Today, I did not suck! I thought I would. I thought I would fall flat on my face, but I didn’t.
Today I gave a presentation to 140 6th graders about being Active. As a part of our 6-12 CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) program, this year the 6th graders will focus especially on Action.
I started by asking…do I look athletic to you? And surprisingly they said yes. What? I look athletic? When did that happen? I then said… “What do you think is the longest distance I have ever run?” One boy yelled “2 Kilometers!” I said “Well thank you. Yes I have run two kilometers.” Then I called on a girl in the back. “I think you have run 20 kilometers.” Getting closer. “I have run 4 more than 20 and I am not athletic. In fact, I didn’t even run Track in high school.” Amongst the whoa’s, I won instant street cred.
The point of the presentation was to get kids excited about Action. We want to get kids thinking about ways that they can be active and live a balanced lifestyle. It could be as simple as riding their bike, playing a game of whatever in the street, or dancing with friends.
But ultimately they must choose an Action Mentor, someone they feel a connection to that is active. They could choose a famous athlete, a family member, or even a person from the past who embodies Action. I chose Jessica Watson. An Australian girl of 16 decided to sail around the world all by herself. She was alone for 7 months on the open ocean. No phone, no TV, only the sea and its waves as her company. When she arrived on shore after she achieved her goal, she arrived as a changed girl. Action had changed her life. Her prime minister called her a hero but she disagreed. “I don’t consider myself a hero, I’m an ordinary girl who believed in a dream. You don’t have to be anything special to achieve something amazing. You just gotta have a dream, believe in it, and work hard.”
Isn’t that what we want for all of our kids? Have a dream. Believe in your dream. Work hard to achieve that dream. Whether they want to become a Nobel winning scientist or a marathon runner, we need to encourage them to go for the dream. Work hard. Persevere.
And the next time I have a little fear before a presentation, I will remember Jessica Watson. She sailed around the world, she took a risk, and she did not suck.