Your life journey seems boring sometimes, doesn’t it? You’re trudging along on the same road everyone else travels, and it’s not very interesting. For one thing, with everyone plodding along together, the things you do and the things you hear become mundane after a while.
You aren’t the first one to wish for a side path that would lead to a little enjoyment. Many people share that itch, and many found paths to great hobbies once they decided to scratch the itch.
If you aren’t sure what new hobby you’d like to try, you might consider one of these common – or very unusual – 10 hobbies fit for a president.
A President’s Life-Journey Makeover
Have you ever thought about the life journey of a president? Think about it.
Teachers who ask children what it’s like to be a president get both serious and amusing answers. Most 6-12-year olds think the president works hard. Sadly, the positive view of a president’s daily life changed greatly during the last 50 years, but it’s fair to say that children don’t think the president’s life journey is easy.
Imagine spending 4-to-8 years walking that demanding road, and you’ll understand why a president needs a life-journey makeover as much as you do! The President may need it even more than you need it.
We all can take a break from the grind of life’s journey by taking up a new hobby, or spending more time with an old hobby. If it’s been a long time since you had one, click a “hobby” link to read a definition. Then consider these possibilities.
10 HOBBIES FIT FOR A PRESIDENT
Presidents are not all cut from the same cloth, i.e., they’re very different one from another. Some of their hobbies may be just like yours – but some may be strange or even illegal to you! Check them out.
President George Washington initiated the practice of presidential hobbies. As our first president, he walked a difficult path. When he ordered men into war, he fought beside them. He led a newborn, fussy nation, but Washington chose a relaxing hobby he’d loved from his teen years onward: dancing. He called dancing “the gentler conflict” and amused himself at grand balls with minuets, country-dance, cotillions, hornpipes, jigs, reels, and even the skill-demanding allemandes, rigadoons, and gavottes.
Look at a dance floor in the 21st century, and you’ll see a mix of hip hop, line, and straight-up freestyle dancing that seems worlds apart from the gracefulness demanded by this great general’s dances! If you like music and exercise, however, you might sign up for beginner lessons at a dance studio, and make dancing your hobby.
President Donald Trump, at the other end of the presidential line, continues Washington’s precedent. We can’t see the man’s soul, but we can see the tremendous stress in his day-to-day life. We would need a hobby just to reduce the stress enough to keep us going. President Trump doesn’t love dancing as Washington did, but chooses golfing as his hobby. He loves the game and plays it well, but he uses hobby time for necessary work negotiations as well as for personal relaxation.
Think about those two presidents for a minute before we go on. Not every president loves dance. Not every president loves golf. As we look at the rest of these presidents, we’ll see a number that neither danced nor golfed, but we never get a right to scoff at another’s hobby. It would be foolish to engage in a hobby simply because others expected you to love it. I hope you won’t choose a hobby based on such a reason.
President George W. Bush from Texas pursued a hobby that kept Secret Service agents on their toes – running! President Bush was not just an everyday jogger, but also was an authentic runner, according to Secret Service agent Dan Emmett. “He ran at a six-minute-per-mile pace normally for 3 miles….” said Mr. Emmett. Imagine how few agents could keep up to him. Imagine, too, how this hobby would reduce the enormous stresses he endured in his eight years serving as president.
Many people, including presidents, choose running for exercise, but if you choose it as a hobby, you may find yourself doing what President Bush did – running competitively. Bush shared a second hobby with another president from Texas.
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s hobby (and Bush’s second hobby) centered on a Texas ranch. Johnson’s hobby combined work and vacation at the “Texas White House” during a full quarter of his presidency. It was, he claimed, the only place he could have any fun. In other words, the “hobby” ranch provided a secret path that took Mr. Johnson off the hard-worn path of running a large nation during years of war. His hobby did not form part of his regular job, and he did it mostly to enjoy himself.
Two presidents shared the same hobby, and that hobby is one you might enjoy.
President Calvin Coolidge, (1923 to 1929) and President Ronald Reagan (1981 to 1989) both loved horseback riding as a way to relieve life’s stresses and relax. There’s a catch here, however. While Reagan rode outdoors, sometimes as a sporty public spectacle alongside other world leaders, Coolidge’s Secret Service made him give up outdoor riding. When Coolidge shared that sad news with a friend, the friend sent him a gift – an electric horse. The president rode his headless, tailless “hobby horse” three times every day: first thing every morning, right after lunch, and at the end of his workday.
President Andrew Jackson, the nation’s 7th president, chose a more sensational hobby. This hobby is now illegal in the United States, but the rollicking Jackson (1767-1845) loved cockfighting!
Cockfighting and horseracing (another hobby he loved) were respectable and popular in his home state of North Carolina. Not everyone became as noisy and enthusiastic as President Jackson did during the fights, but his hobby did what hobbies should do, i.e., helping him unwind from a leader’s difficult life journey.
You definitely don’t want to take up the now-illegal hobby of cockfighting in today’s U.S.A., but you might get a similar adrenalin rush from the next presidential hobby.
President Theodore Roosevelt (Teddy) engaged in a hobby of boxing to balance his demanding life journey’s mental and physical aspects. Roosevelt was a driven, competitive politician, but that isn’t the reason he chose this aggressive hobby. He chose this because he had been sickly throughout his childhood. Balancing his life journey, Roosevelt pursued sports with more intensity than he might otherwise have done. He engaged in his boxing hobby throughout his entire time as President of the U.S.
President George H.W. Bush also chose an active hobby, and challenged others to compete against him in a special area just outside the Oval Office. His noisy, competitive hobby was horseshoes. He loved it so much that he once played far into the night against a sports team, and threw a “ringer” to beat them all. A former Navy pilot, Bush also made a hobby of skydiving. He became known for this hobby when he celebrated his 75th, 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays with skydiving jumps. I wouldn’t recommend this hobby for senior citizens, but this president enjoyed it.
President Herbert Hoover, thirty-first President of the United States (1929-33), carried most of the blame for the United States’ Great Depression during his life journey. Here was a president who definitely needed a hobby – a quiet side path to walk now and then in order to replenish his strength. A man with a quiet sense of humor and desire for peace, Herbert Hoover chose quiet, peaceful hobbies: fishing, hiking, and reading. These three hobbies provided a break from the storms of his life journey no matter what physical weather came.
We looked at 10 hobbies fit for a president. What would you do if one of these appealed to you? Can you imagine yourself playing a game of horseshoes? Do you like fishing, golfing, or dancing? Maybe you’ll like paddle boarding! Choose the right hobby and it can help you balance the stress of your life.