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Rebecca Twigg - Maybe sit down for this one
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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3265
Location: Springfield

4/19/19 4:52 AM

Rebecca Twigg - Maybe sit down for this one

What an Olympic medalist, homeless in Seattle, wants you to know
April 15, 2019 at 6:00 am Updated April 16, 2019 at 12:17 pm

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17203
Location: Portland, OR

4/19/19 9:19 AM

Kinda sounds like she hid her possibly questionable mental state from early on in cycling.

I am still wondering what precipitated a parent asking her 16 year old to move out?? Considering the lack of drug use in the article, how do you chase a 16 year old out of the house? Probably a lot more about that whole dynamic unknown...

I see her in droves on the street here. Too many people giving up. And it is nothing new, as a kid I recall being in NYC, Bowery et al. These cities and numbers are staggering.

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2590
Location: hillbilly heaven

4/20/19 10:55 AM

It took me a couple of days to get up the will to read it. What a sad story. I wonder if cycling causes PTSD like synptoms due to the stresses involved?

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6187
Location: Maine

4/20/19 11:29 AM

Sad indeed

Not only a generational cycling talent, but a woman who started college at 14. Obviously she did not have a normal youth/ adolescence. Also I wonder if there may be an element of autism or something similar. Despite great talent and intelligence, and seeming good intentions, she just doesn’t seem to be able to fit in.

I was struck that she doesn’t ride because getting sweaty or wet is hard to manage if you’re homeless; and that she just seeks a space on a sidewalk where she can stand without getting moved along.

The homeless have many stories. There but for....

I hope she finds a way forward.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17203
Location: Portland, OR

4/20/19 1:52 PM

"great talent and intelligence... she just doesn’t seem to be able to fit in"

Seems archetypal to me.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6524
Location: Westchester/NYC

4/22/19 9:58 AM

"I wonder if cycling causes PTSD like synptoms due to the stresses involved?"\

"I wonder if there may be an element of autism or something similar. "

Or it could be ADHD.

Moments of brilliants both at cycling and as a software engineer (sounds like she worked successfully, even if not entirely "fit in"). Though obviously, we should not be doing any armature internet psychiatry.

Also, while it's well known women sport doesn't pay well. Software engineering usually do. It's not clear why she ended up on the street after 2 decades of working in one of the most lucrative profession.

To let her daughter live with relatives at the age of 14 sounds so similar to herself being thrown out of her own home at 16. I wonder if maybe there's some underlying connection? Again, armature psychiatry.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4355
Location: Nashua, NH

4/23/19 8:20 AM

"Armature" vs. "Amature"

April, I'm not picking on you, but I thought that you'd want to know the difference. This is an "armature" (electrical in this case, but there are other types):


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PLee
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 3628
Location: Brooklyn, NY

4/23/19 8:51 AM

Amateur

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4355
Location: Nashua, NH

4/23/19 10:15 AM

D'oh, you caught me!

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6187
Location: Maine

4/23/19 10:17 AM

Actually

I’m sayin’ “Armchair”

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3265
Location: Springfield

4/23/19 3:53 PM

Seems like novel imagery, nuanced use of the language.

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Matthew Currie
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 777
Location: Vermont

4/30/19 10:54 AM

I like the idea of amateur armchair psychology being "armature" psychology. Just spins in place.

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stan
Joined: 14 Feb 2004
Posts: 447

4/30/19 9:36 PM

She really was just a programmer with a two year associate degree. Some stories exaggerated her job. The Seattle newspaper article said she experienced anxiety before going on interviews and never showed for many. She also was fired from her last job. It’s very difficult to get hired when someone has large gaps in employment without explanations.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6524
Location: Westchester/NYC

5/2/19 11:06 AM

I’m not exaggerating when I said computer software is a lucrative profession. Kids right out of school with little experience got hired “to be trained” at ridiculous salaries! No matter what her level, all she need to do would be to show up (to interviews & to work) to collect a pay check for long enough to pay the rent.

Except if this is true, it wouldn’t help:


quote:
The Seattle newspaper article said she experienced anxiety before going on interviews and never showed for many.

That’s a bit surprising though. I would have expected a competitive athlete to be good at managing such anxiety.

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Matthew Currie
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 777
Location: Vermont

5/3/19 8:09 AM

A very long time ago I knew a person who raced as a fairly elite amateur at the now-defunct Killington Stage race, which included professionals. He was a psychologist by trade, and was quite intrigued by the personalities of the most elite racers. What he observed was that many seemed not to do well at the more routine aspects of living, and were often surrounded by nurturing spouses or assistants who took over the job of things like scheduling and making sure they ate their breakfast and whatnot. It sounds as if Rebecca Twigg was a bit like that, except not so lucky in the choice of partners.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4355
Location: Nashua, NH

5/3/19 10:07 AM

FWIW, I've worked with quite a few software developers who were painfully awkward when doing anything other than coding or talking to other developers about coding. Back in the day, it was pretty much accepted that they were just a "different breed" and I wondered how some of them even functioned day-to-day. Decades ago, it may have been accurate to say that this was true of the majority of them, though that's certainly not the case today, as coding is a much more mainstream profession. It seems that it's becoming unusual for young kids to not learn how to code, or at least be exposed to it in school.

Looking at Rebecca, when you combine parental abandonment, the high-pressure, focused and insular existence of a world-class athlete, and an old-school coder's personality (assumed), it's no wonder that she ended up a mess. It's truly a shame and I wish her all the best in getting her life back together. The fact that she's so focused on the plight of other homeless people is pretty amazing and speaks volumes about her character.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6187
Location: Maine

5/3/19 3:48 PM

Personality types

I don’t want to be an armature psychiatrist, but OTOH I represent people with disabilities for a living, and while I certainly can’t unpack Rebecca’s situation, I can make some general observations.

Similar to what Brian posted, some people (some of whom are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum or what used to be called Asperger’s Syndrome), are quite smart and very good at things they like, and can do on their own terms. But if someone (like a boss) asks them to do something different, or even change their process, they can’t handle it and decompensate. And they may misinterpret what is meant as constructive criticism. This is not because they are lazy or self-centered, it is just part of their makeup. Similarly, some people with ADHD have “hyperfocus” on things they like, but are scattered on anything else or if they are taken off task.

I note that Rebeca excelled at pursuit, which is about as straight ahead and unambiguous an event as I can imagine. And Inga Thompson’s comments are consistent with this.

I suspect Rebecca needs help from someone who understands her condition. I hope she can get it.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3265
Location: Springfield

5/3/19 5:38 PM

"She really was just a programmer with a two year associate degree."

Phrasing it like that to an anxious depressed person who's been abandoned and has low self esteem can really punch the ticket to stay under the covers.

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2985
Location: Midland, MI

5/4/19 11:06 AM

Engineers

Speaking as an engineer myself and not in any way trying to make light of Twigg's sad situation, there are a lot of jokes about engineers that ring true. Perhaps one that applies here:

How do you tell if an engineer is an extrovert?

(S)he's looking at your shoes when talking to you.

My observation from working with hundreds of engineers and chemists (and similar) over several decades, I think an awful lot of us (most?) are somewhere "on the spectrum."

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6524
Location: Westchester/NYC

5/4/19 1:35 PM

I’m an extrovert engineer

But I can see why the “majority” of engineers are not.

There’s the stereotype of engineers are “typically” introverts! Let’s face it, engineers spend plenty of time working to solve a problem! That means they’re NOT spending nearly as much time bullshiting!

So, even if they aren’t actually introverts, their social skills will be on average lower if only due to lack of practice!

Add to that those who do have average social skill tend to get promoted out of being actual engineers.

(I probably would have gone that route had it not for computer software engineering happens to be an anomaly where engineers often get paid more than their “managers”)

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4355
Location: Nashua, NH

5/4/19 6:46 PM

"Let’s face it, engineers spend plenty of time working to solve a problem! That means they’re NOT spending nearly as much time bullshiting!"

That could be said for any number of occupations, not just engineers. I know a lot of people with jobs that have minimal human interaction, but they're not introverted because of it. It seems that there is something particular about engineers and specifically software engineers. The question is whether engineering makes them introverts or are introverts simply attracted to engineering disciplines. I suspect that its more the latter.

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2985
Location: Midland, MI

5/6/19 9:28 AM

Latter


quote:
I suspect that its more the latter.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6524
Location: Westchester/NYC

5/6/19 11:58 AM

I wouldn't be too surprised there're a lot more introverts in engineering than in say, marketing!

But social skill can be learned, by both introvert and extrovert. There're actually quite a lot of extroverts with poor social skills. Ever sit next to non-stop babbler on a cross country flight?

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2985
Location: Midland, MI

5/8/19 8:28 AM

Reading


quote:
Ever sit next to non-stop babbler on a cross country flight?


Always bring a book :)

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1623

5/8/19 1:55 PM

Better yet an iPad with headphones, you can read a book on the iPad and have your headphones in just to discourage chatters.

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