An old dog gets ready to learn some new tricks.

Welcome to the inaugural post of Fifty New Things!

A couple years ago, in my early fifties, I noticed for the first time that it was TOO LATE to do some things. Too late to become a pop idol, a prominent neurosurgeon, or a dancer in a Broadway chorus line. Sure, I never actually wanted to do any of those things, but the idea of CAN’T is still unsettling.

I started doing the midlife math: okay, I probably have 20 years left, 30 if I’m lucky, and maybe 40 if I give up burgers, alcohol, and enjoying myself.

Here’s the thing: I want to spend those years living, not just getting old. I want to try new things, know what’s going on with new technology, keep up with pop culture. I don’t want to be like my husband, God bless him, who still uses a flip phone and compensates by using the rest of us as his own personal search engine (“Hey, look that up on your phone, wouldya?”).

To make up for lost time, I’m going to try one new thing every week for the next year (I know there are 52 weeks in a year, but even God took some days off). Some will be small: a new app, a new recipe. Others will be big — a cross country trip on my own, perhaps. Each week I’m going to report back to all of you.

I’m going to risk looking kind of stupid (something my kids enjoy witnessing) because many of you probably know how to use Snapchat or have already tried SoulCycle or Zumba or have already vaped, or hookah-d, or whatever. That’s not really the point. The point is that I will share my attempts at doing new things, and hopefully you will say, “Hey, if she can try something new, maybe I should get off my ass!” And we will all feel a little younger, a little cooler, and a little more alive in the process.

So let’s get started, shall we?

New Thing #1: Hot Yoga

I have signed up for a beginner level Hot Yoga class for this Thursday. I am sincerely hoping that “hot” refers to the temperature of the room, and not some base level of sex appeal for class members.

This is stepping out of my comfort zone (both physically and emotionally) because I am a) out of shape, and b) not a flexible person (never have been, even when I was young and hot enough for Hot Yoga).  My main exercise for years has been running; I’ve finished, very slowly, nine marathons. Lately, however, due to some nearly plausible excuses, I have been fairly sedentary.

According to the yoga studio’s website, doing yoga in temperatures between 80 and 103 degrees “flushes out internal organs for optimal utilization with fresh oxygenated blood,” and “reorganizes the lipids (fat) in the muscular structure.” So I will return next week, flushed and reorganized, to report on my class experience.