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“Just Try It Mama!” The Chief Troublemaker, Rock Band, and Lessons from Her 5-Year Old

I have a rule when it comes to food:
you have to try it before you render judgment. This is a rule that my husband and I have impressed on our son from the time he was little. My mantra: Don’t tell me you don’t like it; you have to try it first. In fact, I say this a lot when it comes to just about everything: food, places, experiences. So imagine my surprise when CJ turned the tables on me and started saying, “Just try it, mama!”

I had purchased Rock Band for the PS3 a few months ago after borrowing the game from a friend and falling in love with it. Even though I know I’m not good at it, I love to sing, so my natural inclination was to sing. For weeks, I would practice singing and even taught CJ to sing a couple of songs (Eye of the Tiger and Tempted).

One day, CJ said, “Mama, you should try drums.” My immediate reaction was, “No, thanks, I like to sing.” Then CJ said, “Mama, just try it!” And that’s when I realized I was operating in my comfort zone.

I’d never contemplated playing drums in my life, much less on Rock Band. But, wanting to set a good example for my son, I gave it a shot. Guess what? I’m terrible at it, but I love it. I love it so much that I want to get better and now I want to try my hand at guitar.

Imagine that.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I’m driving back from a weekend trip with my son, with my husband Maki in a separate car. Maki recently got his ham radio license; he’s actually passed all three tests. He gave me and CJ a radio and promised he’d try to transmit messages to us from his car. Since I don’t have my license, I could not transmit back. CJ said, “Mama, I want to get my license so I can talk to daddy. You should get your license, too.” Again, my immediate reaction was “No, thanks, I have enough to do in my life without studying for a ham radio test!”

But over the next week, I got to thinking.
Why not step out of my comfort zone and go for it? How cool would it be for me to pass the test and be able to actually broadcast? It might be kind of cool to learn about amateur radio stations, transponder signals and amperes. And what a great message to send to my son! So, this past weekend, I asked Maki to pull out the flash cards. I’ve mastered 1/4 of the questions and hope to take the test in November. Wish me luck.

How about you? Have you stepped out of your comfort zone lately? What have you always wanted to do or try and just need the excuse to do so? C’mon, if I can study for the ham radio test, you can do something out of the ordinary as well!

EDITOR’S UPDATE:
It’s official! Just over one week ago, the Chief Troublemaker passed the exam to be a Technician class amateur radio operator.

Thanks Joanna for sharing your story from The Matrix Files.

Founder/CEO and self-proclaimed Chief Troublemaker of Matrix Group International Joanna Pineda is a Women Grow Business enthusiast. She is known for her visionary big-picture thinking and drive for excellence. Combining her broad liberal arts background and passion for technology, she started Matrix Group in 1999, today a leading interactive agency. As a trusted advisor, Joanna inspires and motivates her clients and employees alike to simply, “be better” with her mantra being: Do or Do Not. There is no try!

(Image LTZ Rock by JLyon1515, Creative Commons)


    1. Technically what Maki did (a broadcast) was against the rules, as you probably found out in your studies. :-) But congratulations. It's a fantastic hobby!

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    2. Using a guitar software is actually less expensive than using a music teacher. With guitar software, you can learn anywhere you have access to a computer and you don't need internet access. You work on your time, on your schedule, and in the comfort of your home if you choose. I actually learned how to play the guitar using a guitar software. The great thing about the system I used is that it provided video lesson materials, so it's like you have your own personal teacher.

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    3. Hi Rob. Thanks for the comment. I checked with Maki and he doesn't think that what he did was against the rules, since CJ was only listening and neither of us ever transmitted. Is there some rule I'm not aware of?

      And yes, I got my Technician license and I'm officially KJ4PSD, although I've requested a vanity call sign that includes my initials – jmp. Will keep you all posted.

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    4. Hi Rob. Thanks for the comment. I checked with Maki and he doesn't think that what he did was against the rules, since CJ was only listening and neither of us ever transmitted. Is there some rule I'm not aware of?

      And yes, I got my Technician license and I'm officially KJ4PSD, although I've requested a vanity call sign that includes my initials – jmp. Will keep you all posted.

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