First, thanks to everyone for bearing with me through last week’s FGR. I’m living through heavy times. I appreciate your support.
And now on with the show…
When I was 39, I had a little freak out, a little meltdown. It produced neither an extramarital tryst, nor an excessive car payment, but it led to a radical change of careers.
I must be some kind of go-getter, because I didn’t wait until I was 40 to sift through my progress to-date and decide I didn’t want to continue on the path I’d been on, which had featured long, somewhat lucrative stints in software and publishing. In fact, I noticed that no matter what I did, I tended to push forward until the type of work and level of responsibility became really odious, entirely more than I could bear, and then I blew it up and walked away.
These are probably the symptoms of advanced workaholism, something I got from my father.
So there I was, again, at 39, sitting in a project launch meeting, thinking “There is just no way I can do another one of these projects.” The company I was with at the time was going through a management shakeup, and the new leadership was less than impressive in their analytic and dynamic range. I found myself a few days later in a meeting with my new boss, with her telling me that she needed me to have a better attitude, at which point I told her she should probably take my two weeks notice.
I ran away to join the circus bike industry.
I had been writing for RKP for a year or two then. I knew some people, some of the right people I guess, and so I got a job working with/for/on/about bikes. This was the first career step I’d taken, I think, that was wholly about what I wanted to do, and it was dramatic in its impact on my life. This is not to say that I’ve been dancing down the yellow brick road since then. Work is work, and I still have those workaholic tendencies that get me in trouble.
Let’s be honest, what sort of a freak writes nearly 500 weekly columns over the space of a decade?
But the bike continues to be a fascination for me, and I don’t for a second regret the choice I made.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what is the most dramatic change or impact the bike has made in your life? I find that, even as a constant presence, cycling has its way of revealing truths and laying bare your character, year-after-year. Part of the reason I do what I do is that I know the bike has this power to alter lives in a positive way. Tell us what it’s done for you?