Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Weight of a Nation (Ryder Hesjedal wins the 2012 Giro)

Couldn’t have said it better myself! Ryder Hesjedal’s win comes off the back of his individual performance in today’s final time trial as much as it was his team’s combined commitment in yesterday’s penultimate mountain stage. Garmin-Barracuda are one of the best put together teams on paper; now they’ve just proven it on the road.

lomaxbike

So its official Ryder Hesjedal has won the Giro d’Italia and created cycling history by becoming the first Canadian to win.

Hesjedal, claimed the pink jersey from Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez after the 28.2km final-day time trial. Rodriguez, who led by 31 seconds overnight, finished 16 seconds behind in second with Thomas De Gendt third. Briton Mark Cavendish came second in the points competition after Rodriguez overtook him on the penultimate stage.

Hesjedal said “It was just an unreal experience from day one, with what we’ve been able to do, with the support of the team”.

“I couldn’t have done it without them. I knew I was good when I came here. I just stayed focused and took advantage of the situation. I kept feeding off that support.”
This is also the first time his Garmin team have made the podium in their five-year history.

I also love Ryder’s name –…

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Turning 31 (And staying true)

I turned 31 yesterday, which has me well-and-truly  “living in my 30s”. For the next decade, I’m going to be a “thirty something” (remember that show!), living out the ride as best I can. I’m encouraged by that thought, because it pleases me to no end (grinning in a goofy kind-of-way)…for a couple of reasons:

For one thing the fact that I’ve made it this far. I was most likely still in single digits when “thirty something” first aired, watching it alongside my parents now and again – totally oblivious to the story line taking place. To me, it meant I got to stay up that little bit later; there was no way I could compute the idea of being “that old”, and now, here I am.

Secondly, I’m going to continue to be relentless in the ways and means I have discovered that have helped me find whatever it is that makes me feel peace, anchored, happy, accomplished, loved, etc. etc. All the things that I’m pretty sure we are seeking, in our own ways.

I was reminded by a close friend today that I do that even now and have no qualms about throwing myself into the fire, regardless of what’s happening for me at the time. All I have to say is that my friend truly gets it (and gets me at the same time). I’ve come to count on his support a lot these last couple years (when the questions of purpose first began surfacing inside me). He’s helped me find my compass and it points in one direction. Mine.

Everything that’s happened before now helps me to go even further, I think. In my twenties, I didn’t really know what I wanted, but now the time feels right to just keep exploring, gaining the ground I felt I lost earlier. That is what feels most satisfying – finding out what works.

I recorded this video below, last night. Apologies for any poor sound, maybe it will make sense for some of you. And if it doesn’t, I encourage you to find whatever it is that does.

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To thine own self be true (The Free Trait Theory)

I’ve been adding to my collection of meaningful quotations as of late — you know the kind, the ones that stir something within you, make you smile, or simply make you nod your head in silent appreciation and share them online. The first one has been at the bottom of my e-mail for the last few months, and the other has recently come from, yep, you guessed it…Susan Cain’s Quiet. I’d like to share them now:

Quote 1: “…all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Quote 2: “To thine own self be true.” ~ William Shakespeare

Now how do I imagine these two offerings of advice relate to me? Well, after having reading the section about Free Trait Theory (covered in chapter 10), I feel these two quotes describe what it is I am trying to be (quote 1), in life, work, love and all other relationships, and quote 2 is what I am actually being. Being unreasonable is the process helps me stay true to myself and my beliefs; I’m constantly learning the difference between “being unreasonable” and cowtow-ing to popular opinion. I even went through a phase of pushing against so much of what my friends and family thought I should be that my actions didn’t have the greatest return of happiness – in fact I felt a lot of pain through that opposition, but at the same time it showed me the opportunity for growth. It still means something for me to stand up for what I believe in; it’s that extra ounce of courage that’s required to say “yes” or “no” and trusting myself that things will be okay after whatever passes. I’m being even more unreasonable through my requests of what I need from those around me. The support I seek, the understanding I wish to have, and through that, an increased feeling of depth, love and trust.

So what is Free Trait Theory? According to Cain, it is a new field of psychology, developed by psychology Professor Brian Little. An introvert himself, Little is also known (via the book) as an engaging and dynamic speaker, not only in his lectures at Harvard University, but also during his public speaking engagements, which he gives to large businesses (and in the book the US military). I love wondering how this is even possible, and Cain clearly does too. Even though Little describes himself as strongly introverted, he’s able to make these “performances” stick by taking the necessary time away from these engagements either before-or-after they have taken place. Think of it as recharging the batteries. How many of us have slipped away quietly, sensing a low ebb during a social engagement, or found a quiet conversation more restorative then buzzing around “networking” with people you may only ever meet once in your life? Or alternatively, if you’re an extrovert, finding a surge in spirit by surrounding yourself with more people? I know I prefer the first two options nowadays and so does Professor Little!

At the same time we can perform in opposition to our true natures just long enough before we need to excuse ourselves, and this is down to the fixed traits and free traits that co-exist within us. This is the principle of Little’s theory, insomuch as I understand it: we all are “born and culturally endowed with certain personality traits … but we can and do act out of character in the service of ‘core personal projects’.” (Cain, 2012) At last! An explanation as to why I feel charged up in certain situations and not others, and feel the opposite way, at a similar event (that may normally drain me) after I’ve had ample time to recharge! It makes total sense. If I have enough “down time” I can be ready and willing during the “up times” – those events I selectively chose to attend.

Take my current career path: Publishing – it’s all about the “networking”. Particularly when you’re looking for information. And it usually comes down to who you know, not what (or a combination of both). The publishing community in Oxford  offers up a lot opportunities to find out what everyone is up to through these seminars like these, the annual trade fairs and book launches. I can’t say I attend many book launches, but I do go to most seminars and recently attended one on book discoverability. Before the talk started however, there was the “wine and nibbles” phase of the event. And during that 30-40 minutes of “small chat” I increasingly noticed how much more of my energy it takes to stand there and chat with people I hardly even know, but when the talk starts I’m usually keen and interested to learn again. When it’s all over, however, I need to get straight home and re-charge, and sometimes that’s not always up to me as I’m dependent on other people for that important lift home (even making small talk in the car feels tiring!) So I have to choose carefully and have my exit strategy planned ahead of time.

Finally,  my social media presence seems to be in a state of oppositional flux when compared to the “networking” I do in person. If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you might think I’m a pretty active tweeter. I post, re-tweet and reply to as many conversations I can on all matters related to publishing (making my focus on digital topics like e-books, e-readers, XML, etc.). I’ll even live tweet from those seminars I attend too! So I suppose I could appear more extroverted online than I am in person. Does anyone else feel like this?

I imagine that’s a pretty natural conclusion, but it is down to the fact that my activity on social media is my personal project and I enjoy the online engagement and choose how active I want to be. Choosing those personal projects is a discovery process in of itself…I hope you enjoy finding yours!

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