Responsibly Irresponsible – Skate across America Day 40

November 12th, 2010



Total Distance for today: 16 miles
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 315 miles
LOCATION: Stafford, VA
STATUS: in route to Richmond, VA

Sometimes, Success can Be Silly!

After yesterday’s skating debacle, Dillon saw it fit for us to go and catch a comedy. I was planning to be responsible: rotate my skate wheels, plan out the entire next day, go to bed early, and get up early for another 30 mile skate or so. Dillon insisted that we’re always rejuvenated when we go to a movie. He suggested that we go see “Due Date” and do a short skate today. I was rather exhausted after the night-skating craziness, so I gave in.


The movie was genuinely hilarious, as it contrasted a very business-like Robert Downey Jr. (my favorite actor) and a ridiculous Zach Galifianakis (the Hangover). It was pure and divinely-orchestrated lunacy, and I loved every minute of it.


In spite of that little detour, I decided to set my alarm for early to get on the road in time to give myself the option for a long skate. Turns out, I don’t know how to use the alarm on my new phone, so I rolled out of bed sometime after 10, which is not exactly the most heroic way to start a day. To make a long story short, I ended up checking my voicemail, and I had a message from a representative of one of the high schools I’ve been trying to land in Richmond. Not only was he interested in bringing me in to his school, but he also decided to pass the info. along at a meeting with a bunch of contacts from other schools in the Richmond area.


Here’s the strange part: Had I been oober “responsible” and started my skate early in the morning, I would not have spoken to the school rep. until later in the evening. At that point, it would have been too late for him to pass the information along to his contacts from the other schools, during his meeting. Therefore, it is very likely that our seemingly “irresponsible” decision led to greater opportunity on the Freedom Tour!

Let’s Be Real

It is important for me to note that this opportunity never would have come, had I not been consistently and responsibly following my now rigid call schedule to schools as I approach each big city. Let me tell you: It’s not a lot of fun making all these phone calls, sending a million followup emails, and logging everything in an Excel spreadsheet to keep track. However, it is beginning to show some obvious benefits, as both the Washington, DC and Richmond opportunities would not have happened, if I wasn’t doing this.

The Take Home: Be Responsibly Irresponsible!

This strange pattern of hard work followed by seemingly random success is becoming a staple in my life, and I don’t think it is without reason. My opinion is that the consistent (and sometimes boring) work we do creates the right environment for success to come in. I wouldn’t have these speaking opportunities coming my way, if I wasn’t consistently seeking them, and I wouldn’t have the incredible sponsor and business partner that I have, if I wasn’t willing to work my ass off during crunch time back in Michigan. At the same time, the random nature of my success also tells me that there is something to the idea of “being in the flow of things.” You can’t be all business all the time, and you’re likely to miss opportunities, if you are. My prescription to achieve random success: Discipline yourself to do the boring work when you have to, but maintain an opportunistic and playful mindset in all areas of your life.


Be responsibly irresponsible!

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