The year was 1996 and I was in high school. A former pro football player (now, as to what his name was, I can not remember) came to out school and spoke to us all about making good choices in life. It was during his speech that I began to think about what he was doing and thought to myself,
“There is NO way I could ever come into my school and do what he is doing!”
And for over two decades that would follow, I thought about how it must have felt to stand before my peers and deliver an impacting speech. I often pretended in the privacy of my own home, that I was giving that speech and that others applauded it.
Speaking however, was something that for years I believed I could never physically do. It was a long and difficult road to overcome 36 years of shyness and even when I first began speaking just over a year ago, I often became nervous to return to my old school and deliver the same type of speech to the students that I was doing very well at everywhere else.
The reality is that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change, and boy did they! This last two years has changed my life forever and because of that, this year I not only reached for the highest bar in my life, but I reached it, took a hold of it and now it is behind me!
On May 14th, I took the stage of Lawrenceville High School and delivered a 20 minute speech that my son Lynden, (who was out of school and helping me) said was my best ever! I spoke with the graduates about not allowing your past to hinder you and knowing the entire world was open and ready for their determination and drive. In the end, the weight of 20 years fell off of my shoulders and onto the stage floor. The feeling left behind is one of joy that I can yet begin to explain. I finished right on time and had a handful of students approach me for my card, which was my personal reward for my work.
I walked out of the school that day more certain of my future and felt my life go to the next level. Always remember that no bar is too high if you keep working day after day to achieve it, once you do, there is not limit to what you will discover!
As Mother’s Day entered into the afternoon, my youngest son, Rylen and I entered the senior hall of Lawrenceville High School to give the gift of advice and knowledge.
With a northern Indiana news station coming in to cover my brand of giving, Rylen and I got a jump on the project ahead of time by hanging quotes and pictures.
When the amazing Taylor Williams from WTWO arrived, we kicked things into high gear! With the film rolling, the Senior Hall became a ‘Field of Dreams’ in many ways. It was such an honor to have an out of state station help shine the light on what will be the final days of this class together.
As the interview wrapped and Rylen had worked himself pretty hard. We heading back to the office to print some quotes I had run short on. Rylen went home to his mother’s to rest, (that boy earned it) and I returned for another hour to finish the project.
As the sun began to set at 8:30p.m., I reflected on just how I had done my absolute best to give my all to the students of LHS. Any job worth doing is worth doing right.
The end result that night was seeing what Taylor put together to help spread the positivity and I have to say thank you to her for her time and hard work and to WTWO of Terre Haute, Indiana for taking interest in this endeavor!
As the school year winds down, I am so honored to be impacting students at three school before summer vacation! On May 11th we take Barney & Lexi to St. Joseph Catholic School, on the 21st we go into Mt. Carmel Grade School!
Between those dates I will be returning to my Alma-mater and speaking with the graduating class of Lawrenceville High School!
This moment is super special because it was 21 years ago that I was in high school and watched a speaker come to our school and I sat in the auditorium and thought to myself, “No way I could EVER do that!”
When I began to radically change my life I thought back to that moment and told myself that as I grew, to go back to my school, look the students in the eyes and tell my story meant that I was reaching back in time and telling the old me, “Sit back, I GOT THIS!”
If not you, then who, if not now, then when?