I’ve been accused of being an “all-work, no-play” kind of guy many times over.
Why can’t I just do something for fun, and ONLY for fun? (no cheating by turning it into a business!)
- I couldn’t just start a small personal blog? No. I had to start the most popular blog in Olympic weightlifting history and use it to build my personal brand.
- I couldn’t just start a small weightlifting club with some buddies? No. I had to open a gym, then co-own another, then finally found an online company that turned into the worlds first online strength-training education center with thousands of people served world-wide.
- I couldn’t just go to college and study something normal? No. I studied math… for 7 fucking years.
These things have taken just about every spare moment of my life for the last decade.
But, I love what I do. Besides, everyone keeps saying that the best thing is to have a job you love. I build businesses that I love. And I call that fun
That said, the point is a valid one. I concede that it’s time for me to get a hobby. Something I can’t imagine ever turning into a business or getting a job with. A real-live, bonafide hobby.
Other people have hobbies, why not me? In FACT, I make my living by helping other people dive deep into THEIR hobbies… all the while living a life almost complete devoid of them.
There’s an imbalance there, I do say so myself.
What’s my plan for a hobby you ask? Programming: Functional Programming
I’m taking my cue from the people I serve in my business day-in, day-out.
These awesome people have decided — for God-only-knows-why reasons — to take up oddly-complex, and woefully obscure, strength sports as a side-project, just for fun, because they believe (they are right) it will make their lives better, more fulfilling, and (literally & figuratively) stronger.
Lesson learned. Or rather, cool lessons ahead!
With a lot of prodding and bothering of my good friend John Mosby, I’ve been encouraged to do things the hard way. (Exactly how I like it!)
John’s a professional programmer who does this stuff at a high-level. He’s also a self-described Scala-advocate, a wealth of knowledge, and one of the hardest working lifters I’ve ever coached. For these and many other reasons, his advice carries a lot of weight with me.
Besides, John has taken my advice on physical programming for years now — I even saw him gain over 40 pounds on his squat in less than a month (but that’s a different story for a different blog) — so it seems smart for me to take his advice on computer programming.
Given my background in mathematics, and particularly my love of foundations, logic, and meta-mathematics, functional programming seems like a natural fit. I messed with Haskell back in college and remember enjoying it a lot. It just seemed like math. Turns out there’s a reason for that…
Functional programming also appears to be gaining in popularity among start ups and some web-based companies (Twitter & Foursquare, for instance, are now using Scala on the back end).
But, But… It’s Too Hard!
- I like things that are hard.
- I don’t find easy, small, trite goals fun.
- I like goals that will take me (literally) years to accomplish.
- I like building skill-sets that alter the nature of who I AM for the better. (Remember that I studied music and math, then chose Oly lifting as my sport… I’m either a masochist or on to something. You decide.)
I just turned 36. I figure by the time I turn 40, I can be a rather decent amateur functional programmer. That’s cool. That’s cool as hell.
Stay tuned. I’ll be blogging the experience. However, I don’t have any entrepreneurial goals… yet 😉
Now go lift something heavy,