Posted by: Budger | September 30, 2009

Check, Check, No Check

I am a Project Management Institute certified Project Management Professional (PMP). No that is not an abbreviation for pimp. Although as a manager in a consulting services group, I have been accused of that as well. I live and die by plans, and lists, and spreadsheets and plans. Now don’t get the idea that I’m not spontaneous. I can be. But I like to have a plan.

My friends tease me about my spreadsheet that I created for the Texas Independence Relay (TIR). It takes all of the runners and their assigned legs, and has the projected time of arrival at each exchange, the van number that will drop them off, the van number that will pick them up, their actual time of arrival, projected lap time, actual lap time etc. It’s approximately 40 columns by 40 rows. I’m pretty proud of it. The team, despite the teasing about it, loves it, as they always know where they need to be and when. Yet I still take constant teasing from the team members. The question of “Rhonda – do you have a spreadsheet?” comes up a lot.

So here I am, less than one week away from my biggest event of the year, and I made my first list just a few days ago. Fundraising – check. Bike Inspection – check. Tubes, tires and Shot Blocks – check. Everything else – no check.  How did I get less than one week away, without a firm plan? And why am I not in a panic? (OK I am a little worried.) I pondered that last question this morning, as this time 3 years ago, I was already packed. And I came to the realization that I’m not that worried, because I’ve done this before. I’ll get there eventually. But the biggest revelation in that was – I’ve done this before. And I’m doing it for fun and to raise awareness to a cause.

And that took me back in time to reflect on this journey. As I was riding today, I thought back to where I was 3 years ago. There was the first ride, after 10 years, where I was so proud of my 8 miles, and then ended up in the weeds with stickers in my butt. My first spin class where I had to walk up 5 flights of stairs to go to spin class where I almost launched myself over the handlebars of the spin bike. I estimate that I have been through 10 pairs of bike shorts. Most common form of death, blow out in the seam at the back. But there was the one seam that blew out on the front, which I didn’t realize until after I flashed the Boy Scout at a bike rest stop. When I started out, I couldn’t hand signal because I couldn’t take one hand off the handlebars. Today I answered my phone while I was riding. 3 years ago, I couldn’t turn my bike in the cul de sac, now I ride through and generally power out.

In 3 years I’ve raised over $5,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and ridden over 130 miles. I’ve been a rider twice, and a support person once. I’ve made numerous friends through this, and had more laughs than I can count. And I’ve taken a journey down a road I would never thought I would have traveled. Like everything in life, this journey has taken time. But what a sweet ride it has been. So back to my list – bike shorts (brand new) – check. Jerseys – check. Butt butt’r – Check. Having fun – check, check and check.

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