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Now that I’m three weeks into my newfound ice skating habit, it’s starting to crop up in conversations with friends, and inevitably the reaction is surprised and curious: Why skating, of all things? I guess it is a little more unusual than taking up running, or yoga, which would scarcely raise an eyebrow.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me that I could start learning now, at the grand old age of 32. I just seemed to assume that if you’d hit puberty and hadn’t learned how to skate, too bad because it was too late. Like playing with Play-Doh, or Super Mario Kart: At a certain point, you just figure you missed your window.

Funny how with most hobbies you feel free to start at any point in life, and with any degree of commitment. Taking up painting? Sure, just as a hobby. Salsa dancing? Never too late. But with figure skating there’s that unspoken question hanging in the air: If you can’t make it to the Olympics, why bother? Here’s a sport that just doesn’t mix with dilettantism.

But sometime in the past few weeks, I’ve decided, the heck with it. I’ve always wanted to skate, and I might as well start now while I still have my knees. And ankles. And hips, although to be honest those have their off days.

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