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The Weekly Habit: Something New

A few months ago, I read an article in Esquire by Chuck Klosterman a few months ago that really stayed with me. It was about how London had recruited athletes for the 2012 Olympics.

Answering a nationwide appeal for tall people with athletic potential, more than 50 prospective Olympic athletes have been placed in British training programs for the 2012 London Games.

More than 3,800 people applied to be part of the “Sporting Giants” project. They were tested for their skills in four Olympic sports — rowing, handball, beach volleyball and indoor volleyball.

Making the cut were 34 rowers, 11 handball players and seven volleyball players. They have been integrated into various British Olympic training squads.

“There are so many people out there who don’t know how good they could be at sports they’ve probably not even thought about,” UK Sport talent identification manager Chelsea Warr said Thursday. “This was a mild shake of the tree. We looked under a few rocks and look what we found.”

CK goes on to say that we might all have some untapped potential that was never unearthed after we self-selected ourselves into careers.

This is something that I’ve always wondered about. Like what would have happened if I had taken an art class or voice lessons or learned to drive stick shift? Could I be good at something and not even know it?

This week, I would like to propose exploring that possibility. Take a first step towards exploring your potential. If you’re tall, try playing handball. If you’re a good automatic driver, ask your friend to teach you stick shift. If you can sort of draw, take a class — or if you’re cash-strapped, order a book on drawing from the library (that’s actually what I’m planning to do). If you’re always saying how your life would make a great story, sit down and start writing it. And so on and so on.

This isn’t the usual daily challenge. All you have to do is take one step towards trying something new within the next seven days.

We’ll check back in next week, but I’m already getting the feeling that we might surprise ourselves.


Art Credit: David Hughes