It’s been a very enjoyable week in the Family Matters household. La Gidg returned from her holidays (North Wales, wet, lots of indoor activities) to blazing sunshine and day long adventures in swimming pools so that was the daytime covered. And then in the evenings we have been watching the daily coverage of the Tour de France, one day the peloton actually went past my mum’s house in France! (we waved, of course). So the cherry on the cake has to have been enjoying SKY team’s victory last Sunday when Bradley Wiggins and his team cycled onto the Champs Elysees and into the sporting history books.
It’s been wonderful to watch Team SKY operating. There’s more than one world class athlete in the team and yet they have worked together to ensure the victory of their leader and the group. World Champion Mark Cavendish has taken his turn alongside the other team members to deliver water bottles to his colleagues during the day, young rider Chris Froome who could potentially have won the race himself set aside his own ambitions to ensure the triumph. I found this inspiring and emotional, the idea of people pulling together to achieve something as a team. In my experience it’s getting rarer and rarer. And I think we should all be trying to find ways to increase that in our lives.
Another thing that I loved was watching Bradley himself being exactly that, himself. He’s a fan of all things Mod, he’s a family man, he hates drug use in the sport of cycling (his own father was a drug smuggler, he used to put drugs in Bradley’s nappy to get them through border controls), he’s articulate, he writes his own column in the Guardian and he won’t let people manipulate him. How refreshing to watch him being eccentric, grumpy, joyful and outspoken. As a punter I’ve loved watching and listening to him, and I can imagine that the press love, love, LOVE him as well. And the most engaging thing about him? He speaks his mind, he is authentic.
When you work in P.R. (as I do in Mallorca) you can walk a dangerous line. You want people to stick to the ‘party line’ and not say things that may show the business in a negative light, but then if you prevent the individual from being able to express themselves, you run the risk of having a robot representing you. Look at some other sports personalities for example, even if they’ve had the worst day ever on the track or the field, they’ve got to come up with something positive to say about the team, for fear of upsetting (or worse, losing) the sponsor. As Jessie J sang a couple of nights ago in BCM Square, it shouldn’t be all about the money, money, money. But in so many cases it is. So what makes Bradley so appealing? He isn’t afraid. And that is what is holding a lot of us back I think now, fear. I read a book once about recommended that you ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. Be bold.