Tag Archives: down the rabbit hole

Interconnectedness, and trying new things

Thinking a bit lately about the past year or so, and how I’ve pushed myself to do things that I previously would not have done. Case in point, tonight I’m going to meet up with some yoga “friends” whom I’ve never met before, for dinner at a place (a zen monastery) I’ve never been before, to eat food I’ve most likely never eaten before (vegetarian). Ignoring for a moment that 2-3 months ago I’d also never done yoga before, I’m going quite a bit outside of my comfort zone tonight. I’m also going solo (my wife, eat a vegetarian meal? in a monastery? with strangers? Ha!), for extra difficulty.

I was firmly on the fence about it, both wanting the new experience, but also not wanting to go so far out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t so long ago that I nearly backed out of going to a housewarming party for a very good friend of mine, on the basis that *most* of the people would be strangers, even though I knew quite well that most if not all of those strangers would have a love of craft beer and brewing in common with me. This is a much thinner thread tonight.

Ah, beer…. Some day soon I will be brewing a new recipe of my own creation at a professional brewery. What does that have to do with this? Let’s follow the path:

Last year, I finally took “Battlefield Brewery” out to the Traverse City area for a SCA event known as Vikings Come Home. I’d been once before, many years ago, with my wife. It’s a bit far of a drive, though, and the people I knew out there back then are no longer out there (and/or no longer do SCA). So to make that trip again, bar in tow, all by myself was a bit of a push for me. Because I showed up there, I got to meet the owner of a brewery who was also there. We drank each other’s beers, and he said we should collaborate some time. I nodded, and wasn’t quite sure if he really meant it. His brewery was much closer to home than Traverse City, but still not quite close to home (an hour drive). That might well have been the end of it, but because I also last year started running, with the goal of doing a 5k race, I discovered I loved running. I signed up for multiple running-related groups. One of the mailing lists alerted me to a free “yoga for runners” class. Yoga had always interested me, so I signed up for it and drove…. about an hour from my house. Except I went straight from work to shorten the drive, and come to find out that the location of the running store hosting the class is a block down from a particular brewery. So I went there for dinner and a beer or two before yoga and… chickened out and didn’t say hi to the owner at all. But I fell in love with yoga, and so I did the same free class again the following month, and this time I made a point of sitting up at the bar where I might force myself into talking to the owner, who did remember me, and gave me a tour, and his e-mail address so that we can plan our joint brew. A culmination of pushing myself out of my comfort zone 4 times, for 4 completely unrelated things, resulted in this fantastic opportunity!

So yes. I’m going to dinner with strangers at a monastery, because who knows where it might lead?

side note: Once the brew session happens (we haven’t set a date yet, but do have a recipe), I’ll post details of the brewery and what I made, and when it should be available.