When I woke up this morning, the landscape in Ohio had completely changed.
For the last 2 days Ohio has wanted to be like Indiana and Illinois with its flat elevation and endless fields of corn. Today Ohio was a Missouri-wannabe with 12-15% rolling hills. I rode 75 miles in the suburbs between Cleveland and Akron and landed in a town on the border of Pennsylvania. A beautiful, low-humidity day in the 80s with no mosquitoes gnawing on me tonight.
I spotted a Starbucks in Brunswick this morning so I stopped for a chai tea latte. On my way out, Joe asked me about my cool bike, so I asked him about his cool job. He is a lead generator for companies and what he loves about smiling and dialing is the challenge of each phone call. He loves helping companies differentiate themselves from the initial phone call. From his comfortable demeanor, getting rejected on the phone clearly doesn’t faze Joe.
As Justin was pulling into a parking lot, he heard Jerome call out from their car, “I love my job!” Like Joe, Jerome loves to smile and dial for a living. His exact words: “greatest job ever.” Why? “Because it lets me be somebody else.” He loves the challenge of getting people on the phone who are auto-angry (his word) and expecting to hang up, and then turning them around to offer them an opportunity. He also gushed about his boss. His exact words: “greatest boss ever.” Why? “Because she gets to know us on a personal level, cares about us, is a constant motivator, and gives me what I need to succeed.” And I had always assumed telemarketers hated their jobs!
I am 9 days away from reaching the Jersey Shore. Hard to believe I’ve just spent the past 8 1/2 weeks on a bike and that this adventure is coming to an end. But the only end in this journey is the 6-7 hours/day cycling. The observations and musings around moxie and how people make work great will continue. Stay tuned. In the meantime, answer my 3 questions by Sun. July 25 (see blog Day 59) and I’ll send you my new book, Moxie for Managers. I’ve already received some great responses!
As this adventure draws to a close, I’m starting to think about some of the lessons I’ve learned. I’ll marinate on this while cycling and share some new ones each day. Here are 5:
- It’s all about the mindset. If I start the day cognizant of what’s in store, it doesn’t matter how steep the hill, how jungle hot the weather, or how brutally long the distance.
- Anything can be accomplished 10 miles at a time. 4,000+ miles is a crazy long way to ride, but when I break it into a series of 10-mile rides, it no longer seems insurmountable.
- Somedays can be taken off the shelf at any time. I talked about riding across the country for 20 years. “Somedays” do not have an expiration date…they just get a little dusty.
- Small towns intentionally foster connection and community. (What a great lesson for managers (and families) everywhere.)
- Most of the country does not wake up each morning and indulge in a Starbucks. (…and apparently I don’t shrivel if I go without one for weeks at a time!)
Day 61 miles: 75.24 miles
Day 61 ascent: 3,887 feet (undoubtedly this rebellious half of Ohio wants to act more like Pennsylvania…)
Total miles: 3,751.18 miles
Total interviews: 100
Road kill count: 1,602
(added 55 today, most of which were raccoons. Ohio must have a raccoon problem but as evidenced by the r.k. I’m pretty sure they have found their own environmentally conscious way of dealing with them…)
Destination for Day 62: State #10 – Pennsylvania!