Do you like racing big wheels down the hills in the rain? I do.
When I was in middle school, I was a picky eater. I didn't eat meat and I didn't eat any vegetables besides corn, potatoes, and artichokes. If it weren't for my parents cleverly blending all sorts of vegetables into pasta sauce, I'd probably be about four feet tall and be even skinnier than I am now. I told people that I didn't like meat or vegetables, but in reality I just didn't know; I stubbornly refused to try them.
This sounds ridiculous, but we do it all the time. We write off certain activities that we've never experienced, usually because of a lack of information. Recently I've been challenging my prejudices by doing things that don't particularly appeal to me. It comes back to the risk/reward idea: if I don't like the activity I've wasted an hour of my time (because I'll leave if it seems hopeless in the first hour), but if I do like it I might find an awesome new hobby or interest.
Take monster truck rallies, for example. I've never had any real interest in monster truck rallies before. None of my friends or family have ever recommended that I go see one. I could have easily died happy without ever going to a monster truck rally. They're for white trash, right?
Enter Monster Jam 2010. A friend heard about the monster truck rally, thought it would be funny to dress up and go to Monster Jam, which was coming through the bay. I, in turn, tried to recruit other friends, including my friend Christophe. He declared that "zee French do not go to zees things", but in the end was somehow dragged to the Coliseum in Oakland.
Assuming that the rest of the bay area was equally unexcited about such plebian entertainment, we headed to the event an hour late. To our surprise we were met by traffic and a long ticket line that ate up another hour. In the end we paid $30 each for the last seats available, standing room in the handicapped section, determined to see the final hour of truck-crushing goodness.
It was worth every penny. Even Christophe was standing up, pumping his fists, screaming for Monster Mutt (our favorite truck). I may not invest in a wardrobe of wife-beaters and follow Monster Mutt around the country, but I'd definitely go to another rally if it came through. Most importantly, having so much fun at Monster Jam made me wonder what else I might be missing out on. Since then I went to a ballet, have started learning to play go, visited a nudist resort, plan on going to a destruction derby, and hope to see an opera soon.
Next time you're looking for something interesting to do, don't just consider what you like doing, consider also what you know nothing about. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Here are some suggestions from me. I'd love to hear your suggestions as well:
I love this post!!! Like big wheels in the rain, you could try blowing bubbles in the rain as well, they keep floating up even in a downpour! Very inspirational ideas, I need to try a monster truck rally next time the chance arises.
Smart man u r so u like things outa da box do ya?
Well here is one I been thinkin about,a Rialta with stick shift clutch and all.
It can be done,just think of it ,u da only one with a stick shift Rialta.
Thats what I hope to do some day.
Almost bought a eurovan stick shift with the 5 cylinder audi engine $1400 would have got it,had all the parts needed to convert to a Rialta with the 5 cylinder.
I watch your rv tour everyday,I am jelous.Bill
I add couple of my favorites:
- Salsa Dancing
- Sauna And Rolling In The Snow (a Finnish past time)
- Ballroom dance competition
- Street basketball
Great post Tynan! I'm currently trying to push myself to try new activities I know nothing about. I just had to change my mindset from "Why?" to "Why not?". What do we have to loose?
Cheers from Mexico, I think I may head out to my first Lucha Libre tonight!
Great insight. I think a lot of the 'not knowing' dislike comes from that ever present fear of the unknown. The more you get out there and expand your comfort zone, the more opportunities you have to like cool stuff like on this list.
Try Argentine Tango. It is very fun. Also it is a great way to meet locals while traveling; Usually major cities have at least one tango studio.
One night, while in the RV working on SETT, Todd suggested a trip to Alaska. I said I'd be interested in it, forgetting that in our group of friends, this low level of commitment basically always results in a trip happening. A couple weeks later I bought a really decked out 2001 KLR 650 motorcycle specifically to drive from San Francisco to Alaska, bought a knife, and stopped shaving my beard. That was about all I could think of doing to prepare for the trip.
Our departure date came a month later, and five of us met in downtown San Francisco with our bikes ready to go. Without much fanfare, we headed North, towards Canada.
By the time we stopped for gas for the first time, I had decided to turn back. At the high speeds we prefer to travel at, my bike was a little bit wobbly, probably due to the knobby tires and panniers. This could be fixed with a $100 fork brace, but there was nowhere to buy one and no time to ship it. Beyond that, though, I realized that I don't really enjoy long distance motorcycle trips. You can't talk to anyone, your seat is about as comfortable as a bar stool, you can't have snacks or water, and you can't change the music or podcasts on your ipod. Besides that, I wasn't feeling great about the sharply reduced hours that I'd be able to work on SETT. So I turned back.
Initially after turning back, I didn't plan on going to Alaska at all, but I had already bought my return ticket from Anchorage, so the cost of flying up for a few days was cut in half. I called around a couple motorcycle rental shops, and Nancy from Alaska Motorcycle Adventures offered me a great deal on a BMW, along with a really great route that she suggested. I bought my one-way plane ticket minutes later.
I’m not going to pretend to be some kind of professional ballet artist, writer or critic because I’m far from it. In fact, I’ve only just started taking proper ballet classes. I wanted though to write a short entry about the turned-out art form.
The sad thing is, if you’re not a dancer, you probably won’t ever understand the pain, dedication and effort that goes into ballet - whether you’re performing professionally in a London production, or like me are coming to the end of grade 1. Generally, people are very ignorant towards ballet, they think it’s easy and that it’s something little girls do at an after school club. I’m here to let you know that’s not the case. I know not everybody is as ignorant, but the majority are.
I remember when I went to see my first ballet with the school whilst studying my A-levels - Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake; It was absolutely sensational. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the stage, it was literally like someone reading me a story but through ballet.
The training and dedication that goes into ballet dancing is mind blowing. So much so that a lot of people never make it - I’ve come to the reality that it’s probably a bit too late for me too; whilst nothing’s impossible, I’ve left it a bit too late to be in professional ballet now. I still intend to practice ballet however, whilst at university on the side. There’s probably no other dance form that technically will improve you as effectively.
I love ballet because it’s so visually pleasing; everything has to look perfect and be in alignment. I could watch ballet dancers pirouette around a studio all day.