April Jeppson: This will be the year I’m breaking my leg

Published 9:41 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


My shoulders are a little extra sore this morning. I’ve been trying to learn a new skill — a skill that serves no real life value. I won’t be able to use it at work or help me gain a promotion. It won’t help me get my children to school on time or keep my house clean. I want to do a handstand push up.

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I’m putting it on the list with the other useless fitness skills I’m currently working on: one pull-up, skateboarding, cartwheels. I was a bigger kid growing up, so when my friends were doing cartwheels on the playground, I simply was not small enough or strong enough to lift my legs up over my head. I’m older and my joints are stiffer, but I’m also stronger than I was when I was 7. I refuse to believe that my window has closed for doing cartwheels.

Almost every time I tell people about my dream to skateboard, they follow it up with a story about their friend’s child who broke a body part while riding. I smile and let them know that I’m not saying I want to do tricks on the half-pipe. I want to be able to ride my skateboard down to the park while my kids use their scooters and bikes. They still insist that I need to be careful because “our bodies aren’t as young as they use to be.”

I had a 60-year-old tell me that “our” bodies are fragile. Umm, I’m 37. I understand that I’m not 17. I’m well aware that I will totally scrape my knees and hands, and yeah, I could break my wrist from a fall. But I’m alive and healthy, and I’ve always wanted to ride a skateboard so why not? Why not learn now?

My friends are always learning new skills. How to put new flooring in their kitchen. How to crochet blankets that look like shark tails. How to open up a new business. How to Dave Ramsey their finances and live debt-free. How to make jewelry out of beach shells they find.

Some of these skills are learned out of necessity. My friend needed a new floor and didn’t have enough money to hire a professional, so she and her husband learned. They watched videos, they read, they started and they made mistakes. By the time they finished they kitchen they were pretty good at it. They now acquired a skill.

Others learn skills simply because they want to. My other friend discovered that she really likes combing the beaches for shells. She acquired a pretty neat collection and wanted to do something fun with it. She saw lots of jewelry made with shells and thought, I want to take my shells and do something like that. So she took a class and she struggled and she laughed and she figured it out. Now she has a skill.

Talking with my 5-year-old reminds me of conversations with the foreign exchange students in high school. I know what she’s saying or trying to say, but it’s just not quite right. “Herself teached her” “I swimmed the fastest ever!” “Jesus Christ and his eTurtle Fadder.” I don’t tease her. She’s trying to learn a new skill, and that’s hard work!

I have this quote in my kitchen that says “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

I believe this 100 percent. If you are 80 and want to learn how to ride a skateboard then send me a text, we’ll learn together. Stop telling yourself you’re too old, you missed your window or you’ll look foolish.  Tell me your dreams, I’ll never tease you or try to talk you out of it. Let this be your year.  Let’s do it.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.