North by Northeast

What Can You Do with Your Life?
27 July, 2008, 10:57 pm
Filed under: General

Something has really had my head turning the last few days. I have a childhood friend whom I haven’t seen for a little while. We grew up together, probably about a mile down the road from one another. I was a year older, but we did many things together. He was on my Little League team, he played in my section in school band, he taught me how to drive a standard transmission, and we took our dates to the prom together one year. Smart enough guy, nice guy, you know just an average guy.

Sadly, we didn’t stay in contact so much when I went off to college. I stayed in-state, but when he went the next year, he went off to the midwest. We saw each other occasionally on breaks, for the first few years at least. The occasional email or IM would be exchanged. We found each other on Facebook in the last year. I learned he was still involved in rowing, which he started in high school. We lived in the type of town that actually had a crew team…

Boring enough story for you? Well, let me jump to the extraordinary part. He’s traveling to China in August. Going to the Olympics—As a member of the U.S. Olympic Rowing Team. This is a guy who was, no offense, never picked first for any sport. He was a decent athlete. Played on a handful of school teams. I was pretty impressed when I found out he was rowing for a Division III college. I wasn’t surprised, I figured he definitely was talented enough for that. But somewhere about the time that we started losing touch, Andrew was apparently really dedicating himself to rowing.

This really gives me cause to pause. I wonder, if he can do that, what extraordinary thing can I do? I’m doing a lot in my life right now. I pretty happy with my job, in the industry I want to be in. I’m doing a full-time Master’s program, and participating in an open source educational software project, too. I have a beautiful wife and we’re expecting our first child in September. All great things that I’m proud of.

But I wonder what it would take some part of of my life and really kick it up to that next level. Something that when you tell someone, “x” they say, “Oh really?”


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