Monday, January 26, 2015

600!

Sorry for the lack of posts, last week was incredibly busy with over ten presentations over four days. The final presentation I gave, however, celebrated another milestone as I gave my 600th presentation.  It was also the hardest presentation I've given to date.

During the day on Thursday I progressively felt worse and worse with severe sinus pressure which led to one of the worst headaches I've had in quite some time. It was the type of headache that moving, changing eye focus, breathing, and doing anything that requires, well, anything making the headache worse. I was in Poplar Bluff and I had a thirty or so mile drive to Doniphan where my evening presentation was and with each passing minute I wondered if I'd be able to present.

I've never missed a presentation and have never had to cancel due to illness and this, being the milestone of my 600th presentation, well, taking a sick day wasn't going to be allowed. I made the drive and my already raging headache proceeded to get worse and worse. When I got out of the car at the Doniphan Middle School I thought to myself, "now how are you actually going to make it through your presentation?" as my head felt it was in a vice, my throat now was starting to ache, and my muscles and joints were joining in on the pain bandwagon.

When I walked into the gymnasium where I was going to present the bright lights were harsh. I thought about throwing in the towel at that point. I had been to Doniphan before and my first time was when I presented to the schools and the reception by the students had been awesome so I felt more inclined to try and toughen up and play through the pain. This isn't to say that a place I haven't been before would not get the same treatment, it's just that those students had been amazing when I had been there.

People started showing up and a few people turned I to several turned into a dozen turned into two dozen and now canceling would be in bad taste seeing that over 70 people were there. Over 70 people took time out of this day to come out on what was now a chilly night to hear me talk so talking is what I had to do.

I did say this was my hardest presentation and it was on two separate fronts. The first was the pain. I took the maximum dosage of medicine the bottle said to take but I felt no difference. This made scanning my eyes across the audience difficult. This also made concentrating difficult and I made several mistakes in terms of losing track of where I was in a story. Somehow, despite all this, I kept my energy up but at the same time I knew there wasn't much left in me so I did shorten my presentation a bit because I wouldn't have been coherent for too much longer.

At the end I felt terrible due to, well, being sick but secondly for cutting my presentation's time by a bit and feeling I wasn't my usual high-quality self. The reception proved otherwise as those in attendance, whom knew I wasn't feeling well, were very gracious and appreciative of the presentation. It was actually one of the warmest receptions I've had after a presentation.

So there it was, my 600th presentation. A milestone like that doesn't come around all that often and it was a struggle, but I made it and my streak of never missing a show continues on.

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