Well, Sunday was my long-anticipated speech and while it would be nice to post the speech here underneath, I can't. I wanted Mrs. LB to watch my speech instead of having to worry about recording it so that was that. My blog/Loper buddy Angie was there and said she tried to record it, so we'll see if the video works.
In any case, the speech went well. I was nervous about it and worried about it for awhile but it came out the way I'd wanted it to.
Some of the highlights:
* I thanked Mrs. LB before I started. I said that "Without her, I wouldn't be here today" which is the truth. I wouldn't be the person I am now without my wife. That old cliche "Behind every great man is a great woman"... well, I'm not a great man but my wife is certainly a great woman. But I couldn't resist setting up a bit of a joke because that earned some applause and when it died down I said "... because my wife drove tonight, so I would have needed a ride."
* I had a long-ish speech prepared (it was about 18 minutes) but I was told I'd have 3-5 minutes before the speech. But the speaker before me went long so I figured I'd condense my speech some but still managed to talk about my journey. I talked about weighing in at 308.6, how 7 minutes on the elliptical and 8 minutes on the bike led to three days of soreness and how I lost 10, 13 and 11 pounds the first three months, respectively.
* I'd submitted some pictures and the first one that came up was one of Big LB, and it drew some gasps. Seriously. I think people were like "Wow, is that the same guy?"
* I talked about my weight loss, how I lost 60 pounds with trainer and then 60 by myself in 2007, and how I took up running after that. After briefly discussing my progression as a runner, I talked about how and why I joined the Lopers, how I'd promised my wife that I ever wanted to run a marathon I'd join the Lopers since she was the one who suggested the Lopers in the first place.
* After a brief recap of the marathon and talking about what I'd written on my bib, I closed out with this. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to end it but I figured it out. This was the picture that was on display for most of the speech:
"If there's anything I would like for you to remember from this speech, it is this. What I wrote at the bottom of my bib is what I believe. Nothing is impossible. Because if you would have seen that guy four years ago and someone would have told you that he was going to lose 120 pounds and run a marathon, you would have said 'That's impossible.' And I'm here today to show you that it's not."
I walked off the stage into the comforting arms of my wife as the entire banquet gave me a standing ovation. It felt strange to be honest, to have a room full of people standing and clapping for me, but not a bad strange. It took me a while to settle down but Mrs. LB was comforting as always.
Awhile later I was able to relax and after the banquet was over more than a few people came up to me shook my hand such, some discussing their own stories of weight loss and how I was able to do it.
The speech was something I'd practiced for days and I was glad that speech came out the way it did. And I'm glad Mrs. LB and my brother Danny and his wife were there to see it. And maybe, just maybe it will inspire someone to do something they once thought impossible.