In March, I was part of the Speaker’s Spotlight Showcase, the event tag line is, “Live, Learn, Leave Inspired”. I love this kind of thing! A number of really talented speakers speak on a wide range of topics; each is given 20 minutes – (which for a speaker can kind of be a bit stressful! 20 minutes? Do I hit the fun stuff, or the substance? better yet – how can I cover both!) – and there is so much to learn from everyone. It’s awesome!
It was just after the Sochi Olympics so it’s no surprise that that was where my mind was. I had recently written a blog – Start Happy Finish Happy, and I went from there.
I’m pretty sure that this talk was the start of a new presentation topic for me – it really is fun and ties in a lot of ideas that I’ve been working on for a long time. Here’s a quick clip..
This is definitely the type of post that should have lots of pictures but I’m going to wait for the good ones!
Sunday April 6th – was an incredible day. Deanah Shelly and I got married.
It started with a crazy idea way back in December: “Why not have a surprise wedding?!”
I’ve a life philosophy that one should surround herself with talented people and then seek and take their advice as much as possible, so when my good friend Catherine Farqaharson, a fabulous photographer who has been to countless gorgeous weddings, said that she LOVED the idea – the crazy idea of a surprise wedding became a real plan.
This wasn’t to be the “normal” surprise wedding where the guests arrive to what they think will be just a dinner party or just a bbq only to realize that they are at a wedding, but rather the kind where one of the brides(!!) arrives to what she thinks will be just a brunch. I’ll tell you, planning a wedding really isn’t so tough – it’s keeping it as a complete surprise from one of the brides – that’s what adds quite a twist!
Deanah and I have been engaged for over a year and a half – and while we’ve talked about locations, seasons, guest lists, style, form and function… we could never get even close to picking a date. From the day you tell people that you are engaged the next question is always, “When’s the date?”. It was starting to become a sensitive subject for us because everyone asks when? and we continued to have no answer. West coast? East coast? a destination? Summer? Winter? With respect to our guests there could be health and accessibility issues – so how do we pick when and where? In trying to please everyone we could not decide on anything.
So I jumped in. I didn’t tell Deanah – but I jumped waaay in. I decided that I would take everything we had talked about and pick a date. Read on…
Truth – “Fake it until you make it” doesn’t work at the Olympics. Lack of preparation and training will be exposed. Experience can go a long way to fill in the gaps – but there is a reason that the best way to feel at the Olympics is ready. Confidence, swagger and opportunities reside in those who are ready. That is the truth.
Dare – I dare you to believe that you can be the best in the World. Done that already? I dare you to do it again. That challenge is a pressure that weighs on every Olympian’s chest. The best part is – they choose it to be that way. We learned a long time ago that there is no courage without fear.
The moment where we test ourselves against our goals can be described as a Can I? Will I? moment – it is a moment of controlled fear. In the flash of that moment we present ourselves with question – we are fully aware of all that makes us “normal” and we try to remember all that makes us ready to do something special – and we ask – Can I do this? And more importantly Will I do this? This is where an Olympian is dared to step up – or step out.
Consequences – This is why the Olympics are different: one moment every 4 years, sometimes one opportunity in a lifetime. The pursuit of Olympic success is more passion than pay; a young lifetime of committed time, health and injury management and constant dedication to the smallest detail. All of which is gambled against a cadre of others who are just as committed. At the start line – every athlete goes ‘all-in’.
This gamble and the reality of this all or nothing consequence is why we catch our breath when an athlete we’ve never heard of before, from a country we’re not from and in a sport we don’t follow falls that we catch our breath. This is why our heart races as our Canadian Team athletes chase fractions of points, seconds and scoring opportunities. We know that all the emotion at the finish line has more to do with all the speed bumps; the trials and tribulations of getting there as much as the result.
I went to 3 Olympics as an athlete. It seems increasingly impossible that I had five opportunities to test myself and surreal that I (we) won three times (twice in ’92, again in ’96), took bronze (’96) in the fourth and had to withdraw with and injury (2000) as my end.
God I love watching the Olympics now. I am so inspired watching these athletes – my peers now – rise up to the Truth, Dare and Consequences of their Olympic Can I? Will I? moments.
What could possible be interesting to watch when they are done? Bring on the PanAm’s, Bring on Rio.