It's Never Too Late to Learn
They say it's never too late to learn. Famous artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, didn't begin painting until age 76.
Reddit user classycatman asked "Redditors who discovered and mastered a new hobby in middle or late age, what was it, why did you start, and how did you master it?"
Here are just a few skills others have picked up later in life. Maybe you'll find a new hobby too.
Off the Land
I decided at the age of 27 I wanted to hunt and fish for all my food. I know 27 isnt middle aged, but its a damn late start to hunting, most hunters start with their dad as a kid. I come from a non hunting and fishing family, so it was very foreign to me. I had no background in it, and no clue how to get started. Lots of googling, book reading, and podcast listening got me to a good start. I went from never firing a gun to killing my first buck in the span of about 3 months. I became obsessed. I now bowhunt, gunhunt, kayak and offshore fish for every bit of meat I eat. Been living that way for 5 years, so I guess you can say im pretty good at it.
Animation and 3D modeling assets for movies, games and TV. I've always been artistic but never really thought about what I wanted out of life as I normally put other peoples needs in front of my own. I turned 30 last year and applied for an art course in the local college, got accepted and now a year later I've just found out I've been accepted onto an animation course in the main University in my city. It feels weird because I never imagined myself doing this or enjoying it but I really do love it.
It might not be such a big thing, but recently I started buying and building Gundam build kits. The first one took me nearly 16 hours to complete and I'm starting to get better and better at making them, especially the stickers, those things are damn hard to put on.
Started skateboarding at 31 - on and off, never more than 3-4 hours a week. My findings after 1 year: - it's hard - it hurts - it's extremely fun.
We Got the Beat
I'm 44 now and I just started playing the drums three years ago. I was always one of those guys that basically drums on the steering wheel, desk, lap, anything I could find when listening to music. Then finally at 41 years old I decided to gift myself a real drum kit. Can't say that I've mastered it since it takes a long long time to master drums. If there really is such a thing as mastering the drums. Considering the many play styles, genres of music, and just about endless techniques to master, I will have plenty to keep busy with. All in all though I absolutely love drumming and wish I would have started much younger in life. Either way it is a fantastic Hobby.
Something to Draw On
I started learning to draw when I was 34 years old. I always figured I was a crappy artist, since I was comparing myself to my twin brother. Growing up, he was "the artistic one" (side note don't label your twins in comparison to each other), and he drew way more often than I did.
When I was 34, I told him how I wished I could draw. He told me to pick something fun to draw, draw every day, and see how my skill improves.
So, I started drawing chibis. My first ones sucked. I drew every day. I read books and found Pinterest tutorials. I started keeping a drawing journal, in addition to learning and practicing.
Now, I'm 36 years old. I still consider myself a beginner. A large percentage of my pictures still suck, especially when I'm trying something new or ambitious. I've learned to accept that. I've also started drawing things that I'm really happy with, and it is refreshing.
I took up Krav Maga in my forties. Beating the crap out of each other is way more fun than running on a treadmill for an hour.
Well, I'm 33 and I've been Metal detecting for the past 2 years and I must say it's something that fulfills me, researching places of battles, of old abandoned towns, digging stuff that has been buried for over 300 years it's a unique experience.
I took up game programming. Everything's free now. Blender. Unity. Visual Studio. Unreal Engine. These were all things that would have been hundreds, if not thousands of dollars when I was in my 20s back in the 90s. And there are so many thousands of great tutorials out there for everything. It's the golden age of Indie Game Design.
I'm not a master yet. But I've made a few things that people seem to enjoy.
Purl One, Cast Off
I'm 47 and earlier this year had surgery on my foot. Bed-bound, foot elevated. I've always wanted to learn how to knit, and figured I could use my recovery time doing something useful. I bought cheap yarn at a local craft store, one 'how to' book, and found some really good tutorial-type YouTube channels. Had my surgery in early January, and as of right now I can knit hats, scarves, mittens, and socks. I can do cable knitting and fair isle knitting (only 2 colours so far, next project will use 3). I can knit on straight needles and in the round. I currently have two goals: knitting Christmas stockings for my husband, my 6 children, and myself, and knitting myself an Icelandic sweater. I realize it's sort of an 'old lady' hobby, but I find it so relaxing and rewarding.
At age 39, I decided to learn to play ice hockey.
I rollerbladed as a kid and would occasionally ice skate on figure skates. Then my son started to play ice hockey and it looked like so much fun, I joined an adult league to learn to play. I've been playing in men's leagues for over a year and was invited to help coach my son's team.
Cross stitch. I came across a book at a library that had subversive cross stitch. I loved looking at old granny things that had swears and snarky remarks on them. It was a fairly cheap hobby to pick up. A lot of supplies you can find in thrift shops. Regardless it's cheap even at store price.
Began rowing at 30. It's been a brutal, weird, humbling journey that began with an awkward class and some flailing on the water to near perfect strokes that make me feel like I'm flying and my heart is soaring.
There's no way to just row, just like there's no way to just be. It always feels like more, in a good way.
Not by any means a "master" at it but, I started woodworking at 35. I'm now 42. I impress myself and my friends. It started out of practicality. I needed a workbench for my garage. I built one. I needed a bookcase. I built it. I discovered that I really enjoy doing it so I picked up some additional tools and I started building more and more complex things.
Edit because this got popular and there were a lot of comments: Here is one of my projects. Like I said, I am not really all that good. I just watch a lot of videos and I'm not afraid to try new stuff. I built this because I needed a good solid bookshelf and I wasn't going to pay $350.00 for a cheap veneered MDF bookcase. This was made out of pine and cost me about 100 bucks in materials.
Upon the Stage
At age 60, without a single second of previous experience, I started acting in live theater. It was local community theater but still... A friend convinced me to try it. I have done alright and each time I try out for a new play I get a better role.
I started collecting facts about different countries a few years ago. I had a total of 70,000 that I have organized down to about 15,000 of the best ones.
There's no end in sight and I think that I will be doing this for the rest of my life. Everyday is just a new adventure researching whether Afghan women have triangle or crescent shaped tattoos on their faces or fact-checking whether Germans actually fought side-by-side with Ameiricans in WW2.
Maybe by the time I'm done fact checking everything, I will be able to write a couple of books or do a Youtube series or something. But even if that never pans out, I just enjoy doing this everyday.
I don't think I will ever master all of the histories and intricacies of all the countries in the world, though. But I'm going to try.
The Pen Is Mighty
I started writing at 42, sold a book at 45. I had tried writing at various times all my life but never had thought of really showing it to anyone until I got in my 40s. I just like to write. It gets everything out.
I always wanted to try ceramics. So when I had to take art electives when I went back to college about 30 years later than planned, I figured, what the hell.
I didn't expect to be good at it (art isn't really something I'm any good at) but it's so much fun and there's so much science in it. You can completely ignore the science part, or you can go full Mad Scientist and experiment the hell out of it.
Sadly ceramics isn't really a hobby you can easily bring home with you, so while I spent a ton of time in the studio when I had access to one, it's a hobby that's pretty hard to keep going.
Doing the Heavy Lifting
I was approaching 39 I was overweight and depressed. I did not want to start my 40s the same way. I started going to the gym and got connected with a personal trainer who was going to school at the same time. She used me as a guinea pig for all the things she was learning.
I was a sponge who wanted to learn all the things. Long story short, my body type is perfect for powerlifting and she was getting into going to competitions herself. I started training hard with her using big boy weights. So far I have done 2 competitions and hope to do another one next year.
Still with the same coach. Truly life changing.
Like Don Ho
A couple years ago (I'm 36 now) I somehow drunkenly ordered a ukulele from Amazon Prime because it looked cool and because beer.
It turned out that it was easier to just learn how to play the damned thing than it was to return it, and now I play with a group in the city once a week and started up a group of my own at my office because a bunch of other people here got interested in it too. It's become a surprisingly solid source of security and comfort through a very rocky time in my life.
I learned to play it using youtube videos and then once I'd gotten my feet under me I found a group that plays for fun near me and started showing up weekly. There's no better way to solidify and improve your musical skills than playing with other people, and there's almost nothing you can't learn using youtube.