Of all the things I thought I’d ever be grateful for, throwing up was definitely never on the list growing up, funny how things change.
It was the last day of the conference, the best year ever blueprint with Hal Elrod and John Bergoff
We were getting towards the end of the afternoon and just starting to get ready for the final set up before everyone came out after Hals wrap up keynote speech taking life head on.
That’s when it hit me, I smelled something that my body clearly didn’t agree with and within an instant I was on the ground. I blacked out for a second and had a cluster of absence seizures followed by some moments of silence. I could hear a girl in the background saying are you okay but I didn’t have the energy to say yes but I knew I was fine. I just needed to start breathing. I knew I could take control of the situation and by simply breathing I could become strong enough to be able to talk again and even get up off the floor making my way back to my seat. So that’s what I did, I just kept breathing.
After a few moments everything seem back to normal. We finish setting up the table before heading in to listen to Hal give his final keynote speech for the conference. This was my favorite speech of Hals, The one that resonated with me the most, considering we had similar life challenges and shared the same passion for inspiring people to move past their limitations. As I sat in the back, empowered by his wisdom and courage to share his story, I looked around at the audience, listening so intensely, clinging to his every word. I was so proud of hal for all that he has accomplished. It was so cool to see his immense growth over the years.
But then it hit me, what was that feeling? “Oh no! are you serious?!?” went through my mind as I quickly scanned the room again but this time looking for my easiest exit. Was I about to throw up? I reminded myself that I just needed to breathe and everything would be ok however as breathing proved to be unsuccessful it became evident that whatever was inside of me did not belong there and did not want to wait any longer before leaving my body.
I gathered myself as eloquently and quietly as possible cognizant of my surroundings. Not wanting to disturb the room full of engaged participants, I slipped out the back and barely made it to the trashcan before I began vomiting.
The trashcan was located conveniently right next to a water station and napkins, both of which I needed but was not in the position to get for myself. I was too busy consumed with what was going on inside my body and what I would need to do to regain my strength before the 200 conference participants flooded out of the room.
Just then, when I clearly needed it the most, an angel appeared. His name was Nick, he was the videographer for the conference and had stepped out for a moment to clear his thoughts before debuting the video he had created highlighting the weekends events.
He saw me puking and rushed to my aid, instinctively he gave me water, napkins and guided me outside so that I could breathe some fresh air. What a huge blessing this was, I was literally all alone, visibly disheveled, in my most urgent time of need and a stranger came to my aid.
After a few moments I began to feel better, the fresh air was helpful and friendly face was comforting. I assured him that I would be okay as he expressed how sorry he was that he had to leave me to go back inside, after all his video was about air and his origional intention was only to step out for just a moment to clear his thoughts before showing his work to 200 excited attendees.
The next hour was all kind of a blur, I remember that a few minutes of breathing had helped me to feel a bit better but then it hit me again. I found myself all alone outside people in my life up on the tree. In the middle of this ordeal, a wave of gratitude came over me. I feel calm and grateful and appreciative for all the blessings in my life. I even said a little prayer, “thank you so much for the ability to release these harmful toxins from my body, for they do not serve my higher good!”
Wow what a transformation, I marveled at how far I’ve come, earlier on in life when challenges like this would arise, I find myself thinking negative things like ugh again why is this happening to me? Why does my body hate me so much?
Clearly I have come along way but my journey was not over. I was filled with excitement and gratitude I realized that I had acquired the knowledge and skills to take life head on. I knew my circumstances did not define me but the way I responded would play significant role in my future personal growth and health journey.
I began breathing again, totally consumed by the nature around me. I thought the worst was over and began to gather myself so that I can head back inside and help the leadership team finish off the conference strong. Just hit me again, I began throwing up off the railing of the ramp I was walking up.
This time it was not so eloquent and now I need an outfit change. I thought to myself, am I really about to walk in to a room full of 200 excited people and I’m a disheveled mess? I tried my best to make it inside without being noticed, but I had been noticed, by a friend who I’d invited to the conference. He asked if I was okay and I couldn’t even respond. There were so many things going through my head the loudest being where was the nearest trashcan. I couldn’t believe it four times in one day? I had been so strong, what happened? As I pondered what I could’ve done to better prepare myself, I was again filled with gratitude. They even started to laugh as I change my clothes, hearing hals message running through my mind, “you have five minutes to be unhappy about any situation you are put in front of, but then you have to move on, because you can’t change it” I knew I had many options, I could just stay in the leadership room and take a nap after all, I had just helped to run a conference for three days straight, working long hours on top of the series of episodes the past hour that significantly diminished the amount of remaining energy I had which seemed like the more logical option however that is not what I did. Instead of taking time to rest and probably let those thoughts of self pity creep into my head, I decided to take action. Once I finish getting dressed, I brush my teeth and wash my face drink some water and took a series of long deep breathes. I smiled as I ventured back out into the sea of 200 energetic participants who were all so excited to thank the leadership team, the people who had put so much hard work and effort into making this conference life-changing. I bounced back into action just the right moment, I was flooded with thank you’s for my part in helping to make their conference unforgettable. You often fail to recognize the profound impact you have on others. Many of the thank you’s came from people who said the smallest gesture on my part had made the biggest difference in their experience. I was again grateful and I have decided to use my remaining energy to finish out the conference room rather than doing the more sensible thing letting my body rest. The best part was that I pulled myself together in time to see nicks video, which was outstanding. He was exceptional at capturing all the heartfelt moments the conference had created.
I spent the next 3 hours helping to break down and clean up with the rest of the leadership team. There were moments when I needed to rest, and I did. I know where my limits are and I was certianly not trying to test the waters, however at the same time, you never know what your truly capable of until your pushed to your limits and you decide to push back a bit.
I’d like to highlight another angel in this story, Geri Azinger. She understood I was struggling, having to choose where to direct my remaining spoons for the day and jumped into action offering her assistance. . It was already starting to get dark and we were 2 1/2 hours away from home. As I was making my plan of whether I would crash somewhere in San Diego and have the energy to help finish cleaning up the conference or leave now and attempt to make the drive back to LA, she stepped right in offering to drive us back to LA. It was so kind of her considering she had a flight out of San Diego the next day back home to Kansas City. She didn’t worry about it she said we just take care of it the next day, and that’s exactly what we did. She made sure I got home safely and switched her flight to leave out of LA the next day instead of keeping to her origional plan. I couldn’t have been more grateful. It’s times like these, that I couldn’t help but be grateful. Through every experience, there’s always a silver lining, there are always angels, and there are always reasons to smile.