Teaching an old dog new tricks

Okay – that might be a little unfair – but lately – I’ve been thinking about how things I was sure of have changed. It started when I discovered (courtesy of a niece) that dinosaurs weren’t really cold blooded. Ouch – I learned that so long ago, it’s a bit hard to imagine scientists being that wrong – but they were.

My dad had a terrific brain – but it many ways – he remembered best what he learned first – so – his standard for manners, or for behavior at weddings, or the way you should hold a pen – those never really changed. There was a LOT about that that I liked – dad was sure, he knew his place in the world, and how to move through it. It made him solid, reliable, dependable. And yet – things (like the dinosaurs) do change – and I want to be a bit of both – warm blooded, but knowing what I know, if you get what I mean.

For instance, I learned that skiing technology has changed so much in the last 10 years, that they are teaching in a whole new way. And I’m also getting ready for my first triathlon – and while I’m confident that I’m up to date on how to run and cycle – my swimming skills are pretty dated.

Bi-lateral breathing? Right. I look like a beached whale trying to roll over on my right side to breathe out of the left. Glide? Hmm. Constant stroke pattern? Hmm. I sent a note to my twin, who knows a lot more about swimming than I do – and I included an article from a guy who is trying to debunk the elongate and glide method – and my twin didn’t agree. So – is my twin the dinosaur? I don’t know – I’ll have to do a bit more research, that’s for sure – but you can see what I’m getting at – how do I draw a line (should I draw a line?) about what I know, how I learn, when I change my mind?

It’s certainly not black and white, although in the world today – people seem to want that a lot. It’s okay to change your mind about a relationship – but you can’t change your mind about a congressional vote from 20 years ago!

So – in the meantime – I’ll keep running, I’ll get to the pool and try to gain some efficiency – and I’ll look for a nice balance between clinging to what I know and grasping for only new things.


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