I met a remarkable woman at the National Speaker's Association - Tasha Danvers, a medalist at the Beijing Olympics. She had a compelling story of overcoming injuries, racism, and poverty to become a world class athlete. Her event was the 400 meter hurdles. Oddly enough, she didn't realize the message of her story. I immediately saw her message - that we all have to clear hurdles to win at life. That she had taken everything that life had thrown at her and "cleared" it.
It was an obvious message, but not to her. It's difficult for people to see the amazing messages in their life. I offered to coach her. It was a perfect relationship since she needed a speech coach and I needed a running coach. I was getting stopped by my obstacles - asthma, time constraints, the "House of Cards" TV show, and short stubby legs that don't like to run unless they're running towards an ice cream store.
Having an Olympian as my running coach quickly pushed me into my fear zone. When she made me jog 5 miles without stopping, I thought I was gonna die. But, she insisted I could do it. I took her out of her comfort zone when I pushed her to open up and tell her personal story. That made her feel as if she was gonna die. The results - she did her speech and got a standing ovation.
It amazes me how we can't see the messages in our life stories. If an Olympian can't see the value of her stories, how are we ordinary, non-medal winning mortals going to do it? You don't have to be an Olympian to be a champion. I'm am equally awed by the courageous people who have transformed disastrous childhoods into productive lives; the comics who can turn problems into punch lines; and the people who have consciously chosen to put others ahead of themselves. To tell the truth, I'm actually more impressed with people who have climbed out of a depression than climbed Kilimanjaro.
We all are looking for the meaning of our life, and guess what? It's right there - in the journeys we've taken to get past our hurdles.
My 10K race is coming up Sunday, August 11, 2013. I've told you all about it. Now I have to show up. Matter of fact, come join me in Santa Monica. No hills! At the very least -- you'll have a great story to tell.
And if you want help getting past your hurdles, join me at "The Message of You" Conference - as it just might change your life.
What are your hurdles? Let me know on my blog here. I love to hear your comments!