I spent most of yesterday preparing. I sweated over the images and the contents and the bullet points – or lack thereof. I deleted nearly every slide at least once. Then added them back in. Then deleted them. I was like a cricketer who couldn’t work out whether run or not. Yes, no, wait.
I finally settled on what I thought was a pretty good slide deck – 9 slides and only one with bullet points. But – and I always do this – I leave the finishing touches to the day of the presentation. The looming deadline seems to sharpens my focus.
That meant an early start this morning to polish, check and write my speakers bio. By the time I’d finished I was feeling sharp and ready.
I checked the time. There was still enough for the 5 k run I promised to make yesterday. I threw on my Asics then I was out the door, up the hill and around the corner.
For the first couple of k’s I was on top of the world. My breathing was steady and rhythmic. And then it hit me. I’d gone out too hard. For the rest of the run I felt like was running through treacle.
But right near the end something magical happened. With about 300 metres to go my legs suddenly felt free and loose and relaxed. My stride lengthened, my speed picked up and it all felt pretty awesome.
Now that I’d delivered on my promise it was time to get ready. But now I had a problem. I usually run first thing in the morning so by the time I’m getting dressed for work I’ve cooled down. Not today.
By the time I hit the road the day had already warmed up to bloody hot. Now, as I walked through the front door, cheeks red, dripping in sweat I was faced with the dilemma of how I was ever going to cool down enough so I can I pull on a shirt and pants.
I jump in for a cold shower. That oughta do the trick.
Well it did – sort of – until I towelled off. Then it was straight back to the sweat factory. I’m sweating like a camper who’s just found a snake in their sleeping bag. It just wouldn’t stop.
So I pull on a pair of jocks, crank up the ceiling fans under the patio and wait for the breeze to do its thing. Finally, I cooled down enough to pull on the work gear and head for the door.
The drive to The Vines is just long enough to listen to the Disk 1 of The Wall by Pink Floyd. It’s one of my favourite albums. I just love cranking up the volume and getting lost in the angst about unhealthy relationships with authority figures that pour through the lyrics.
Hush now baby, baby, dont you cry.
Mother’s gonna make all your nightmares come true.
Mother’s gonna put all her fears into you.
Mother’s gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She wont let you fly, but she might let you sing.
Mama will keep baby cozy and warm.
Ooooh baby ooooh baby oooooh baby,
Of course mama’ll help to build the wall.
After all that, the presentation went well. Of course there are parts that I want to do better: the transition between points, the way that the two main stories work together, timing (I could’ve gone a little longer) and my conclusion – they all need work.
But overall I was happy with the way I presented and it made me smile when I heard a lady say, “That was brilliant!”