Greetings from a newbie
I'm a total newbie, have been to the dojo just 3 times so far, and am really excited about aikido. I'm 35, and I'm about 4'11"--finally, having a low center of gravity may be an advantage!
My other big interest is rowing. I was a coxswain and coach for a long time--but if you want to row and not just ride along, it helps to be big. I do some sculling on my own, but I'm just never gonna go as fast as someone whose legs are as long as my whole body. I also do some yoga and meditation.
I had been interested in finding out more about aikido for a long time, but until recently was traveling too much (for business) to be able to commit to training. Then I got laid off a month ago. Talk about your silver linings!
The people in the dojo have been great. There isn't really a class, per se, so everyone has way more experience than I do. I was really anxious before the first class (and would have been more so had I known that I would be the only new person!), but everyone was very patient and gentle. The first day, sensei wasn't there and one of the sempai taught. Between his instruction and a lot of help from the other students, I was just too busy learning and trying to keep up to wallow in feeling awkward.
Seeing that I can't learn it all has been very humbling but also pretty liberating. Usually I like to get things straight, establish control, nail everything down, etc. etc. etc. But here, I can see very clearly that's just not gonna happen, so I just do the best I can each time. That's already worth the price of admission--and it's an especially helpful teaching to receive as I work on my job hunt.