“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”
My team Share Your Strong had the opportunity this week to do another motivational speech. This speech was done at a small school in Tifton Georgia one of the young ladies I have been training for a few years attends. Her mother asked me to come speak to their cheer champ on health and fitness… When she asked me there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that arose, because the age group was exactly what I enjoyed most speaking with so I set the date. And I knew exactly what it was most I needed to emphasize on…
I arrived at the school and Anna’s mom met me at my car. I walked in and watched the beautiful ladies do their tumbling and cheering routine they have been practicing for a week… As I watched these ladies I couldn’t help but be reminded of when I was their age. Then I suddenly knew in my heart this talk would be very special for them and for myself….
I began to walk over to the room I would be delivering the speech at with Anna’s mom. As I walked I said a small prayer to myself as I normally do every time I speak, only this time seemed a little different. The night before I didn’t feel any nervousness arise or question in my mind I felt a peace about it all. You see, delivering this speech hasn’t been the easiest thing for me to do. In fact, I have looked at it as an overcoming. Overcoming a lot of emotion that still comes along with it when I talk of certain areas of my life… There have been times I have given this speech and completely lost it, and in front of a whole room of people across the entire globe. But this time was different I felt it in my heart when I saw the ages of these ladies I was about to talk with. Because they are all the same age I was when I was experiencing all the unknowingness in my own heart from my brain injury… So there wasn’t any doubt in my mind the wisdom and advice I was about to share wasn’t going to benefit each of them.
All the ladies sat down and were all having something to eat at the time and Anna’s mom introduced me. I glanced around the room and felt an ease then I began to speak…
I brought a book my brain injury story was published in and I began reading it to them…. After I finished I looked out at them all and I said, this is why health and fitness is so important to my life today. Because 24 years ago when I was your age I was on life support, I wasn’t the strong person you see standing before you all today. I was a young frail girl who had experienced a brain injury with so many questions in my heart and mind… They all were looking at me in deep focus and interest of what I was saying and it sent shivers down my spine… Then I said, in 1993 I was on life support, then a wheel chair then a walker… I paused, and then I smiled and said but today 2017, I am the mother, the marathon runner, I am the fitness trainer you see before you…
“Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.” ~Brené Brown
I glanced out at each of them and I said I say each of those words with so very much honor and pride in my heart. Because I remember the pain and struggle that came with becoming all this… And it hasn’t been an easy task. Then I said but I did not give up… I knew in my heart what I was capable of no matter what voices I was being subjected to… I trusted my soul to lead me through those horrible days of 1993. I haven’t let anything hold me back, including negative voices saying I would never walk again, then I looked out at the ladies again and said this stands strong for my life today. I don’t allow anything to hinder my focus of what I know in my heart I am capable of. I made sure I looked at them all sternly and said my message to each of you is the same… You can accomplish anything you set your heart out for… Do not be subject to any negativity, RISE ABOVE negative comments or anything you know in your heart you can do better than or more than… Make the decision for your life to be the best you can be and you will be, and I can say that most confidently…. Just as I made my decision not to stay in a wheel chair you can do the same and so very much more….
The girls were all in silence listening to each of my words in awe and interest… And this brought so much joy and even tears to my eyes to see. I could feel in my heart the words I was conveying was helping them to understand my point I was bringing across.
On my drive home I couldn’t help but look back over my speech with a smile. I could see how the peace that came over me initially was the knowing I have always had in my heart, the knowing that when I looked at those young ladies. All sitting around looking at me, all the same age I was when I nearly lost my life. I knew with every ounce of my soul they needed to hear my words more than ever at this time in their life….The same words I needed at their age and had to discover on my own… It was a pure joyful moment for my soul, delivering this message… But honestly I believe it was more than joy I felt, it was more like a holy, divine moment. And all I can say is I am most grateful I have reached this place in my life that I recognize it all….