When I was younger, as in 10, the coolest skill I thought a person could have was lockpicking. It was a skill that I thought was magic. You put a tiny little thing into a lock you didn't have the key for and all of a sudden you were in. Of course it looked really easy on TV, as everything else does, but is it? Really? I decided to give it a try. I ordered a nice set of picks that were very highly rated and a practice lock and took a stab at it. The results, to put it gently, were underwhelming. I just couldn't get the hang of what I was doing and I was getting very frustrated. I ended up giving up on it and putting the entire kit aside for awhile, figuring I'd get around to it at some point when I had more direction in how to do it.
Interestingly, and unexpectedly, my motivation came back in the form of a video by one of my favorite YouTubers, Chris Ramsay in which he demonstrates picking a ton of locks.
After the video, I decided to give it another go, so I went and got the same kit he used and the same practice lock (in the thumbnail, it's the one on the right). Once I found the right pick, the lock opened in seconds. It probably took me about 60-90 seconds the first time. Now I was motivated. I went back and got the other kit (which is admittedly nicer even though it has fewer picks) and popped it again.
In lockpicking there are multiple attacks you can use, but with picks you usually either rake (drag the pick along all the pins) or you work each pin with a hook. Picking with a hook takes more skill than raking, but raking only works on lower quality locks. After a few hours of practice, I could do either kind of attack on this lock. My average pick time on the practice lock is now 10 seconds with a rake or 30 seconds with a hook pick. So I moved back to the practice lock I bought with the first kit. I worked hard on it, and since it's a better quality lock, I had a little trouble but I popped it. Then I popped it again. Then I popped it again. I can't rake that lock at all, but I can hook it and boom. So over the weekend I wanted to play around and asked my wife if she had a pad lock handy, and she happened to have a luggage lock. I put the tension wrench in, put the rake in, and pop. Right open. Closed it, did it again. Less than 5 seconds. I can even confidently demonstrate it for other people. I have learned a new skill. Turns out that with the help of Chris Ramsay's video and a YouTube channel I love called The Lockpicking Lawyer, I've managed to teach myself something I've always wanted to learn and it's so so awesome. It makes me happy. It's not the most marketable skill, but it's a damn fun skill to have and an entertaining conversation starter!