Standing on One Foot
The simplest of balance skills, standing on one foot is still pretty difficult for some people. Bending your knee on the standing foot helps, as this acts as a natural stabilizer. Also, try to focus on one single point with your eyes, keeping your head straight up. This will help minimize your body’s natural sway. Once you get good at this, try doing it with your eyes closed, or raising up on the ball of your foot. Finally, start working on extending your lifted leg forwards, backwards, and to the side. Try lifting it as high as you can, moving it around while standing on one leg, or performing kicking motions.
Balance beams are very common in gymnastics(you see them every four years in the olympics, too!). They’re great for working balance. If you don’t have a beam to work with(most don’t), you can use substitutes, like a street curb, a parking space blocker, or a thin wall. Try just walking along it at first, keeping your eyes focused on the end. Then you can start trying more complex maneuvers, like jumping, running, or skipping. Always be mindful of your surroundings, and practice on something low to the ground, preferably with some grass or dirty on the side to throw yourself onto if you fall. Once you’ve got this down, you can move onto thinner and/or rounded objects, like thin tree trunks, or pipes.
Rock Hopping and Post Popping
Find a spot in a forest, park, or river where there’s a series of rocks you can hop back and forth from. Start working on moving from rock to rock with speed, increasing the distance you’re hopping, decreasing the size of the target rocks. Be careful when doing this, check beforehand for unstable or slippery rocks, and take it slow. You don’t want to sprain an ankle or something.
Alternatively, if you have a backyard to work with, you can go out and buy a couple thick fence posts from your local hardware store. Cut them down into 1 1/2 foot sections, and sink them into the ground, leaving about half a foot above ground. Arrange them so you can hop between them with some ease, and perhaps color code them for more difficult or easier traverses. If you have martial arts training, try performing some sparring maneuvers while moving across the posts.
Navigation is just too big a topic to cover in a single blog post. It can be as simple as finding your orientation in regards to the north star or the morning sun, or as complex as learning how to properly work a sextant. Instead of trying to tackle all these methods(poorly), I’m gonna throw some good links your way
A Short Guide to Celestial Navigation – Free e-book, introductory courses and whatnot, good stuff.
Celestial Navigation Net – Cool site, has a lot of info on the theory and history of celestial navigation.
Celestial Navigation Data – Calculator for navigation using celestial bodies, VERY useful, needed for all basic navigation methods using a sextant.
Honing Your Wit
Guybrush defeats more people with his words and his mind than he does with swords and voodoo. A sharp wit is as valuable as any sharp sword. But being witty is not something that comes naturally to many people, so what do we do? We need to study, and practice!
Youtube is your BEST FRIEND here. You should be looking into standup comedians, particularly comedians either a) dealing with a heckler, or b) roasting another comedian. The stuff here is gold. You need to examine how each comedian has their own approach, and realize you need to add your own flavor to make things authentic.
Now, I’m not saying go out and become an amateur standup comic(although this is a fantastic confidence builder if you want to give it a shot!). But learning from the masters is fantastic. Each comic has their own style and flair that they bring to the table, as well as types of responses to hecklers.
We’ve talked about geocaching before, basically it’s a global game where you follow GPS coordinates to find a hidden container(or hide a container of your own!). If you’re interested in starting, take a look at Geocaching 101.
Stick with me here. I realize garage sales may not be the most glamorous thing in the world, but you can make some real money at them. Garage sales, estate sales, flea markets, and craigslist are all great ways to make money if you know what you’re doing. Collectibles and antiques can be worth some serious cash, and if the people selling them don’t really know what they have you can make huge profit margins. For more info, check out What to Remember When Antiquing for Profit and How to Make Money with Antiques.
Other Types of Hunting
There’s still treasure to be found in the world. Ancient artifacts, shipwrecks, rare coins….heck, even gold prospecting is coming back into style. Sometimes, though, the biggest hurdle to beginning these ventures is investment money. Kind of counter-intuitive, don’t you think? Treasure hunting is actually a pretty expensive ordeal. You need leads, know-how, and experience to start out, which, if you don’t have yourself, you’re probably going to have to hire people on for, or at least buy information off them. Also, you need to be able to pay for travel and equipment most of the time, which isn’t cheap.
I’m not trying to turn you off of the idea of “classic” treasure hunting, it is an industry(albeit a niche industry). But you might want to do some serious investigating into signing onto someone else’s crew to get started, which depends highly on what kind of treasure you’re looking to get into(hint: google is your friend!). Even if this is your goal, I would still start with garage sales. It will help train your eye, give you some resale experience, and probably some good contacts to start out.
That’s it for today.
Tomorrow we look at The Growth of Guybrush Threepwood, and how a person can change over time for the better. See you then! And, as always, continue to be awesome.
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace
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