Dr. Pol’s job entails putting his hand, and indeed most of his arm, up a cow’s butt on a regular basis. But he does it with such flare and enthusiasm that millions tune in to watch him do what Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs would be hard pressed to even try! For that Dr. Pol has become a celebrity, something I witnessed firsthand getting to hang with him at a Nat Geo Wild press event recently in Vegas. Fan after adoring fan stopped him for photos. (They even shook his hand!) “Who would have thunk it?!” he said to me. But, Dr. Pol wasn’t the only accidental celebrity I got to rub elbows with (Thank God Dr. Pol wasn’t working!) A Fish Biologist and college professor, Zeb Hogan parlayed his passion for fish into his own series titled Monster Fish. Not only does he travel the world in search of giant fish, he flies to events funded by corporate sponsors to deliver keynote speeches and, get this, sign autographs. A fish geek signing autographs! The last celebrity I interacted with was introduced to me with a story of how he showed up in New York City for the morning show circuit wearing boots and dirty jeans. The subsequent telling of the mad dash scramble Nat Geo staff members went on to find him suitable clothes that fit his freakish athletic build was almost as entertaining as his lion chasing tales! Boone Smith lives in rural Idaho and grew up running dogs and chasing down mountain lions to collar. Now, he’s filmed multiple specials and has his own show called Urban Jungle.
All of us have one thing in common; we parlayed our passions into our careers. Our enthusiasm doing what we do has afforded us an incredible opportunity to not just entertain but indeed educate the masses about something we love. For that I’m feeling blessed beyond measure!
On Tuesday, September 9th at 9 p.m.CST on the NatGeo Wild channel I will join these awesome dudes when Pond Stars debuts. People who never really knew this crazy world of backyard water gardening existed will now have an opportunity to peek inside a whole other way to live at home. Ponds rock and I’ve been shouting that out at the top of my lungs for 23 years now ever since I founded Aquascape in 1991. It all started in 1982 when I built my first pond to house my beloved pet turtles. I made every mistake possible with that pond but that only allowed me to learn along the way. I didn’t go to school to study turtles or even landscape design. Truth be told I was an awful student! I didn’t fit nearly as well in the box as I did floating in a pond. For that I know I’m not alone. I hope to use the platform Pond Stars provides to reach through the television screen and into the hearts and minds of viewers around the globe. After all, I believe all of them want a water feature, they just don’t know it yet! And maybe just maybe a few of the viewers will be inspired by what I did, what we do, and decide to follow their own wacky dreams. It might have been turtles for me and cows, fish and mountain lions for others, but everyone needs to find something to be passionate about in life.
Life’s too short not to enjoy what you do whatever it is that you do. After all, when you find something you love to do you never have to “work” another day in your life. Tune into Pond Stars and maybe you will find yourself inspired to do what you want to do too!