Jarrod Partridge: "A Two Day Seminar Helped Change My Life"

A guest article by Jarrod Partridge

The precise moment I decided to start living again was in March this year. So after roughly 7 years of just existing, or sliding.

My wife and I found a two day seminar on Living Social called ‘Live it Now’ that promised techniques to build unshakeable confidence. I’m not going to lie, we thought it would be so lame and pointless but wanted to give it a try, and made a pact that we would leave in the morning tea break if it sucked.

Well, from the opening presentation about discovering your passion, I was enthralled. The presenter Matt Catling took us on a journey over the weekend, teaching us how to get massively committed to what we want, how to release and let go of all the limiting beliefs that tell us we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not attractive enough, and how to take massive action.

By the weekend I had discovered that my photography started as a passion, and I tried to turn it into a job, so it became a burden. I decided to forget about trying to sell images, and just go to shoot bike races for the sheer enjoyment of making nice images and interacting with the athletes again.

The greatest discovery for me was that I managed to free myself from the prison of the good opinion of other people, and tap into my true passion, which is helping people through my enthusiasm and excitement for what they’re doing.

Ideas that I’d forgotten I’d had came bubbling back to the surface, and a fire was lit inside of me again, it was brilliant!

See it turns out my journey as a sports photographer, and the even tougher journey of coming back from depression and anxiety, was for a purpose much bigger than just my own happiness.

So, after releasing all the limiting beliefs I had about myself, and after working in corporate companies for over 15 years, I resigned without any money saved up and took a leap of faith. :)

I have a dream to set up a cycling centred education and training centre for school leavers that teaches people there’s alternate ways to learn rather than just the traditional school system.

I didn’t do very well in high school and assumed it was because I was dumb, and then regretted not just ‘trying harder’. This is one of my earliest memories of not being good enough. It turns out the school I was at didn’t suit my visual learning style. Having a teacher read from a text book didn’t paint a picture for me.

Having since learnt a lot about learning styles, I’ve found there are many people in the same boat, especially those who learn kinaesthetically.

So my centre, UpShift Equip, will cater for all learning styles. The plan is people will come in, find their learning style and their passion, and grow from there. Someone might do a bike mechanics course, learn they’re good with their hands, and go on to study carpentry. Or come in and do a barista course then open their own café.

There will be a steady supply of bikes and customers as the plan is to have servicing cost next to nothing, with an option for customers to work on their own bikes using our tools, so our students can mix with customers and assist them with bike maintenance while forming connections.

There’s also going to be a portion of mentoring, where local business owners come and give talks about their personal journeys then mentor students who want to follow their path.

It’s a bit like LinkedIn, but in person.However, it all needs to be funded!That’s where UpShift Tours comes in.

I’m taking people on luxury cycling tours of Asia, kicking off in Bali this November. All rides are fully supported with a local guide, lead moto scout and a spares vehicle that has wheels and components. We stay in a luxury villa in Ubud where all food and drinks are taken care of and have optional activities in the villa such as silver making, cooking classes and massage classes. All guests will receive gift bags with cycling related products in them and everyone receives a post ride massage every day amongst other things.

It’s a bit like being on a professional team while also being on holiday and doing touristy things.

There’s different options for the tours, three times a year will be the ‘gold standard’ tour that has a celebrity rider when I find one, private villa for each person and is a bit longer than the other tours. The next one down is seven nights, and while it’s still in a luxury villa it will be twin share rather than private. The third option is a ‘couples only’ trip where four couples can come and ride together. The rides will be a little shorter and a little easier than the other two tours, and are more about hanging with friends and doing a bit of riding rather than 4-5 hours in the saddle. I’m also trying to see where I can sneak in a Ladies Only trip.

To fund Equip, 30% from all trips will go towards the centre so I can get the ball rolling on opening it later in 2016. There’s a bit more info on the website if you’re interested.

Do I have my life sorted? Hell no. There are still many times when I wonder what the hell I’ve done, worry about being good enough, or hate my reflection in the mirror. But you know what? That’s totally OK!

By staying true to myself, having my goal in mind, and by trying to be the absolute best version of myself every day, I accept and love myself no matter what.