If there is one thing I know about myself, it’s that I am not the most coordinated person. I know this because I ran cross-country in high school, and I still have the scars to prove it. Even the smallest branch or bump in the road used to be enough to bring me tumbling to the ground in spectacular fashion.
This tradition of tumbling continued when I left for college and became a tour guide. If you have ever been on a tour of a college campus, you can imagine that it is not the best job for the uncoordinated. Leading the tours required me to walk backwards in front of large groups of people. On my very first tour as a freshly-minted guide, I ran into no less than five tree branches and several innocent bystanders, not to mention nearly being struck by a passing car.
My dad is an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, and although we’ve moved several times I can’t remember ever living more than 50 miles from the ocean. One would think that having a father in the Coast Guard and living so close to the water would mean that I have plenty of experience with the ocean, but in fact the opposite is true.
My dad has always loved big shiny toys. Cars, grills, televisions and tools never fail to bring out his inner child. However, he has never cared much for big owner’s manuals. In fact, he can hardly be bothered to read the heating instructions on frozen dinners, much less read the small novels that come with most electronics today.