“I have also started to apply the yes/no principle to the rest of my life. Saying no to negative people and saying yes to positive ones. No to voluntary jobs I used to feel obliged to do and yes to ones that will make a big difference and add to my experiences.“
Then I was living the life of a nomad, mostly wild-camping on Dartmoor and enjoying the outdoor life, but now I have moved indoors to a permanent location in Camborne, West Cornwall. I’m not finding it easy, however, there are a few projects I am involved with that I want to succeed and I need to be here. I thought it would be good, at least for me, to see how the yes/no principle works in the new environment. I moved in just before Christmas so nothing really happened until January, so the review is of January and February.
I early January I got a text message from someone I know, but have not seen for about two years, perhaps more. It said “I am running an event at the Eden Project on 22nd January and I need some helpers. Cannot give you any details, only that you will have to be there all day. It will be hard work, but fun. Can you help?” I immediately checked my diary and text back to say yes. Jeannie is an artist with lots and energy and enthusiasm; I had no doubt that the experience would be worthwhile. The event was the creation of the picture above and consisted of over 400 of the Eden Project’s staff painting small canvasses which where then put together to make the big picture. It depicts the Eden Project’s plans for more venues across the globe. My job was to help with setting things up, refilling paint when necessary, clearing up mess, giving encouragement, help and guidance and then helping clear up when everyone had finished. It was a fantastic day and a great thrill to see the finished art installation.
We had been encouraged to take photographs, but were not allowed to publish them on social media until the Eden Project had issued their press release. I was therefore checking their website regularly and spotted that they were hosting the Indoor Gig Rowing Championships. There was a solo category and within that a super vet category, so I entered, using the logic that I’m fit and have rowed in the past. I was a bit dismayed to learn that a super vet was anyone over 50, but I still gave it a go; I’m 63. The result is that once again I had a fantastic day and can now say that I have been in the final of a World Championships – great bragging rights. I think I will take up proper Gig rowing now I have a permanent base and there are a few clubs nearby.
The third ‘yes’ moment came when I was chatting to Toni from Business Cornwall magazine about publishing and getting her views on how I could improve RUN Magazine. She asked me if I would be prepared to give some talks at Pool Academy as she was sure the students would find me motivational. The school grabbed at the chance and I was booked to give a talk to year 11 on 21st February about coping with exam stress, interviews and getting on in life. A few days before the 21st I was asked if I would also stand in for someone who had cancelled and help launch their new Good Citizen initiative to 400 year 7, 8 & 9 students. I had a 30 minute slot following the showing of a video interview with Government Minister George Eustice MP. I’m please to say that the talks went well, I enjoyed it and I have been asked back on the 23rd March to do something around healthy eating, and how to have a healthy outlook on life in general.
I also did some normal stuff like going to the National Running Show in Birmingham and volunteering at the Endurancelife South Devon Coastal Trail event. Saying ‘Yes’ to the three things above just added some piquancy to January and February.