Updated: Jan 14, 2021
With this, the first blog on my new website I am officially inaugurating myself into my own position of office.
I appreciate that in normal circumstances one wouldn't usually make up their own rules when it comes to formal and important occasions such as this, but evidently, these are unusual times. And whilst I would like to confirm that I am not taking leadership lessons from an incumbent megalomaniac, as far as I am aware, there are no other charlatans passing themselves off as having the skills to do the job (in this case, to be me) and therefore the position was available for me accept.
So here I am, ready and excited to share my thoughts, ideas and experiences for the betterment of athletic performance. In my first public address I would like to share with you a part of the story so far and cast some expectations for the future.
THE BRAND STORY
My forthcoming contribution to the field of athletic performance will be a representation of my personal brand. This is a term that gets used a lot, but one that I believe has become misunderstood.
There is a difference between a personal brand and what is more often being done, personal branding. One has far more depth than the other.
A personal brand has been defined as:
"A widely-recognized and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large."
Whereas personal branding is:
"A conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry".
This project is about my personal brand and as such I intend to represent an authentic and true version of myself.
I intend to share experiences and the knowledge gained throughout my career, what I'm currently learning and my ever-evolving understanding and interpretation of how we can progress athletic performance.
My aim is to communicate and share it with morality and ethical integrity with those who choose to engage with me.
THE BRAND ICON
In 2014 I got heavily invested in training calisthenics and I thought that my social media handles should represent this chapter of endeavour. So my online identity became TimVsGravity.
The concept was simple. Progressive calisthenics is all about mastering ones own bodyweight against the forces that pull us towards the ground.
6 years have elapsed since then and now in 2021, TimVsGravity means more to me than whether I can do a handstand or muscle up.
Now it represents intentional movement against the path of least resistance.
Robert Frost encapsulated this perfectly when he wrote:
"Two roads diverged in a wood,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference".
When everyone else turns left, I can't help myself but wonder what is down the path on the right. This mindset has shaped the decisions I have made in my life and my explorative, solution seeking nature within athletic performance. Therefore it felt appropriate that this should be captured in my personal brand.
Recruiting the services of my extraordinarily talented friend Pete Gray from Big Appetite Illustration I gave him a very loose brief and some rough ideas. What he came back with was his own original interpretation and something quite special.
**Please take a second to give Pete a follow on Instagram, he's an incredible talent and one of the nicest guys I know**
Perspective and context is everything and as such the brand icon is designed to be multi-faceted. What you see depends on how you look at it.
The 'T' represents my name.
The geometry shows structure and simplicity.
The arrow indicates upward movement and progression.
The two lines underneath are the electrical signal for earth.
But put it all together and you will see a face, deep in thought.
What we see and think is a representation of our own experiences, beliefs, interpretations and worldview. I believe it is imperative that we challenge ourselves to consider wider perspectives whilst not holding too tightly to what we think is correct. Athletic performance is complex and as much as we think we know, no one has all the answers.
Einstein knew this when he said:
'The measure of intelligence is the ability to change'.
THE GREAT COMMISSION
I hope that my time in office is long and fruitful. I have accumulated some knowledge so far but there is much more to explore.
As someone with a desire to bring people along on journeys with me, I am excited to share what I learn as a walk down untrodden paths, swim against the tide and resist the urge to be pulled towards the centre of mass.
THE FIRST REQUEST
I want this project to be marketed ethically. There is so much broken practice in the way social media controls our thoughts and influences our behaviour. Indeed the platforms possess strong gravitational forces of their own.
I passionately want to get information that is of value in the hands of those who want and need it.
So my request is simple.
If any of my content, in any format and on any platform provides something of value that enhances your understanding or practice, please share it.
There is nothing more powerful than a personal recommendation so tags, forwards, retweets, comments and shares is something that I would hugely appreciate.
Finally, if you want to come along on the journey it would mean the world to me if you joined my mailing list. Just put your details in the boxes at the bottom of the page.
And with that, I would like to close my first public address.