This past Saturday I did my first ever Polar Plunge. I actually helped organize it so i kind of felt like I needed to participate. It wasn’t the worst experience I ever had. Colder in some ways but not as cold as expected in others.
The point of this entry isn’t to brag about immersing myself in near freezing water on purpose. The impetus of this post was a comment I made to a fellow blogger, Twitter follower, and Plunger after the Plunge:
Some things you do because others think its crazy – like drink tequila.
It’s something that I have used as an analogy before. I used to teach emotionally disturbed high school students. The mad, the sad, and the glad. I used to say that teaching emotional support was like drinking tequila; no one really likes it but only some people can do it and so they do. Probably a bit to oversimplified. I did actually enjoy teaching ES especially when I was young. It was an active job for a teacher and it really was rewarding on a lot of occasions. I also came to realize as I got older and could afford it that good tequila could be extremely tasty.
My point is I guess that I’m that kind of guy. I like to do the things that most people think are a little nuts. It’s hard to believe the number of people who wouldn’t even consider stripping down and getting into a frigid river. Probably considerably equal to the number of people who threw up on their first drink of tequila and never touched it again. More than a little correlation to the number of people who would have substitute taught for 20 years before taking a job teaching ES. I actually left a job teaching learning support in a local high school to travel an hour each way to teaching my first emotional support placement. The people who worked there looked at me like I had three heads.
Those two paragraphs probably say more about me than most people know. I’m just a normal guy. Married , two kids, good, solid job as an elementary school principal. But I’m not afraid to be a little crazy now and then. I’m not afraid to call a play that’s not “supposed” to be in my playbook.
I guess my quandary is whether I do that enough. Should I be increasing the number of crazy moments in my life? Do I call the plays on my wristband too often? Probably.
As my fellow blogger, Twitter follower and Plunger rogueanthro says in her blog, Resolutions disappear after January. Challenges last all year long. (I paraphrased)
So this year my challenge is to be challenge myself. Looking at one per month but I don’t really have a list yet. I know I would like to solo backpack overnight. Never soloed and have only backpacked on one other occasion. I think writing something of significance will be in there somewhere too. Maybe a triathlon? Don’t know but I’ll keep you posted. I am going back to grad school so that may make the list. OK stop me now, I’m rambling….
Haha I also have been looked at like I had three heads on many occasions. We may differ on what things we’re willing to do that most people wouldn’t, but the personal quality you described is a way of being that I feel deeply rooted in myself. I think it’s partly from my mom (she’s an ES teacher!) but manifests in ways she wishes it wouldn’t–i.e. living in conflict zones. Even now that I am living “at home” in PA, I’m going against the grain of my college-educated, single, 20-something, (liberal) peers by living in a rural area with “nothing to do” and a conservative majority population…Most of my friends can’t imagine it.
I don’t know what it is that draws me to difficult places and challenging work (related blog post: http://rogueanthropologist.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/the-palestine-i-see/) but it feeds on itself: the areas beyond the boundaries of the familiar are brimming with new lessons and perspectives that make me want more of those experiences.
Good luck with your 2013 challenges! What are you going back to grad school for?
Going to get my superintendent’s certification.