Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Living Strong

I'm still completely enthralled with Tour de Lance - I mean, Tour de France. It's a great story of human challenges and triumphs... and today was a great stage what with spectacular performances on the individual time trials on l'Alpe d'Huez. 

I'm sorry Tyler Hamilton is out; sorrier still that he's lost his dog, Tugboat, a long-time companion. It's probably been a rough week for him and he really does seem like a class act. Fortunately, anyone who can ride an entire Tour with a broken collarbone probably has what it takes to get through just about any adversity so I feel comfortable (and I don't even really know the guy though it turns out there are only a couple of degrees of separation there) that he'll be able to get through this too.

And while it probably has been a tough week of another kind for Voeckler, I do hope he still feels good about what he's accomplished, wearing the Yellow Jersey for as many days as he has, especially since he kept it for a good two days longer than even the most the most stretched imaginations could suggest was possible.

One of the sidebar items of interest to me are the numbers of people who are wearing Lance's Live Strong yellow bracelets. They're easy to get ($1 is cheap and you can pick them up from NikeTown or order them online), easy to wear, easy to spot and go for a great cause. What's not to like? I figure they've become a meme, they're getting so ubiquitous. Heck, even cyclists on other teams (Virenque, Basso, Zabel and O'Grady, to name just a few) are wearing them!

It rather makes me wonder what small-seeming, otherwise worthwhile ideas I've been harboring that could be turned into "idea viruses", given the right push. You probably have a few too. Who's to say at the outset whether they're ideas that capture everyone's attention and are ripe for becoming as commonplace as the yellow wristbands or whether they are ideas that take shape in a much smaller scale? For now, it's enough to simply begin taking action, breathing life into them so that they become something real and not just an idea locked in somebody's head.

As one friend quoted to me today, "There is magic in action." There is no need to gather more information, get permission or "how-to's" from someone else you assume to be more an expert than you are; there is only the need to do one thing that carries your idea forward into the realm of reality... and then one more thing and then one more. Like the stories of Stone Soup, when you start taking action, others will want to help out. You'll know if you have an idea that will take off - others will get excited, perhaps even looking to you to lead them. What a great place to be.

My challenge to you is to Live Strong in your own way. Define it for yourself and then make it happen. If it involves drafting others into your cause and making it real for more than just yourself, so much the better. Let me know at what you're up to and how you're making your world a better place.

Try something new - try living your life "out loud."