ThinkKit Day 10: Time to get weird. We want to hear your strangest story from the last year (or more). Will it make us raise an eyebrow or three? That’s what we want. Whether it’s a tale of colliding coincidences, a strange Saturday you just can’t shake, or if it makes you squirm just to remember: get weird.

I am so glad I didn’t write this entry on the day it came out because just a few days later, a great example of weird.  First, I should say that weird follows me everywhere–I am guessing because I am open to it and…well…because I am weird.

About a month ago, I was having a conversation with myself (internally, this time) thinking about things I wanted to learn to do this upcoming year.  For some reason, and trust me, I have no idea why this came to my mind…I thought I want to learn how to tie knots.

Knots.  That’s what I want to master. I know, so strange.  Which is what makes this next part even stranger.

I often listen to podcasts while on the treadmill.  I despise the treadmill but sometimes if I am listening to a good On Being or This American Life I can momentarily forget that I am on that damn thing.  I was listening to a podcast of Ted Radio Hour called “To the Edge” that I randomly selected and which originally aired on November 28th.

The first story was about an explorer who goes to the edge–to extremes–a polar explorer.  The second story was about someone who goes to the edge hiking the other direction: under ground.  This guy explores caves that sometimes take them four days hike from the entrance.  HUGE underground caves.  He talked about how devoid of color and light they are, using only flashlights to see the gray, tan, black and brown colors for days on end. Then,  experiencing a sort of sensory overload when he comes out to the surface and sees color again for the first time.  His next exploration will take them into a cave for more than 30 days.

The next story was about an average woman who decided to do something extraordinary.  Feeling less than fulfilled with her rote life, she set out to do something she never imagined she could. She made a list of things she could do.  On that list, row across the Atlantic Ocean.  Then, she made a list of the things she would have to know how to do to accomplish that task.  The list didn’t look too bad (because, she noted, she wrote it at such a high level, absent of the detail of how to learn to do those things) and so she took on the challenge.  She did it.  She spent 103 days at sea alone in a row boat but she made it.  Then, she took on rowing across the Pacific.  She said if the first was about her inner journey, this was about her outer journey.

The final story was about Philippe Petit.  He is a wire walker who in 1974, somehow spent the night in the World Trade Center Towers and then rigged a 140+ foot cable between the two towers using a crossbow.  That morning, he walked on the high wire with no net, not safety devices, nothing.  Completely to the edge.  A quarter of a mile in the sky, he talks about faith replacing doubt the moment he steps off the edge. He talks about inspiration, the importance of using our own inspiration to inspire others.  Mountains can be moved, he says.  And at the end, Guy Raz says what Phillippe is doing now.  He has a new book out about his latest passion: knots.

I came home from the gym and immediately went to Amazon to find a book on how to tie knots. I put it in my cart for Christmas.  I don’t know why yet, but for some reason, I will need to know how to tie knots.  So, this year, I will learn.


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