Arianne Brown: You’re never too old to learn a new trick (or two)


Arianne Brown writes about how longboarding for the first time taught her that you’re never too old to learn something new.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, we took the kids to my husband’s school where he is a PE teacher, so we could roll out the basketballs, kickballs and whatever else we could for hours of family fun. To my surprise, my husband brought out several longboards for the kids to ride around the gym. I was even more surprised to see that my kids were actually quite good at it and, in no time, were skating with the greatest of ease.

As I watched them move effortlessly on those boards, I was both proud and a little envious because even my 7-year-old daughter was mastering a skill that had evaded me for so long.

Since middle school, I have loved watching the sport of skateboarding. I had several friends who could skateboard and longboard, and I enjoyed watching them, all while wishing I could do the same.

I remember walking down the street one day and watching a good friend skate down the road. I watched as he followed the curvature of the bends in the road, looking completely at ease. I remember wondering what it would be like to ride the road so freely with the wind in my hair and wheels beneath my feet, and I have wished I could one day experience what he was able to.

Every once in a while, I would attempt either skateboarding or longboarding, and it always ended in frustration. As a runner, I have found that my body is very used to the constant forward movement of my two feet, so getting on something that forced me to go sideways in order to go forward, and moving one leg while the other stayed still was extremely awkward.

I felt frustrated and prideful about not being able to master the skill even, and that attitude led me to have negative thoughts toward skateboarding and skateboarders themselves — something that I very much regret.

But as I…

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