Last week, my dad and I went to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for a week of skiing. The first day we took a 5-hour group telemarking ("free-heel skiing") lesson. (Telemarking is my dad's latest obsession, after bicycle touring and BMW motorcycles.) The instructor often said things like, "Chris, I'm not saying much to you--that's because you're looking pretty good." Later he asked how many times I'd tele'd before. This is my first day on tele skis, I said. No, for real, he said, how many times have you tele'd before today? He found it hard to believe.
I ended up renting alpine skis 3 out of 5 days, but I enjoyed the telemark skis enough to try it again for another 7-8 hours of skiing. Maybe the difference was a five-hour lesson from a pro, rather than five-minutes of tips from my goofball brother?
Or maybe I've learned nothing about trying new things. I've learned nothing about perseverance, hard work, and dedication. I've learned only that you should pursue what you've a knack for. And how am I supposed to convince, say, any wobbly rollerskaters to give it the old college try if I'm unwilling to do the same?
Other items to add later: