Taking Lessons

As I rode my bike home from my first day of Learn to Row, it occurred to me I’ve been taking lessons my whole life.  I began to compile a list of all the classes, workshops, lessons I’ve taken.

First, there was ballet.  This always shocks people for two reasons.  First, I am approximately 2x the size of the average ballerina in all directions.  Second, I am incredibly clumsy.  Although, I did have a guy tell me I was graceful once.  When I protested that I’m always falling, he said, “Yes, but you fall gracefully.”  Maybe I learned something.

There were summer swimming lessons, which were re-taken as an adult when I wanted to learn how to swim freestyle efficiently.  There were ice skating lessons which were also repeated in adulthood until I realized 30 is not the right time in life to learn how to jump on ice (after partially tearing an MCL in my knee).

There were gymnastics lessons.  I was exceptionally good at the uneven parallel bars for my age.  Perhaps it was because I was the only one who could reach them?

I took piano lessons and learned how to play “Happiness Is” from some Charlie Brown musical I’d never head of.  It still gets stuck in my head from time to time.  I had slightly better results when I switched to the clarinet, but having no sense of time was a problem.

I settled on horseback riding and for 4 years was pretty much dedicated to nothing but horses, paying for them, and school.  By my senior year of high school, I realized I had to choose between having a horse and going to college–my minimum wage jobs weren’t going to pay for both.  That’s about the time I managed to come up with the money for a package of skiing lessons.

In college, I took a weight lifting class and aerobics–both part of my PE requirement.  When I was a little more settled again, I started with a trainer at the gym.  Then it was nutrition classes.  I even took a cooking class, although it turned out to be a rather alternative cooking class based on the yin and yang of food.  My husband wouldn’t eat anything I prepared from there.

I took a motorcycle class and friends taught me how to water ski, bowl, and play softball.  I took a rock climbing class and eventually took up yoga classes.

Later, Pat tried to teach me to play the drums, then I resorted to learning to play a hand drum.  Still no sense of time.  I switched to trying to learn to speak German instead, but I wasn’t much better at that.

The list goes on and on.

Since coming to Chattanooga, I’ve earned my novice hang gliding pilot rating, started learning how to care for non-releasable birds of prey, gotten some informal lessons on kayaking, and gone to several photography workshops.

Jack of all trades, master of none. As I rode my bike home from my first day of Learn to Row, it occurred to me I’ve been taking lessons my whole life.  I began to compile a list of all the classes, workshops, lessons I’ve taken.

First, there was ballet.  This always shocks people for two reasons.  First, I am approximately 2x the size of the average ballerina in all directions.  Second, I am incredibly clumsy.  Although, I did have a guy tell me I was graceful once.  When I protested that I’m always falling, he said, “Yes, but you fall gracefully.”  Maybe I learned something.

There were summer swimming lessons, which were re-taken as an adult when I wanted to learn how to swim freestyle efficiently.  There were ice skating lessons which were also repeated in adulthood until I realized 30 is not the right time in life to learn how to jump on ice (after partially tearing an MCL in my knee).

There were gymnastics lessons.  I was exceptionally good at the uneven parallel bars for my age.  Perhaps it was because I was the only one who could reach them?

I took piano lessons and learned how to play “Happiness Is” from some Charlie Brown musical I’d never head of.  It still gets stuck in my head from time to time.  I had slightly better results when I switched to the clarinet, but having no sense of time was a problem.

I settled on horseback riding and for 4 years was pretty much dedicated to nothing but horses, paying for them, and school.  By my senior year of high school, I realized I had to choose between having a horse and going to college–my minimum wage jobs weren’t going to pay for both.  That’s about the time I managed to come up with the money for a package of skiing lessons.

In college, I took a weight lifting class and aerobics–both part of my PE requirement.  When I was a little more settled again, I started with a trainer at the gym.  Then it was nutrition classes.  I even took a cooking class, although it turned out to be a rather alternative cooking class based on the yin and yang of food.  My husband wouldn’t eat anything I prepared from there.

I took a motorcycle class and friends taught me how to water ski, bowl, and play softball.  I took a rock climbing class and eventually took up yoga classes.

Later, Pat tried to teach me to play the drums, then I resorted to learning to play a hand drum.  Still no sense of time.  I switched to trying to learn to speak German instead, but I wasn’t much better at that.

The list goes on and on.

Since coming to Chattanooga, I’ve earned my novice hang gliding pilot rating, started learning how to care for non-releasable birds of prey, gotten some informal lessons on kayaking, and gone to several photography workshops.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

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2 responses to “Taking Lessons

  1. That is my middle name–“Jack of all trades/Master of none.” I think it is far better to dabble in many things than to be the master of only one–for me, anyway. I like to have the experience. I would feel lacking if I didn’t have my experiences. What wealth you have! Still, I would like to find something I am good at 🙂 🙂 . And, if we quit learning, how dull life would be. Great thoughts you have proposed.

    • I tend to agree that the experience of learning new things out weighs the diligence required to become a master of one in terms of enjoyment. But, sometimes I feel like I just lack the discipline to stick with something long enough to get really good at it. Other times, I feel like I just wanted to get good enough at something to know if it’s something I want to stick with or not. I guess it works either way. 🙂

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