Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CharterMason, and what happens after cycling

Racing a bike is fun. Writing articles is fun. Working with big-arse organisations and helping them make crucial business decisions is also fun.

A cyclist. A journalist. A consultant.

All three require preparation. All three require communication. All three occur in high pressure environments where your arse is literally on the line [or the road].

I’ve done the first two. For me, it’s time to start the third.

CharterMason Giant: 'Champions of tomorrow', generally good blokes right now...

What happens ‘after’ cycling?
Life after cycling is something that anyone in the heat of the sport doesn’t want to think about. It’s scary, it’s unpleasant, and it’s distracting. But it remains, nonetheless, the most important question for any cyclist -or any athlete- to answer. 

What would you do if you broke your leg tomorrow? 

What if it was never going to come good? 

I’m not rolling off a sermon here about how everyone needs to study full-time whilst racing. Because not every athlete needs, or wants, to become a doctor or a lawyer. Not everyone needs, or wants, a uni degree. Not everyone needs a high flying job and the stresses that come with it. 

But everyone does need a plan, and the best time to start planning was probably yesterday.

My Plan?
Race, study, race, work, race, race, race. I was heavily supported by my parents. I was a lucky bugger. But there was always an implicit arrangement.

The trade-off was: ‘You better study or get a job boy, cos you ain’t riding that bike 24/7’

So I finished high school, worked in a little deli, did a bachelor of commerce at Melbourne Uni and raced my body till it was [literally] broken. 

I wrote a blog, it got me a foot in the media/journo door [thanks Rowan Dever] and I ended up doing a fair chunk of journalism and media work revolving around cycling. It was ace. But as racing ends, so does writing [on a full-time basis], and consulting commences.
Look at these guys on the front! Definitely not me there...

“If I could do one thing for the guys on my team, it’s help them find a job when they stop racing,” 

Were the words spoken by CharterMason’s Leigh Parsons when we had lunch a while back. I’d been wringing my cycling network for every drop of advice on my job hunt. And some odd circumstances, some entrepreneurialism, and a bit of pot luck landed me with a job. 

Now I’m throwing on my consulting L plates and heading off into the business world. Wish me luck!

CharterMason Giant powered by Brennan IT
But not every day will be filled with reports, excel files and KPIs. Ok, they will….

But the evenings and weekends will be filled with time devoted to helping the CharterMason Giant team progress onwards and upwards. As an unashamed cycling groupie, this is my way to stay in touch with the sport. And once my knee is a bit better [long story...] I hope to sneak out on a few team rides and hopefully half-wheel them all on recovery days.

So what does it all mean?

I’m not really sure. But make a plan. Take your opportunities. And don’t be an arsehole. You’ll want a good network when you retire. Don’t go round sucking up to everyone, no one will give you a job for nothing. 

But if you are genuine, and you ask for help, doors will open.

See you all in the office, on the road, or on the net,