I didn't watch TV as a child. At age nine or 10, I was told by my parents that I would receive $1,000 after graduation if I would choose not to watch TV.
We still had a television set and a VCR in the house. Watch movies was still allowed without loosing the cash prize. If I really had a craving for some broadcasted goodness, I would slip on over to my friends house and watch a little. However, it really wasn't a problem for me. I kind of liked not having a vise that kept me from using my imagination and from going outside to get dirty.
Even though I enjoyed not having Saturday morning cartoons and weekly sitcoms as a part of my life, there was one broadcast that I tried to follow every year. The Winter X Games. For an obsessed snowboarding teenager, this was like the Super Bowl. I usually watched my icons flipping through the air at Ken Klinglers house. His counter-top television set with a 5" screen and an antenna didn't have the best reception or quality, but it was enough for a 13 year old that only cared about seeing a single mctwist or rodeo being stomped in the half pipe.
I was fortunate this year to work as a security guard for the Winter X Games. Living in Colorado has its perks. Aspen was the hosting city of the games and was only a 50 min drive from my door step. I worked the night shift - 6pm to 6am - where I was able to see all of the final bouts for the superpipe, big air, snowmachine freestyle, and more.
This time around I was on the other side of the lens. Not only was I watching the double mctwists in the superpipe and the triple cabs at the big air in person, but I was behind a camera capturing the goods. Maybe a security guard shouldn't be taking photos and recording video while making sure the spectators don't topple over into the superpipe, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
By not watching TV I learned an important lesson:
Don't let life pass you by while sitting on the couch; get out there and experience it in person.
Instead of being glued to the tube, I grew up digging squirrel traps and making bows and arrows from the apple tree. I've attended the concerts of many of my favorite bands; I got to see some of the Olympics and this year's Winter X Games. Life is better when seen in REAL DEFINITION.