lay ’em down

“Do new things.” A friend of mine made this his motto for his senior year in college. He went to the gun range. He went whitewater rafting. He tried many different flavored alcohols – that one didn’t go so well.

Gentledog likes new things. He doesn’t like new people. He strongly dislikes new people. He barks at them and his hair stands up in a ridge on his back. But, he does like new things: new toys, new dogs to play with, new woods to run through, new squirrels to chase. And sand.

In a completely unconscious and unguided way, I’ve lived my life in this way. When I was young I played every team sport possible (okay, not every sport, but a lot of them). I played video games and went camping. I wrote short stories and majored in economics, I read fantasy novels and Malcolm Gladwell. I drank – drink – beer and do CrossFit.

I’ve done a lot of new things in my life. And I have become a little bit of a jack of all trades. What I’m realizing now is that I’ve gained a lot from those experiences, but I’ve missed two major things:

  1. I haven’t really mastered anything. I’m not an expert in any knowledge base and I’m not too confident that I could teach anyone anything beyond a very basic understanding.
  2. Of all the new things that I’ve tried, none of it has been scary. I’ve tried new, fun things – things that I wanted to learn or do. And then, today, in an article on Barbell Shrugged, I saw this Ralph Emerson quote: “Always do what you are afraid to do.”

So, here we go. This is my new thing. The thing that I am scared to do. This blog.

I struggle to put myself out there sometimes. I generally don’t say controversial things. It’s time to take a plunge and realize that I do, in fact, know more than some people do about some things. I’ve started telling my colleagues to move a little more. And, while I won’t necessarily teach you anything, hopefully we’ll start a conversation and learn something from it. Or we’ll just enjoy each other’s company.

I’m still working on the mastery part of things.


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