For some undefined reason, I always wanted to ride the unicycle. It was one of those dreams that persisted over the years but I never did anything about. Because what was the purpose of it? Things came to a head a couple of years ago and I started searching for local unicycle or circus clubs to try my luck and put that childhood dream to bed.
Having found no clubs, I got a beginner unicycle and took to the wheel, whereupon I learnt two things: It was crazy hard to stay upright, even gripping on to a wall for dear life and it was going to take way longer than I thought to learn. If you’ve ever tried balancing on one wheel, you’ll know the struggle.
It’s not just balance and core stability I’ve learnt, unicycling has taught me a few things that apply to many areas of life.
What I discovered:
- The most unlikely people shared how they used to unicycle or that they have one in their garage gathering dust.
- Some people want to climb Everest and prove themselves in a more extreme physical way. For others, we get unicycles (mid-life crisis?)
- Consistent practice and forming a habit is the key to getting past those times when you want to throw that wheel through a window and give up because it’s Just. Too. Hard. I did give up for nearly a year and then my stubborn streak won through. By committing to 5 minutes a day even if I make zero progress, I’ll often spend much longer and am getting better, quicker.
- Tips from others are gold.
Pop a short video into a unicycle group on social media and you’ll get great advice: Your leg should be nearly straight, raise your seat, look up and ahead. A throwaway comment from someone further ahead than you can help you make instant improvement. Other people want you to succeed. Which brings me to…
- Everybody wants to see my progress. More unicycling! they cry. It’s something different, unexpected, light-hearted fun. I once used a compilation video of me essentially falling over a lot to start a presentation (it was relevant, honestly). The resulting round of applause had the event organiser poking his head through the door to see what was going on 5 mins in.
It also broke the ice and provided a great talking point. Colleagues volunteered information about their own lives that made me remember them afterwards – An English lady who took up the violin to play in an Irish folk group in Finland, that’s intriguing.
We live in a world that encourages us to set goals, justify our decisions, get ever more productive. Sometimes you don’t need a specific reason to do something, you can just do it because. If you insist on reasons I can tell you I do a desk-based job and it’s important to do physical exercise. That when you’re concentrating hard enough to stay upright and balance, you can’t think about anything else and so it switches your brain off – there’s no time to worry about global pandemics, deadlines and family.
Where can you share this information?
I don’t use Xing enough, but I like that you can list your interests on your profile. It makes everyone more human and relatable than reading about a manager at company x who has the same corporate skills as everyone else in the industry.
It’s not the only place you can show your interesting side. You could introduce your team on your website with fun facts about them, highlight an aspect of your company that gets people talking, or take a look at your most popular articles and posts for inspiration. Anything that gives you and your company some personality and makes you more memorable.
And if you’d like a profile that presents you to your international audience in the best possible light, send an email to [email protected] with the subject line: Make me memorable.