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It's never too late

There is this woman on TikTok named @AuntySkates — her real name is Orbee Roy. She’s a mom and a Canadian influencer who took up skateboarding three years ago, at age 43, as a way to spend more time with her kids. (Coincidentally this is the same age I’m going to be on my birthday next Thursday.)

I’ve been following AuntySkates on social media for the past year after she appeared in my TikTok feed. Her videos usually always involve skateboarding in some way, whether she’s talking about the sport or killing it on a halfpipe, and often co-star her family. One of the most iconic videos I’ve ever seen of her shows her skateboarding on a beautifully graffitied ramp wearing a purple traditional sari that matches her helmet perfectly. IT IS EPIC.

Not only does she offer tips for skateboard beginners, she offers hope and a new perspective for people who think they’ve passed the point in their life for taking up a new hobby like skateboarding, or anything else, really. Her tricks and skill level are advanced, but her message is so beautifully simple: It’s never too late.

“Honestly, I didn’t want to miss out on the fun,” she said on an interview on CBC Toronto.

I can’t tell you how many times or how often I need to hear someone like Oorbee Roy tell me that it’s not too late to try something I’ve always wanted to try. I can’t begin to explain how affected I am when I see someone start to do something new, out of their skill and comfort level, just because they’ve always wanted to. There’s no age limit for having fun. (Of course, I realize that taking up a new skateboarding hobby may not be in everyone’s future, but surely there is something every one of us have always wanted to do or try that we’ve pushed aside because we feel too old…)

There are so many things I’d like to try, that I have talked myself out of over the years — skateboarding, adult swimming lessons, running (I ran a half marathon once. I’d like to do it again one day), dancing… The sky’s the limit really. I’m not sure where I’ll start, but my 43rd birthday seems like a great time to figure out which hobbies I am going to try.

If you needed some inspiration to try something new, take this as your sign. We’ll all do it together!

Thanks for reading, I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Shelley Cook

Shelley Cook, Columnist

Shelley Cook

GOOD NEWS THIS WEEK

Melissa Martin is in Poland right now, covering the exodus of refugees from the war in Ukraine. Her most recent piece is about Alexander Leontiev, a new Manitoban who left his Whiteshell paradise for Poland to set up a non-profit helping people fleeing from what he calls “Russian idiots.” In Melissa’s words: This is a love story, in a way, about a love of land and of people, stretching from Pinawa to Ukraine.

Since arriving in Poland just days after the war started, Alexander Leontiev has been largely based in Wrzesnia. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Malak Abas wrote a story about Dr. Marcia Anderson, the public health lead of Manitoba’s First Nations pandemic response team, who has just been lauded as Doctors Manitoba physician of the year for 2022! Dr. Anderson has done such an amazing job through this pandemic, it’s lovely to see her honoured for her work.

Dr. Marcia Anderson, public health lead of Manitoba’s First Nations pandemic response team, always knew she wanted to be a doctor while growing up in Winnipeg’s North End. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

This week Aaron Epp wrote about Ginette Castro, one of the hundreds of volunteers who will be working behind the scenes when the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival returns June 14 to 19. Three things: First, volunteers are amazing. Second, so is the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival. Third, it’s really great to read about both of these things (volunteers and festivals) returning after a two-year hiatus!

A large ‘empty’ sign hangs over the counter at both locations; the name is a play on Marc Tallman’s initials, M.T. (Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press)

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