweet to rediscover love with a high school paramour 20 or
30 years after graduation. But to rediscover skateboarding at age
42? That sounds more like early-onset dementia than the sweet
whispers of a nostalgic heart.

Don’t tell that to Barb Odanaka, founder of the International
Society of Skateboard Moms. She credits skateboarding with keeping
her sane. ‘It is total freedom,’ says this 42-year-old mom. ‘When
you’re skating you can’t think about changing a diaper. It’s almost
a Zen thing.’

More than ever, adults are rediscovering the hobbies of their
youth — and no one is chiding them for undertaking juvenile
pursuits. ‘This is no pining for a second childhood,’ writes Tracey
Minkin in Body + Soul (Sept. 2005). People are
merely coming full circle.

‘We are the same person throughout our lives,’ says Victoria
Moran, author of Younger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate
Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit
. ‘Just because we let
something go, something that we outgrew in our intellect, doesn’t
mean that our soul outgrew it.’

Where the soul is willing, the body is often less resilient than
it was 20 years earlier, however. If you return to the ballet
studio, as Charlotte Breed Handy, a 41-year-old Rhode Island
architect, recently did, you will discover unexpected joys as well
as muscles you never knew you had. ‘It had been 16 years since I’d
done a pli?,’ says Handy. ‘I was sore in places I hadn’t been sore
in a long time.’

But the challenge, like the giddy fun, is part of the benefit of
returning to youthful endeavors. New activities keep both body and
mind limber. ‘You’re totally one with the moment,’ says Odanaka of
the mental challenge of midlife skateboarding, ‘or you’re gonna
die.’

UTNE
UTNE
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