Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Growing up, my siblings and I were urged to participate in a variety of activities. Our parents encouraged both physical and academic pursuits, and attempted to set the example by demonstrating what they had done in the past and what they did then. And each of us developed a nature of "try it."

I call it curiousity. Given a new activity, I tend to want to give it a try, and often put my whole heart into learning about it. This "curious" nature has led me into many things in my life.

During my childhood, I participated in organized archery, baseball, football, soccer, cycling, and speed skating. I also learned to water ski and wakeboard, play cricket, and participated in a wide variety of other sports. And while far from world class at any of these, I tried my hardest at each. And I continue to do many of these things, today.

Music education didn't suffer for all the outdoor activities, either. At a very young age, my dad bought me an acoustic guitar while deployed overseas. That guitar was eventually replaced with a better guitar and I began lessons. I learned to play that guitar as well as the bass guitar. My mom also required each of her children to learn an instrument in school. For me, it was the french horn. Over time, I also learned to play the trumpet and saxophone (poorly, in both cases). I attempted to learn to play the clarinet, but was just TOO bad at that. Again, I am for from mastering any of these instruments, but my abilities with bass guitar were sufficient for a punk rock band, and I performed on stage at concerts during college.

Curiousity drew me into the theater during junior high. And one could say I was a curiousity in many of my plays. I have played an old man, Igor, an insane priest, and a goofy chamberlain. While rarely the lead role, I always landed roles that demanded strong acting ability.

For the record, it was NOT curiousity that attracted me to debate. I love to debate. I will debate any topic, at any time, taking any position (whether I believe it or not).

A doctor's orders pushed me into running. But it was curiousity about how far I could actually run that led to marathons. The challenge of a group of eighth graders pushed me into triathlons. But it was curiousity that led me to go beyond that first race.

And by participating in these events, I hope to instill in my children the same curiousity that was fostered by my parents. B-Boy and Monster Girl might never become triathletes. They might never run a marathon. But perhaps they'll learn to surf. Maybe they'll pursue basketball or volleyball. Maybe they'll choose track and field. I will try to set the example for them to follow. And perhaps others will gain, as well.

What are you curious about?


Cliff said...

Iron Pol,

That's what i want for my kids too. They might not have to do tri. In fact, I won't force them. But I will definitely show them that in life, we should try different expereince and learn from them.

Bigun said...

I'm curious as to how you get your ironman countdown to work - I've copied and pasted that sucker, tried to fool with the numbers - I'm just not "computer wienie" enough to get it running....very jealous....

Steph said...

Wow, what a neat post--I also had a "musical identity crisis" trying just about every instrument, eventually settled on the french horn and double bass, played the bass in a bunch of different groups (including opera pits), joined the Air Force and fell in love with triathlon! We must be related.

Another curiosity I've pursued over the years is snowshoe racing. I'm sure you have your share of races in WI! It's my favorite sport, and you should give it a try if you haven't yet!

Good luck in your training,

Fe-lady said...

I want to get back to the piano or maybe really learn how to play the guitar....(not just strum)...create more tile art, landscape my yards...
there's not enough time!!!!!