Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Do It Anyway

Middle age is when many of us turn to those who told us 20 years ago that we must "clip our wings and soften our ways", take a deep breath, and say, "Phhhhbbbbttthhhttt!"

This was on the front page of today's Washington Post (dead tree version):

For a D.C. hairdresser, a love of figure skating becomes a dream fulfilled
He was 7, 8, maybe, a skinny boy in Baltimore with dishwater blond hair brushing shaggy against his collar, and he was in love with Peggy. Peggy Fleming. ... That was when he knew. That was when he knew he was destined to become an ice skater.

But he didn’t.

He became a hairdresser.

Who are we kidding. Childhood fantasies cannot keep pace with the realities of adulthood, the unsettling realizations of one’s own physical limitations, the acceptance of practical career paths, fixed-rate mortgages, respectable leisure activities, weak ankles.

Bolek got married. He opened up his own salon, Michael Anthony, on Capitol Hill. He had a son. He turned 38, 39. He acquired the gentlest of paunches — barely a slope — and a Hip Dad haircut — layered, streaked, as blond as the blond of his childhood.

Then he became an ice skater.

On Friday, [Mickey] Bolek, who is now 46 and who could not so much as manage a toe pick seven years ago, will compete nationally for the first time in the 2012 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships. ...


Adelie penguin photograph by: Timothy Russer, TSGT, USAF
National Science Foundation

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