This is my list of my Top Ten Coolest Life Experiences (not counting stuff like getting married, having babies, etc.; it goes without saying that they top the list), at least until I remember something else that displaces one of these. Again, they are listed in no particular order:
- Being on Scrabble, with Chuck Woolery, and winning $13,500. This took place in 1989 (air date of January, 1990).
- Being cast as Harold Hill in “The Music Man” – Given the fact that I had only taken up acting again in December of last year, to be cast in that role still astonishes me to this day. It was an incredible amount of fun.
- Snorkeling at Xel-Ha, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico – Actually, this wasn’t the only, or even the first, time I’d snorkeled; we went snorkeling off Grand Cayman as part of our 20th anniversary cruise. But I mention Xel-Ha in the event any of my readers ever get the chance to go to Cancun, Cozumel, or Playa Del Carmen. If so, you must, must carve out a day to get to Xel-Ha. It’s like an all-natural water park, and it’ll blow your mind. Promise.
- Sunset on Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio – Indescribably beautiful.
- Our 20th Anniversary Western Caribbean cruise – Everything about it was great.
- 1-2-3 – Long before I was on Scrabble with Chuck Woolery, I was on a local PBS game show as a 6th-grader called “1-2-3”, which basically involved teams of elementary school kids answer complex math questions. Fairview Elementary made the playoffs, but alas, we were defeated before the championship. Scintillating television; I’m sure at least a couple dozen sets were tuned in..I’m just a game-show vet, I guess…
- When I was in 9th grade, I made All-City in Roanoke at second base. My proudest individual sports accomplishment, bar none (not that there were a whole passel of ’em, mind you…).
- Parasailing and Wave-running – I put these two water sports together, because they both were an incredible amount of fun. I was afraid to parasail, but once I saw a little girl go up and giggle with glee, I was determined that I could do the same. Magnificent, and not at all scary, actually, even for a guy who “doesn’t do heights”. As to wave-running, I’ve done that a half-dozen times, I guess, and it ranks as one of those things that is as much fun as you imagine it being.
- Coaching AWANA state champs at age 16. When I was a junior in high school, the Commander of our church’s AWANA program asked me to be the head coach for the Pals Olympic team. If you’ve never been to an AWANA Olympics, I promise you that it’s a really cool event…anyway, our team brought home our church’s first-ever Virginia state championship. I had an incredible amount of fun doing that.
- Teaching Walk Thru the Bible’s Old Testament Experience – I’m in my element. Need to do it more. Plan to do it more. Can I come to your church? I guarantee you’ll benefit from it!
UPDATE: I can’t believe I left out one of the top five coolest things I’ve ever done, but attending the Atlanta Nationwide NASCAR race last evening spurred my memory. In September, 2006, I drove a dirt track race car in an actual race, called the “Faster Pastor” race at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio. It was an incredible amount of fun, something I highly recommend should you ever get the chance!