I really enjoyed speaking at Write This Run on Sunday May 12. If you're a blogger who likes to write about running, do yourself a favour and get linked up with WTR so you get notified when the next one is happening - it was awesome! I've loved reading what some of the attendees have had to say.
It's interesting being on the other side of these kind of things - being a speaker rather than a participant. While I love talking and meeting new people, it's always a bit disconcerting for me when well over 50 pairs of eyes and ears are entirely focused on me and what I'm saying! At every event I have spoken at I've always been a bundle of nerves beforehand and Tom will attest I certainly was before this one....it would be fair to say I freaked out a bit in the days leading up!
But...and I'm going to be honest here, because that was one of the things I really emphasised in my talk....I didn't accept Liz and Laura's invitation to speak at WTR because I felt particularly qualified to do so (having said that, it's always very nice and validating when people you admire think you have something valuable to contribute) but because the whole message of this blog is to get out of your comfort zone, dare to believe in yourself....and I need to practice what I preach a bit more. So I said "yes" and figured I'd deal with the whole "aargh! Public speaking!" demons later on.
Emily Benet wrote about a similar experience a few weeks ago and I completely agree with her philosophy:
When you step outside your comfort zone of course you can screw up. But as the modified saying goes, show me a woman who has never made a mistake and I'll show you a woman who hasn't achieved very much, or tried anything new, or... you get the drift.
Also, one of my "100 things to do in 2013" was to do at least one thing each month that scares me. So far those things have included being completely naked in a crowded communal area (in Iceland! I'll tell you more about that sometime) and being a birth partner.....of all the things that test my nerves, public speaking is pretty high up there. But saying yes and figuring out the logistics later has kind of become my rule in life! It's taken me to some pretty cool places.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can waffle on here till the cows come home about believing in yourself, allowing yourself to be seen in the world and daring to try something new...but I think the most powerful way I can encourage and inspire others to reach their full potential is by actually doing it. Doing something you wouldn't normally do that makes you a bit uncomfortable is always a challenge but it's nearly always a hell of a lot of fun too.
And so, predictably, I enjoyed speaking at WTR so much and was sorry when my allotted time was up - probably a good thing, because once I got over my initial nerves I could have talked all afternoon! I came away feeling very proud of myself and absolutely buzzing - not just doing something a bit scary and coming out the other side ("I want to do this again!" I enthused to Tom in the car on the way home, which was in direct contrast to what I was saying on the journey in!) but from the vibe of the event as a whole. It was great to mingle with other bloggers (I think there should be more mingling time at the next one, the breaks went so quickly!) and all the guest experts were really fun and generous sharing their wisdom, experience and top tips, not only for blogs, vlogs and social media but for running itself...I was sorry to miss Marvellous Mimi, apparently she blew everyone away with her inspirational ultra running stories!
So if you're after a shot of writing or running inspiration, make sure you check out the next Write This Run event, you won't regret it. Who knows....maybe you'll even see me there again? :)
Thanks so much to Liz and Laura for asking me to speak at Write This Run. And if you're wondering about that lovely pink jacket I was wearing...:
When was the last time you got out of your comfort zone? And/or wore something bright? :)