The process of getting Team Endeavour ready for the Race Across America (RAAM) is quite intense. We set off to California on 11th June and the race starts 17th June.
The riders and crew are amazing people, as are some of the others who have helped us so far.
In real life I have a coach (of the work variety) a lady called Sue Webb. She knows me quite well. She is very good at what she does. She generally works with teachers and children. Those of you who know me can be forgiven for the smile you are currently trying to suppress 🙂
When we first met we did an exercise to help she and I work out what makes me tick (or sometimes not tick).
The question was something like, “Draw me a graph of the times in your life when you have been most happy”.
The graph went right back to 1989 at that time, that was I had my first proper job, or so I thought (*). The timeline I drew filled a whiteboard and had several characteristics:
It was not just up and down, it was very binary. Not a curve.
The peaks were almost all the same height. They didn’t get higher in any way that correlated with what I earned or where I might have sat in a hierarchy. The height of peaks did not trend upwards over time.
One of the higher peaks was quite early when I worked with an ace development team at BT. Another was more recent and related to work we did at Thomson Reuters in building communities to get better at what we did.
It was a very interesting and useful graph.
Once we had talked through the whole thing I went back to white board and added another detail.
At the top of each peak I added one or two sets of initials. The friends for life I made in each of those experiences over more than 25 years.
I get a huge kick out of going to new places, to do new things, to learn and work with great people. I insist on enjoying what I do. You tend to make new friends along the way.
My experience of RAAM so far has been quite intense. It is ticking all those boxes. It is a huge privilege. There aren’t many things that drive me to a laptop at 0700 on a Sunday morning. When I extend that graph, I am sure there will be a few new sets of initials on it. The people I am meeting in this process are amazing. While I am in awe of the riders and crew, I am most amazed by the people who contribute despite not being in the core team.
One is Michelle Beattie. Based in Sydney she had to drop out of the crew for the race but has continued to support the team as we prepare and has secured our rider and crew kit. I don’t think any of us knew how complex that would be. Thank you Michelle.
Another is a man called Mike Griffiths. How we met Mike is a long and quite unbelievable story. Mike has got >100 people through RAAM. It is part of what he does for a living. Despite that he spent 3 hours with me on Friday reviewing our plans and advising us on how to be successful and safe. Thank you Mike. His organisation is here.
There are many others. Not least the many (>100) who have already sponsored us. So far we have raised ~$18k (inc a one off $10k not shown on the donation site). Thank you to you all also.
It is all the better when we get to do things that matter. We are doing the RAAM ride for ECPAT, a charity dedicated to eliminating child trafficking and sexual exploitation. Our donation site is here.
(*) It has occurred to me that my first proper job was actually in 1986 as cox for the Reading University Women’s Boat Club. The short version of that story is that that is where I began to learn how to work with other people.