Be honest. Who else had to look this one up in the dictionary? I know I did! But then I don’t profess to be any sort of literary scholar. I’m a Maths geek, through and through, but not so much as I’m not a big fan of sports, music, and the rest of it. I do like to think myself as a bit of a culture vulture!
Sport just works for me. By that, I don’t mean that I’m any good at anything. I played a bit of district representative cricket when I was a kid, but otherwise I’m more of an enthusiastic participant rather than a game changer. But I just love playing. Football, hockey, cricket, rugby, tennis, you name it! I suck at it and love playing it in equal measure.
Having an office job was always a right bugger for me. You had no time during the weeks to do anything. Sure I could get a bit of 5-a-side football in here and there, but the day at work had wound me up so much that I genuinely struggled to enjoy it. What did I have left? Jogging! Me oh my, I hate jogging!
Unfortunately, there is a time in anyone’s life when the metabolism you enjoyed as a kid starts to wane somewhat. You’ve got to answer the question. Do I want to keep being able to see my toes? Well then, get your running shoes on!
I started doing it and to begin with the hardest thing wasn’t the run, it was the will power needed to get up and out of bed at 5am to go for a 10km run. I’d then shower at work, and then annoy the crap out of my co-workers as my towel dried slowly on the back of my chair. Not exactly win-win.
Luckily for me a co-worker, Thomas, was in the same boat. He lived up my way of London and was after a running partner to beat through that will power barrier. I was a bit nervous, as this guy used to be a pro athlete, but what the hell? He might enjoy the rest as I caught him up?!
So fast forward a couple of years, and it’s the first week after I left the office for the last time. My dad fancied a drive down to Bordeaux, and I needed to get out of London. But what are we meant to be doing down there? Hang on a second, isn’t Thomas from down that way of France?
A text message or two later and I’ve got the phone number of an old school friend of his, Jean-Benoit. We got down there on the Saturday, we met JB on the Sunday, and by the Thursday we’re round his house, having dinner with his family, and we’re now firm friends.
We’re also now work colleagues. JB started up his “human adventure”, 20h33, three years ago, and now we’ve all agreed that I’m going to open up the UK operations. I’m going to be the UK head of a Bordeaux wine-trading firm! And I’m so thankful for it!
So when I sit here working on the website translations, and pricing up duty charges and the rest of it, I sometimes chuckle thinking back to those frosty mornings swearing our way through Regents Park, on the way to the office job. Where would I (or my belly) be without them!