A Side Talent

Every year since 1999, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award has been given to the player who demonstrates outstanding balance in his life between civic and professional responsibility. This year, one of the nominees is Sam Acho, an outstanding offensive linebacker for the Chicago Bears. He actively supports Living Hope Christian Ministries. Founded by his parents, the ministry goes to Nigeria with a team of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to provide free medical care for those in need each year. Sam is also active in the community, supporting groups and clubs to further children in the Chicago area. He’s living unstuck.

As if that’s not enough, when he was interviewed last week, he was asked to recite something of his choice. He thought for a moment, the recited the Prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in old English. As Sam began, he dedicated the narration to his high school English teacher. He wanted to “do her proud.” The words effortlessly rolled off his tongue. What intrigued me was this man was not only a professional athlete, active in his community, but he had a side talent. He was able to recite long passages from a variety of sources. Truly living unstuck.

My side talents tend toward handwork: knitting, crocheting, any kind of work that I can carry with me. If I’m at the office and have a few moments, I’m knitting. Lately, I’ve gotten into gathering more computer knowledge. Between learning new things (my computer and Zoom), I’m expanding my mind. I heard something discouraging the other day: the mind shrinks as we age. I decided that adage simply does not apply to me. After all, research has shown: nerves that wire together, fire together. And the more I expand my knowledge and awareness, the more nimble my mind will be. A larger framework in my awareness means quicker problem resolution and easier learning. I’m living unstuck. You too?

Do you have a side talent? An interest you’d like to develop? Something your friends would be surprised to know about you? Go for it! Live unstuck. #Unstuck Living

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.

—Ralph Marston

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