Please add to the you’re-never-too-old-to-learn-to-tapdance list Bay Area artist Michael Grbich. He recently learned to tapdance, with a specific goal in mind. He accomplished his goal today, to celebrate his seventy-fifth birthday.
A fog horn sounded on the Golden Gate Bridge Sunday morning, followed by the sounds of the big band tune, “Hey Big Spender!”
A red and white Capezio tap shoe emerged from the fog, and out popped 75-year-old Michael Grbich, of Oakland, who tap danced his way across the landmark bridge – just because he could.
Followed by an entourage of confetti-tossing grandchildren, neighbors and a friend with an iPod boom box, Grbich spent 20 minutes dancing the 1.7-mile span grinning, blowing kisses and striking poses for curious tourists.
He threw in some Rockette kicks, whirled a jumprope over his head like a helicopter, and grabbed the rails to shimmy shimmy cocopuff toward the traffic like a man too sexy for his shirt, which read: “Celebrating 75 trips around the sun.”
Goal-setting is very important to a well-purposed life (they say) but learning to tap-dance in order to tap-dance across the Golden Gate Bridge to celebrate your seventy-fifth birthday strikes me as an altogether audacious, entirely non-purposeful, and essentially hopeful endeavour.
And on that note, I’d like to throw the floor open to all of you. Any big, stupendous, wouldn’t-tell-my-best-friend-for-fear-of-being-mocked goals on your list, FirePups? Any entirely silly and anti-pragmatic accomplishments you plan to rack up in the next five years? Ten years? Within a week? By the end of the year? Do you need to dust off January’s Resolutions list and see what you might complete in the next (yikes!) five weeks?
I’m thinking of goals that conjugate the verb “to-do” rather than the verb “to-buy.” A round-the-world cruise on the Queen Mary II might be doing something spectacular, but it’s essentially buying something. I imagine your goals have more to do with “doing” than “buying.”
There’s a flip-side of goal-setting as well. Perhaps more is learned from failure than from success. Is there anything you’ve spectacularly failed at — that then became a touchstone or an object lesson? Is there an unintended consequence of an unmet goal that you’d like to share with the rest of us?
Tonight’s Late Nite topic: Goals and the FirePups who have them. Discuss.
Or, if you prefer, simply tell us how you celebrated your accomplishment:
Like all dances, it eventually had to come to an end. But before it did, more friends gathered at the San Francisco end of the span to congratulate him.
“I love you. You’re famous!” said one child, running into his arms.
When the iPod clicked off, Grbich bent down and kissed the ground. Then he got on his back and did some snow angel moves on the concrete.
When he was done thanking the day, he hopped back up and looked at the small crowd of about 60 friends and local reporters. He didn’t miss a beat.
“Party at my house!”
(YouTube: inadvertent video by Sahra and newtonusr from the Bear Creek FirePups MeetUp Number One. At the core of our party, we had a goal: ITMFA!)
PS: Bear Creek FirePup MeetUp flickr photoset here: click on View as Slideshow.
h/t to newspaperbrat, who told me about Michael Grbich’s plan for an epic tap-dance across the Golden Gate.