I recently hosted an Awayday event for a team building session and thought it would be fun to ask every staff member to tell me an interesting fact about themselves to incorporate into an ice-breaker exercise- plus it gave me the perfect excuse to be nosey, ok I'll admit it!
I was feeling very creative and forward-thinking, all those buzz words we include in our CV's were finally coming to life! All was going well as I began being inundated with email responses from my team with their 'modest' facts...hmmm interesting a secret musical talent of one colleague, a sibling of twins, an impressive speaker of 5 languages was anothers, and then a fact that literally took my breath away as the emailed pinged into my inbox, the message simply read, "5 bungee jumps in oneday!" in their defence the exclamation was not included- but come on!!
Suddenly my plan of fun and team bonding began to unravel before my eyes, with more confessions of thrill seeking expeditions, which collectively amounted to what seemed like nothing short of wrestling tigers and a blindfolded bomb disposal expert. There was the iron man challenge, sky diving, oh and being a licenced pilot- of course you fly planes at the weekend- you have got to be kidding me!
I considered whether I should reversion the question, restricting such eccentric facts in a guise to feel better about mine, which I had thought up until that moment was guinness world record worthy; eating six pack of crisps in less than 24 hours. This was forcing me to call into question just how loosely I was exercising the term 'interesting', I suddenly felt deflated and uninspiring, (granted, I may need to reassess my understanding of the term inspirational as well!). Nonetheless I would now have to find something marginally more impressive, or at least make sure I announced my 'interesting' fact first!
But it got me thinking, when did we become a generation of dare-devils and thrill seekers? When did just making it home after a rave in Central London in one piece or riding the tube without being verbally assaulted by a drunk or angry commuter become so underrated? I believe London is an assault course in itself, where Londoners wrestle with fate everyday, and have to ask themselves, will I be run over by this taxi driver, whose goal is to clearly to drive as slowly as possible inorder to increase their fare, except for when I am crossing a zebra crossing? or will I be mowed down by a cyclist driving through a red light or down the pavement, or by a commuter who is willing to 'rugby bump' me along with a woman wearing a baby on-board badge out of the way to secure a seat on the tube!
Where was I when everyone else was getting their adventurous highs? And don't say on the couch eating crisp! Whilst I am nonetheless naturally impressed by others wild and crazy exploits, I have learned to accept and be content in the fact that I will never jump out of a moving vehicle, miles above land (by choice), or dive off a cliff with rope attached to my ankle or climb a mountain in Arctic conditions. Instead I will seek comfort in the fact that I take on death defying tasks everyday simply by being a Londoner and I survive!