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Fit in my 40s: I thought I could use YouTube to learn skateboarding. I was wrong | Zoe Williams

You’re not going to kickflip immediately, but after weeks of practice, you’ll certainly have better abs

Some sports have a high barrier to entry – perhaps you need a horse, a boat or a resting heart rate of 50 – and this generally means that the first time you try, you’ll be in the company of an expert.

Skateboarding is not like that. If you’re in your 40s and complaining about your steady creep toward decrepitude, the chances are you have a child who has a skateboard. But I was being complacent when I thought I could just YouTube it and hope for the best. I could have done with a mini-expert (the world’s skateboarding champions are incredibly young and it’s not unusual to hear a 12-year-old talking about having reached their career high). I could have done with some elbow and knee pads. I could have done without taking my child with me, who was even mortified by the sound of the wheels turning. But I didn’t really want to go out on my own.

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