Bastille Day

Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale . Happy Independence Day for the French!

 And so you might ask why focus on yet another “independence day” in the THPL blog.  First we had Canada Day, then then Fourth of July, and now Bastille Day.  Well I suppose the connection to THPL is a bit loose, yes, but at the same time there are a few themes that seem like a legitimate connection from THPL to Bastille Day.

First, to satisfy the Life theme we know that we need to better understand, the world we live in, the traditions that keep us connected to our countries and cultures, and how we fit into a cross border world – not isolating us with just a narrow view only of our local community.  So, yes we do need to think about the fact that other countries celebrate days like Bastille Day.  And while they are similar, to our independence day, they are very different as they represent their unique way as to how they became a sovereign nation. 

Secondly, I feel that we must not forget the spirit and drive and perseverance that the revolutionaries brought to their new nation.  They wanted and sought more of what we now call high-performance, and they would not stop until they achieved their stated objective (indeed they were driven in their own way to THPL). Thus they became role models for us, regardless of the fact that a lot of time has passed it is clear that their ways and approaches are as relevant today as they ever were.

And lastly (or thirdly as I love things in threes) today the Tour de France was again riding to compete for the famed yellow jersey and a stage win up the legendary slopes of Mont Ventoux.  It was an epic day and one that the French so wanted one of their boys to win – it is a big day when a Frenchman wins a stage on the Tour and even bigger if they do it on Bastille Day.  Alas, it was not to be,  but the performance that the current Yellow Jersey holder put in today to win the stage and keep his overall lead was remarkable.  Having, myself, ridden up the slopes of Ventoux, I can only tell you that the boy was possessed today.  He rode at speeds that I could only dream of.  The climb, all 12 miles of it, are really tough and what better day to ride one of the penultimate climbs of France that on Bastille Day.

Loving live, yes, on Bastille Day