New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?
I am really, really behind on this one. I’ve been thinking about it for a really long time–there are several new people in my life currently, people I’d really like to give a shout-out to here, but I must confess that the person who sticks out like a big bruised thumb is not new at all.
I speak of one Colin True.
Why pick Colin? The answer is manyfold. First, our relationship is indicative of the randomness that makes up the best of friendships. (I met one of my closest friends to date on a subway platform.) Second, I am a firm believer in serendipity. Third, I am also a firm believer in asking for something you want. Fourth, I believe in networking. Finally, I believe in the concept of working on your true passion.
Here’s why Colin fits all of these parameters:
1. Random humor: We met while I was working on ARFE, a not-for-profit dedicated to making the environment a key priority for outdoors athletes. His company, Timberland, was a key sponsor via their SmartWool and GoLite brands, and Colin was a part of that. One day, in confirming a meeting, I riffed off some random old English–something stupid, like “My good sir–I am herewith confirming our rendezvous at the hour of blah blah and at the watering hole of so-and-so…” Imagine my surprise when Colin replied in like fashion, even throwing in a farmboy (The Intern) and signing himself Lord of GoLite. I about crapped in my pants laughing. I wish I’d kept that stupid e-mail.
2. Serendipity: Years later—and I do mean years—I was sitting at the airport in Phoenix, on my way to Las Vegas for Interbike, when I had a thought: Would GoLite or Timberland, and therefore, Colin, also be going to Interbike? I sent a text message. Alas, Colin was no longer with GoLite or Timberland, but he was in the Phoenix airport. Yeah.
3. Just ask: Colin and his lovely family included Jim and me on an invitation to Fat Tire Narnia. We speak, of course, of the famed weekend that involves mountain biking, good beer, and friendship. Of course we said yes. I never expected that we’d be included in Colin’s initial invitation, but I’m glad it happened. Much hilarity ensued. You never know who’s going to say yes, and what will come of it, but you’ll really never know if you don’t ask. Jim, too, learned a lesson here: Be brave, get to know new people. Perhaps you will meet someone who will kick your ever-lovin’, mountain-biking patootie, finally.
4. Networking: Ours is a winding path–ARFE had its heyday in 2006!–but I’m glad we stayed in touch. There are many new opportunities, some work-related, others not, to be had if you just ensure that you stay in touch, and life is so much richer if you can let your brain free-associate. People are whole packages, gifts to be opened. Everyone out there has something to offer you, and it behooves everyone to consider that in our everyday interactions.
5. Work can be your passion: Colin is a trail-runner, a mountain-biker, a snowshoer. His family shares his passion for all of these things. More important, in the time I’ve known him, Colin has worked on Timberland, GoLite, at CitySports, and now is a key player at a new company called Waterbox. Waterbox is going to be a raging success because Colin and Canice, the founder of Waterbox, live the lifestyle they’re preaching, at the intersection of style, art, and the outdoors.
Colin’s wife Carli is a teacher, and she, too, follows her passion. I hope their daughter Lily does the same with her life. She’s got great role models.