Thursday, June 5, 2008


So this week has been one of severe changes. So much has happened in my life this week and I was apprehensive to share for a couple or reasons.
First, it is important to note that it has been 90 plus degrees everyday this week. Thats ok, but the wonderful may wx (wx=weather in pilot speak) had fooled me into believing Norfolk summers weren't that bad. Long story short, its too hot here already.

Second, wick and I ripped apart my 5.5 so that I could get the frame powder coated. Sweet. Had to pack up the indy and my other mtn bike to be shipped with my household goods. I sold my motorcycle and really thought about what to do about my quiver of bikes. Considering I am not going to be working for the next 2 years, I prob should take it easy with toys in general. Plus, my health insurance is going to be expensive so I determined that owning/operating a motorcycle prob wasnt the smartest thing in the world. Anyway, I sold it, got a great price and am happy to report that I acquired 3 months rent in the sale. But I seriously consider myself a rider. Thinking about the manner in which I will identify myself, I have never really considered myself a motorcyclist, but I have always considered myself a bike rider. So I am not going to divorce myself from my bikes just because I am concerned about unemployment. I really need to have some kind of identity staying power in this transformation. Long story longer, I feel good about selling the moto and keeping most of my bikes.

So, while I was tearing apart the 5.5 mountain bike, I should have been packing and sorting because the next morning the packers were coming. I needed to keep separate anything I needed in the next 2 months. This task is more difficult than one might consider. Stayed up until 3 and then getting up at 6 allowed me to complete that task. Packers were slow. Rode the Great Bridge ride and participated in the drama (read here). It was a really good ride.

The next day movers were exceedingly slow. I said goodbye to the longwood house and sat in the empty living room for a while enjoying what will surely be the last time I command that kind of square footage. It was good.

I then received an email from Columbia. After being placed on the wait list, the NewYorkers deemed that I was not qualified or special enough to enter their fall full time MBA class. No one likes rejection and I contemplated that event for quite some time. There have been these pivotal moments in my life where events like this have happened. I honestly believe that it is the manner in which you react to this kind of news that defines who you are. I was upset, not at the school, but mostly at myself feeling that I could have prepared differently. However, as most of you know, I have other irons in the fire. God works in mysterious ways, and seriously, not 6 hours later, I received a phone call from Pete Johnson, director of the Haas School of Business (Berkeley) Admissions. He informed me that I was chosen to be a Maxwell Fellow. I was elated and nearly messed my pants.

Brian and Jennifer Maxwell are the founders of PowerBar. I wrote the essays for this scholarship two days after my helicopter rescue incident in Austria. Chris and I had some serious time to kill on questionable trains to Prague. I wrote the essays considering that I was already into the school and had nothing to lose. I had recently turned down 1/2 tuition at UVA and was staring an $8K helo bill in the face. I was worried about finances. So I wrote the essays with a decent amount of passion and in a voice which would be successful, or a dismal failure. I guess the selection committee read my essays on a wed afternoon after a company catered happy lunch. I was informed that I was one of 6 finalists 2 weeks ago. So, the moving out of the house, packing my life, finding a place to live, building the new road bike, shipping off the Scott, racing, and life in general were what I was doing, but thinking about the possibility of earning/winning that scholarship were always at the forefront of my thoughts. I still cant believe I won.

And what a cool company. I'm a rider and I know that fact made a difference. I talked about how riding helps to define my ambitions and work ethic and desires. I am so thankful for the opportunity.

Now all that I have to do is teach myself advance quantitative excel analysis before summer session begins and do a whole bunch of relaxing.

I look forward to this weekend. State Crit champs and 23 mile time trial. You never know.


Oregondann said...

Jim- So cool. I love to brag about you and look forward to working FOR you in the next 10 years...

Emma said...

Wow! Congrats on winning the Maxwell scholarship! That's awesome! Take care and I will call you when I get back in town so we can go for a ride (you gotta go slow though)!

D.B.O. said...

UNEMPLOYMENT AND BIKES GO HAND IN HAND................congratz on the state crit....!

Toon said...

dub - you deserve the fellowship and more, as you are a stellar dude. congrats and enjoy the bay area!

Liz Schleeper said...

Huge congratulations.