I grew up in a country town called Manjimup. I loved being a kid there, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. A lot of people have the impression that living in the country limits you in a lot of ways. When compared to a city life, this can be true.
But I can’t help but have a bone to pick about this opinion.
I played nearly every sport the town had to offer. Soccer, cricket, tennis, basketball, football, swimming. Some I only played very briefly (I was too scared of the ball in cricket!) and some I was involved in for a long time (I trained and swam competitively for 10 years). But I enjoyed every single one and not once did I feel restricted in my choices.
When Year 12 came along and I knew I was heading to Perth the following year (the big smoke!) I started to broaden my horizons. Suddenly it hit me: I could do anything I wanted to in Perth – even though it’s a small city, there is so much it has to offer. So I started researching the shiznit out of some activities that had my interest. And when I got to Perth, I wasted no time in getting stuck into them.
I signed up to the closest gym and swam or worked out almost daily. There was no gym in Manji. It was the coolest novelty. Now, I had a car, and there was a gym on every corner. (Traffic lights were a new thing too, but that’s another story for another day.)
During O-Day at Uni I signed up to the ultimate frisbee team. It was the only table I was interested in, I knew it was going to be there and I made a beeline for it. I saw a shirtless guy wearing a bandana and a guy holding a beer doing throws I’d never even comprehended to each other and it instantly felt like home. They didn’t even have to convince me, I would have been the easiest rookie signup. Frisbee wasn’t even an option in Manji. This year is my 11th year playing.
On my 18th birthday I bought myself kitesurfing lessons as a treat, and fell in love. I’m pretty sure I read every article, downloaded and watched (multiple times) every kitesurfing video on the internet. I’m not even joking. Ultimately my fear of sharks put an end to it, but I know if I’m to ever live in a place with a lake or an empty snow field, I am buying another set without question.
The thing is, you don’t know what you don’t know. In Manji, I couldn’t have even comprehended my options when I moved to the city. I was more than happy with my options and what I was used to that I didn’t even need to look elsewhere. But when a change came, other options also came with it.
I won’t lie, I’m a creature of habit. Since moving to Perth and starting new activities, I’ve become settled in again. It must be in my nature – I like going “all in” on things. But in the last 6 months I’ve been making an effort to doing something about it, to try new things. I’ve started playing netball on my girlfriend’s team (it’s mixed, I promise!) and getting into mountain biking with friends (even though I’ve had the bike and intended to do so for years now). And it lit a fire up my proverbial. What else could I try?
My big ones? I want to give inline hockey a crack. I absolutely LOVED the Mighty Ducks as a kid, and I used to always play with my bro and friends in our front driveway. It didn’t even occur to me that it’s an actual sport, and people play competitively and for fun year round. Same with Laser Tag – we used to have some toys when we were kids and had EPIC multi house night time capture the flag sessions with our neighbours. I can’t tell you how awesome that was. But did you know there’s even leagues for that too? Crazy!
At the moment, they’re the activities that I’ve always wanted to try. What’s yours?
Because here’s the catch, the very reason why I wrote all of this. That thing you’ve always wanted to do, but never thought about persuing – you can actually do it. And I bet it’s a ton of fun! Better yet – you are in the company of a small group of likeminded people who might also want to secretly do that thing too. One awesome part of being a part of Pooch Patrol is seeing just the variety of activities that everyone gets up to. Puts my standard ones to shame!
So find a friend, (or go alone and make new ones!) and give something new a go. Maybe you too have settled into your ways and forgot the fact that you can do anything you want. Who knows, you might spend the next 10 years passionately pursuing something you would have never considered otherwise. Isn’t that an exciting thing to think about.
Anyone up for a game of laser tag?