On a bike with one wheel

From the archives, my proudest achievement as a 10-year-old (not the tan lines…)

This week I gave my first Toastmasters speech in several years, as part of a new club. I spoke about being weird, and how being different attracts attention.

I learned this when I learned how to ride the unicycle as a kid. Unicycling isn’t a normal activity (shocker!), and when you cruise past on a “bike that’s missing a wheel” (and some bystander would always enjoy pointing out), people take notice.

As a shy kid, I would usually try to avoid attention of this kind, but the problem is, I liked doing weird things. Still do. So I’m trying to get comfortable being different, and being noticed for it.

James Victore has pointed out: “The things that make you weird as a kid will make you great tomorrow.” If he’s right, I’m going to be pretty darn great tomorrow…

After the speech, someone noted that, actually, everyone’s weird.

But that’s a good thing. We need you to be weird.

As usual, immediately following giving my speech, I stumbled across a quote that summarized what I’d been trying to say the whole time. Here it is:

“Blessed are the weird people:
poets, misfits, writers
mystics, painters, troubadours
for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.”


― Jacob Nordby

If you’re weird, keep doing it. Help us expand our perspective and see the world through different eyes.

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