Just heading off for the Buxton to Derby ride

So today is the day. I’m about to leave the house and head to Derby, get loaded into a coach, drive to Buxton and then start my charity cycle.

This is a major challenge for me so I’m excited and nervous. OK, I know its not exactly like climbing the Shard but I start the day not knowing whether it is really within my capabilities. Obviously I hope that I’ll make it, I cycle a fair bit, so why shouldn’t I, but it is hilly, I’ve got a bike that is designed for town riding,  and I’ve also never been part of an organised ride before (who knows what weird lycra clad things they’ll make me do). I’ve got a million excuses as to why I might not make it, but when I wrote them down it just sounded like Phil Och’s Draft Dodger Rag.

I think that my willingness to occasionally try things that I don’t know that I can succeed in is a fairly good character trait. I think that without this trait I probably wouldn’t have my current job, nor have applied for a lot of the projects that I’ve really enjoyed. Putting yourself out there and seeing what happens, seems to me to be a pretty good career skills, which can only be fed by signing up for ridiculous cycle.

I’m less sure about my decision to broadcast this personal struggle to the my entire professional and social network. I suspect it would have been more strategic to keep it to myself and then to broadcast my achievements once they have been achieved. On the other hand you wouldn’t have had the fun of the build up nor got to experience my endearing vulnerability.

What is it that people respond to positively? Personally, I don’t tend to respond to endless boasts about success. So, you’re a rocket scientist – that don’t impress me much! In fact, there is an element of resentment – why are you shoving your success in my face. On the other hand engaging people in a story, is much more appealing. Dear reader, in the unlikely event that you care at all about my pathetic cycle ride, it is probably because you know a bit about me already and I’ve engaged you in my plans. Through building a bit of a narrative I may have gained your interest and encouraged you to feel more positively about me. This may have career benefits as well as increasingly the likelihood that you sponsor me  (it is for the University’s chosen charity Dogs for the Disabled). So does this kind of narrativisation of the journey support career building? Will it still work if my wheel falls off or I accidentally stop for an extended pub lunch and then get the bus home? I’m not sure. What do you think?

You can follow me today on Twitter.  I’ll try and update whenever I get the chance and the reception. I’ll also blog the outcome tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

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One comment

  1. I agree Tristram, that it is the “human story” that is always so much more fascinating than boasts of personal success. I wish you endless luck with your latest “human story” and hope that it is not too painful…and if it ends up with a premature visit to the pub…well, I look forward to hearing about that too!

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