'I Need Something.'

I texted this to my best friend earlier today, and I’m not sure why, but the older I get, the more I need something.

But I’m ahead of the story, let’s back up a moment.

A while ago, I was unhappy with my physical state of being, and so I started moving. First I walked. Then I ran. I ran a marathon. I ran 50 miles. I even crewed the most difficult foot race on earth. Yet, if I am honest with you and myself, I left the foot off the gas two weeks before DC, and I’ve never recovered. Case in point, yesterday was a perfect running day. I bailed on the AM, because I was tired. I fell asleep on the porch and bailed on the PM. I awoke this morning committed to turning it over, and promptly looked outside and balked at the fog.

I simply folded it in and went back to sleep.

I took a new job eight months ago. In my prior position, I really brushed up on my technical skills. I likely spent 99% of my time developing, designing, producing. I learned a lot of new technologies and really pushed my teammates to try new techniques, as they in turn, pushed me. This job is different. I’ve spent a lot of time doing other things. I won’t say I hate it, but it has been challenging in different ways, and certainly frustrating at times. I don’t particularly like to throw in the towel however, without first giving things a proper go. The stones have been far larger to move than I have previously encountered, and one should expect this, since the company is a large global entity. Some things I have pushed on, others I’ve avoided entirely. Somewhere along the way, I rather stopped being me, and I couldn’t tell you why.

I simply refused to question the status quo and went back to sleep.

Then I was transferred to another team, and today I met with my new team for the first time. The morning I can’t remember, but things changed starting with the return from lunch. A teammate leaned over and said, “it was funny to see that one end of the table talked about everything but work, and your end of the table? Well, your side only talked about ‘work’”.

It’s true. We talked about Ruby, Steel City Ruby Conference (Having serious regrets about not going), agile project management, perception problems with the business, you get the picture.

And that is precisely what I would likely talk about on any given day. That’s what I love, that’s where my interests lie. This isn’t a job, this is what I do.

“What else would I talk about? I love this stuff. I guess I could talk about running, but who wants to hear about that?”

Others looked up, “what’s the story?”

I got home later, and had the privilege of turning over a long run pushing my daughter all the way. It was magic, and thus was born this idea.

I love moving forward. Yes I run, and yes I walk, and yes, I love challenging myself with technology, presenting ideas, and just going beyond the expected. I see all of my friends going off, doing incredible stuff, and it inspires me to do more.

So here is the challenge:

  • 10 miles, 10 minute lightning talks at every 1 mile checkpoint. That’s 10 miles, 10 people presenting. If we have 20 people, then it is two presenters per checkpoint.
  • No props, unless you carry it with you.
  • All topics are open, just be passionate about it, sell it, and make us know why you chose your topic.
  • Pace doesn’t matter.
  • Time doesn’t matter.
  • Teams are only as good as the collective, so we will wait for everyone at each and every checkpoint before starting anything.
  • For each talk, in true stand up fashion, everyone shares one thing they liked, one thing to improve upon, and we’re off to the next checkpoint.

A lot of great conversations will happen during the journey to the next checkpoint.

If you don’t think you can do it, rethink your position. You can. Everyone will absolutely make sure each and every one of us finishes. I estimate 4-5 hours is more than enough time to complete the first iteration of 10 miles. If you’ve gone to an amusement park, then you can do this.

We all lose if any are left behind.

Enter because:

  • You will in all seriousness be completing the entire 10 miles
  • Once the date is chosen, it is on. Rain, shine, hurricane. Do you use the laptop bag they give you? Or do you plan with your own equipment? (hint: Delta picks their own equipment. Be Delta.)
  • You will endeavor to create a lightning talk that hits us like a 1 inch punch
  • If you’re not presenting at a checkpoint, then you enhance the stand up with the uniqueness that is you

I’m choosing the initial route, because it is relatively flat, has lots of perfect stopping points for the talks, and is quite beautiful.

I’m looking at my fall calendar. Tenative date is 10/20. Who is in? Let’s talk equipment. Let’s do this.

There is time to sleep another day.