Thursday, February 10, 2011

Climb Hard

So, after those heavy posts of the weekend, something light is in order.

Or maybe something lightly horrifying.  Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to your knowledge of it's existence the Krispy Kreme Challenge, in which competitors run two miles, shove down a dozen krispy kremes, and run two more miles.  That's one way to raise money for the children's hospital.  And probably a very vomit-y one, at that.

So.  More light news.  I had my first stint as a salesperson this week. In general with regards to selling things I choose to follow an axiom I first discovered in a poem my drama class performed under the guidance of our strange teacher in fifth grade, whereby we chanted to a slightly perplexed audience: "If you have to wash the dishes and you drop one on the floor, maybe they won't let you wash the dishes anymore!"  E.I., if I prove myself bad at selling things, I'll never end up stuck in sales.

But in the world of Getting it Done one must wear many hats, so I answered the phone, I took down the address, I went and measured things and answered questions.  Turns out the potential customer was a musician here in town who is quasi-famous here and who's CD I have.  I thought "wow that's so awesome I get to meet him and we can talk about his music and he'll buy insulation from me and it will be great!"  And I got to meet him, and he was nice, and I presented myself well enough but am still obviously new at this and he wasn't that excited that I mentioned I'd been to one of his concerts--and since he didn't call me back today odds are he went with somebody else.  Still, small worlds are fun.

Today I also stopped my social moping and got myself out to the climbing gym when it was actually busy. Predictably, when I arrived, the introvert in me wanted to crawl in a hole and contemplated just leaving right then.  This is always made worse by the super muscular dudes who are doing impossibly hard things in the main wall space and don't notice you except to mutter "sorry" when they back up into you.  But I didn't turn and flee, I made myself stick with it, claiming a little corner on the easy wall to work my pathetically non-great skills on pathetically easy routes.  And I worked on trying to keep myself from calling it all pathetically easy, too.

And you know, it was crowded, but some friendly people were about, and they came over to climb on the wall I was on, and I smiled and was friendly and outgoing and ending up working on a fair number of problems with them, learning a few tips I hadn't known about technique, joking around and being supportingly challenged to push myself.

This reminds several important lessons.  One, just smile and start small conversation with people, it doesn't have to be anything grand.  If they don't want to reciprocate they aren't likely going to be really mean about it, and in general they may well not mind.  In other words:  even if you're an introvert, being warm and outgoing works and is really not that hard.   Oh, and if doing so, ask about them, don't just talk about you.

Two, even though what I really want more of is a regular group and new best friends and people with compatible friendship styles to form really close friendships, just loose socializing is still good and fulfilling in it's own way.  It doesn't have to lead to anything deep, and the small stuff has to happen first anyway. 

And three, doing something challenging like trying to climb at your best with others is way better than doing it alone, because other people will push you where you are reluctant to push yourself.  Somebody with extreme mega discipline may not have that problem, but I will wimp out so easily on many athletic endeavors if it's just me talking to myself, and then I'll never get better.  Having somebody spotting you and saying "hey, don't hesitate, stand up on that leg" is just what I need sometimes, as well as "hey, have you tried this?"  Makes me wish I had those climbing best friends...but that's why going to the gym when other people are there is the way to start, even you're painfully shy when they're all so much better than you.

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