Throughout my weight-loss journey, I've really only been able to share my experiences with my friends and family, as well as my trusty blog readers. I'm not sure how wide of a net that casts, though I've talked to a lot of people about it.
Next week, though, I will have the chance to talk about my weight-loss journey as well as my marathon challenge to a whole new batch of people. On Sunday is the Loper Banquet, and I'm going to be one of the speakers on the evening.
That sound you just heard was a rock sinking to my stomach.
I got a preview of what I can expect during yesterday's meeting. All the first-time marathoners got up to talk about our experiences, and since my pace leader had asked me to bring in my bib, I got the chance to share that with everyone.
I wasn't expecting to talk so of course I had nothing prepared, and since I was one of the last people to give a talk I had plenty of time to get nervous about it. And I stammered my way through my talk (though I did get a loud round of applause when I read what I'd written on my bib) and got choked up on a couple of parts. I did tell everyone that I was talking at the banquet next week so I was going to save my good stuff for then, so I gave myself a bit of an out.
I suppose there's really only one way to go from here. My little talk yesterday was not great, so I can only improve upon that next week.
So I'll be spending the first couple of days this week to prepare for my speech. I want to get it done by Wednesday or Thursday so I can have time to practice it. The way I like to write a speech is to just kind of do it in outline form. I don't want to go up there and read something to people - I'd prefer to just keep it informal, or at least give the impression that it's informal. That's what I did when I gave the best man speech at my brother Danny's wedding and I felt comfortable then... well, not really, but the speech gave the impression that I was comfortable when I really wasn't.
I'll most likely be nervous during the speech, actually nervous during most of this week. I guess that's just how things are, right? Not everyone likes to stand in front of people and talk, and I certainly am not a fan of that. And then to talk about myself... I'm actually not one to talk about myself too much. Blog about myself, yeah, of course I can and do do that, but I'm more gifted with the written word, not so much the spoken word.
Still, one thing that always gets me motivated is to look at before-and-after pictures.
One of the things too that will be part of my speech is a photo display. Somehow there are going to be pictures of myself on display during my speech. Not sure what it will look but one of the pictures I submitted was the ghastly picture on the left. And there are plenty more on there of the pink-clad marathoner on the right.
I suppose I do have a good tale to tell. After our talk on Sunday, one of the founding members of the Lopers (club has been around since '76) said that of all the people who had lost weight to join the Lopers and run a marathon, only one other person had lost more. There was some fellow before who had weighed about 360, I was told, who dropped the weight and joined the Lopers and ran a marathon. I was number two, since I wasn't quite at 360. I might have been on my way, but I was about 50 pounds short of that.
So there's a good story to tell here I suppose. I just have to dig deep, take out the best parts and organize it. And then I have to not stammer through my speech next Sunday in order to make sure the story is told properly.