U.S.S. Marvin Anderson

Turning aircraft carrier


I’m taking a break from my Half the Man I Used to Be series  Things are still going great with my weight-loss, but variety is the spice of life, right?

I was talking with a friend a couple of weeks ago and we were lamenting how slow change takes within large organizations.  He made a great analogy.  He said that large organizations are like aircraft carriers.  It takes an aircraft carrier several miles to make a turn because they are so huge.  It has to swing out wide and circle around eventually coming back the opposite direction it was going prior to the turn.  The same, he said, held true for large organizations.  They can’t just make an immediate turn, instead they have to meander along, gradually getting closer to their new destination.  I thought that was a great metaphor and very accurate.  The more I thought about it, I began to realized that our lives can often take the same type of “long-way-around” journey.

When I got out of high school, I wanted to be involved in broadcasting.  I received a scholarship to the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts and started the program less than a month after graduating high school.  Eight months later, I graduated from Specs and worked unpaid for my local public access channel for a few weeks.  I left the local access channel because I needed to actually make some money and began a string of “paycheck” jobs.  None of them in the broadcasting field.

I still had the broadcasting aspirations, though, so I decided to go back to school and get a degree in Communication.  This at the urging of my then girlfriend, now wife.  I finished that degree eight years ago and now I work in the IT field at the University which I attended.  I had definitely not made that hard right turn into broadcasting.  I started to feel like I was just floundering in a big ocean waiting to be eaten by sharks or sucked under by the current.

A few weeks ago, however, I got a call from a friend with whom I had worked on a few film projects over the years.  He was starting an Internet Radio show about boxing and mixed martial arts and he wanted me to be his co-host.  I thought, “Great!  Here is a golden opportunity to get into the field, but I’m going to blow it because my boxing knowledge begins and ends at the cheat code to fight Mike Tyson in Punch Out.”  When I explained that I knew virtually nothing about either boxing or MMA, to my elation and surprise he said it was not a problem because I would be there to add humor and an outside perspective.  I gladly and excitedly accepted the offer.

We have now completed seven episodes of The Undercard and we are already drawing great numbers.  We continue to grow as we do appearances at events around town and work social media to get the word out about the show.  I am having a great time with this.  Yes, I still have day job, but  The Undercard is still growing and I finally feel like I am heading in the right direction.

As I look back on the past several years, I realize that I needed to take the long way around.  If I had made a hard right turn so many years ago, I don’t think I would have been mature enough to be successful.  I now have an extra 18 years of experience to help guide me on my path.  If I hadn’t taken the long way around, I probably would not have met my wife or many of the people who make up my circle of friends now.  That includes my current co-host.  For those and many other reasons, I am glad my path was long and rambling

While missing those hard turns in life can be frustrating, it is important to remember that if you truly want to arrive at the destination, you will find a way to get there.  It may take longer and you may put a few miles on yourself, but the journey is the experience.  You will appreciate the arrival much more and will be better prepared once you get there.

Enjoy your trip!


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