“Just follow that ambulance, that’s probably where they’re headed!”
These were the words from my fiancée Tina as we approached Hampton Beach NH to register for my first ever Penguin Plunge, to benefit Special Olympics.
According to the local news website, the ocean was a chilly 37-degrees.
The air temp was hovering near 40…not too bad.
It all started back in December as I prepared to deliver a keynote speech for the NH Association of Realtors Leadership Conference. I was speaking with a gentleman named Jim, discussing acts of kindness and our shared devotion to ‘giving back’.
He asked if I’d ever participated in the Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics.
“That’s the big winter event, right?!?” I asked.
“Yes. This is their 15th year” he replied.
Hmmmm….how should I have answered that?
After all, I generally won’t go dashing into the ocean…even in July.
Reaching out to shake his hand, I said “Yes, I’ll be there!”
Little voices in my head (and my soon-to-be-frigid fingers and toes) screamed “Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?”
Nine days ago, as I registered on-line, I wondered how I’d be able to raise the required donations.
As always, family and friends (including social media connections) came through in spades.
This year’s theme was ‘Zombies’.
With a slight twist, Tina helped me dress up a Zombified version of Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones. She rocked the make-up!
As we hit the waters, hundreds of spectators yelled, cheered and clapped.
Who are the TRUE heroes of this day?
Special Olympians, who celebrate life much more readily and more brightly than many of us.
What was the highlight of the Penguin Plunge, for me?
The moment a Special Olympian saw me leaving the registration table and said “Thank you!”
Why did I do this?
Because I said I would.
It’s that simple.
Being a professional speaker and author of personal development books, I *must* walk my talk. That’s why I chose this career.
Essentially, I cannot live with integrity if I don’t make the effort to live up to my word.
I’ll take this way of living, any day of the week.
How easy is it to live up to your word?
If you feel that you are, then you know how rewarding it can be.
If not, please do yourself the honor of following through on at least one thing this week.
No excuses, no failing to make an effort…just do it.
If your mouth has been writings checks that your heart and mind won’t cash, please consider changing your script.
Did I do anything amazing by running into the ice-cold ocean?
Nope, not at all. If you ask me, my participation was actually the easy part.
The amazing people are the people who made donations, the volunteers who guided me through the registration process, and Jim the Realtor who inspired me to be part of this incredible day.
The *most* amazing people are the Special Olympians who walk *their* talk by joyously participating in their games.
All I did was dress up as a rock star and, with my GoPro camera clutched in my hand (click HERE to see the video), run into the water with hundreds of strangers who had all gathered to celebrate and support a wonderful cause.
Walking your talk is easy, when you believe in your journey.
I believe in mine.
May you all believe in yours…this week, and beyond.