Mornings were the hardest. Waking up to the knowledge I was a cancer patient delivered a crushing blow. I knew that I needed help to simply find the will to get out of bed. Two little boys needed their mom, so I asked my college roommate to call me at 6:45 before she left for work. Hearing the voice of my precious friend reminded me I was not alone. We cried, prayed, and even laughed. She has called me almost every morning for the last 15 years. Even when I grow complacent, she is the one that holds to this essential habit that has sustained us through the ups and downs.
I was lost. A divorced single parent uncertain of the next step. Netflix and I were in a deeply destructive relationship, as I spent far too many hours staring at a screen. In an effort to keep my son with special needs active, I hired a personal trainer. For the past 3 years, Daniel, Grant and I have met weekly to perform a myriad of exercises I never believed either of us could accomplish. The transformation that has occurred reaches far beyond the physical benefits. Each of us has experienced healing and uncovered hidden strengths as we cheer for and celebrate each other.
He travels around the world training industry leaders, but always finds the time to answer every one of my questions. Alan Hoffler was one of the first people I called when I made the decision to leave education and focus solely on my speaking and writing. His mentoring has enabled me to discover my voice. Long before I had provided any evidence, he believed in me. He was in the wings when I realized one of my life visions of participating in a TEDx event. As my coach, he was to sit backstage with a copy of my speech and serve as backup should I draw a blank. Prior to me taking the stage, I noticed his hands were empty, as he uttered, "You're a professional. If you miss a word or two, the audience won't know. Just keep telling your story." He has pushed me to reach for goals that I never thought possible.
The individuals mentioned above serve as examples of the countless friends, family members, medical professionals, clients, and even strangers that have impacted my journey. We will never realize our bold, audacious visions in isolation. Many of us refuse to ask for help for fear of looking weak, incompetent, or just plain needy. We tragically remain silent and stuck trying to move forward in our own strength. Look around you and take notice of the talented people just waiting to be put in the game. These most valuable players might just be the key enabling you to reach your greatest victories.