Things I like to do

I have my main passion in life, which is climbing, but there are many other things that I’ve found to be fun and worthwhile as well.  I though I’d share some of them with you to give you some ideas in case you’re looking for your own passions in life.  Obviously, since this is a climbing blog, I love climbing and it has saved my life.  I’ll move on to others in the following paragraphs.

Archery.  Archery is fun and can be very involved or very simple.  It’s all up to you.  The main thing about archery is safety, just like in climbing.  You’re launching a pointed stick at a high rate of speed into the air and must consider where it could possibly go and where it could potentially end up.  Check your backdrop and the area behind your target to make sure no damage or harm will come to any property, animals, or people.  There are longbows (a stick and a string, essentially), and there are compound bows (the kind with cams that you use for hunting or marksmanship competitions).  I learned archery with a longbow.  There are some advantages to longbows and making your own is a possibility, if you really get into it.  If you’re more into stalking prey and target practice, then compound bows can be found at pawn shops all over the place!  Don’t let the cost of a new compound bow stop you!  Buy used if you’re on a budget, especially if you’re not sure you’re going to like it.  Call a sports shop and see if they have any deals, and while you’re at it, ask them if they can help you adjust everything to fit your draw length and things of that nature.  Read up on it so that you know what you’re looking for if you don’t have anybody to steer you in the right direction.  Learn about it and experience it firsthand!  As an extension of archery, crossbows are a lot of fun, too.  Again, just make sure you’re safe!

Photography.  Here’s a different type of shooting.  You can choose either a digital camera or an analog (film) camera.  I learned photography using a film camera and I love film cameras to this day!  I can say, though, that easily transferring images and skipping the cost of getting your film negatives developed are perks of the digital camera realm.  You can also do a lot in the way of altering digital photos and there are many programs available to do that with…for a price.  If you really want to get into the film camera world, you can build a darkroom and develop your own film.  In developing your own film, you can create your own unique effects using physical instead of digital techniques – a personal touch of sorts, if you will.  Before you build the darkroom, though, consider that there are a lot of costs involved in film development and that a Digital SLR (DSLR) camera of decent quality can save you a lot of time and money in that department, in addition to being easier to use when it comes to sharing and manipulating your photos.  Let’s face it.  We live in a digital world.  That’s all there is to it.  The potential for a very fulfilling passion is high with photography.

Art.  The possibilities are endless!  Experiment!  Have at it!  I love art!  I have dabbled in and gotten quite good at many art mediums, all with their own pros and cons, and all with their own special qualities and effects.  I would highly encourage everyone to try several different mediums when it comes to artwork, because you never know what’s going to strike your fancy.  “But I can’t draw a stick figure.”  Nonsense!  Draw a flower, then!  Draw the sun, paint the sky, ink in your favorite drawing with a touch of watercolor paint and watch the magic happen!!!  Art is something everyone, yes, everyone can do!!!  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Some of the art that is famous and worth millions of dollars is absolutely hideous and a kindergartener could do it!!!  Who’s to say that you’re not the next famous name in the art world?!  Only you, and only if you don’t try at all.  So try it out!  This is an endless world of wonder!

Fly-tying.  Yes, tying your own fly-fishing flies.  Hooks, feathers, kevlar thread, fur, down, hair, you name it, it goes into tying flies.  I learned to tie flies when I was young and still remember how to do it.  It’s a lot of fun and one should read up on it and go to a local fly-fishing or sports shop to look at all the hand-tied flies that reside in the small bins stacked in square grids upon a large display table they undoubtedly have.  I love tying flies!  It’s a very relaxing hobby once you learn a few knots and how to put the flies together.  You can buy many books with the instructions, step-by-step, on how to tie the right fly for the right season and the precise fish you’re trying to catch.  There are wet flies and dry flies.  There are many things to learn, and when they’re all put together, you’ll have your own kit to go fly-fishing with!  Fly-fishing is an art form in itself and is also a passion in its own right.  Try it out!  It’s very satisfying to catch a fish with a fly you tied yourself on the end of a fly-fishing rod!

Origami.  I know, you think it’s dumb.  Folding paper – how could that ever be a passion? The amazing things you can fold a piece paper into are awe-inspiring, and origami is a very intricate art form.  It takes a lot of practice, and you get to choose the paper, of which there are many kinds.  You can make your own paper, too, to your own specifications.  Origami is like the art I mentioned above – it’s an endless world of its own and can be very fulfilling as a passion.  There are international competitions for origami and origami is something that can be shared as a gift from you to someone you care about.  Origami utilizes both your mind and your motor skills – fine dexterity in particular – to take a flat piece of paper and turn it into a three-dimensional masterpiece!  I find it to be quite calming and something to enjoy the process of, because if you understand the process of something that is laid out for you in the instructions, then eventually you can make your own creations!!!

I think those ideas are enough to get you started.  The first thing I would suggest doing is going to the library, finding a book on hobbies, and sitting down with it.  You may not find anything in that book that you’re interested in, but there are many other books in the library that warrant your attention, and since you’re there anyway, you might as well take a look at them!  Perhaps reading will become your passion!!!  Book-making is yet another of the skills I’ve picked up, and it is truly an art form.  Find a passion or four.  They’ll do your mind and body good!

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