June 6th and Meeting Chris Guillebeau

Friday Follow Up time for this last week.  It’s been a yucky week, weather wise, and I didn’t get very many pictures, drat it.

Wednesday’s Highlights-

I didn’t walk as much today, since my evening walk was replaced with going to a book signing for Chris Guillebeau’s book, The $100 Startup.  I really really wanted to go meet Chris Guillebeau.  In a way, I credit him for giving my life the current direction it is taking.

You see, back in 2011, I read his book, The Art of Non-Conformity.  It was great.  It was an excellent book.  I discovered Chris had a website, too.  I signed up for his free newsletter.  Then, not long later, I read in his newsletter about a young man named Nate Damm, who walked across America.  I clicked on the link he provided and read more about this man who had done what I’ve been dreaming about.  Lo and behold, I discovered an email and contacted Nate.  We corresponded, and I was ecstatic.  I was inspired.

I had thought my try in 2009 to walk across America was my one shot and that it would probably bug me for the rest of my life that I never got to complete my quest.  Talking with Nate, I realized that it didn’t have to be that way.  I decided to try again.

Thus, I started walking training, started working hard–I’ve lost tons of weight and I feel so good!–started this website, and made some goals.  Reading The $100 Startup is giving me ideas on how to make my dreams and plans a reality and so has Chris’s other book.

So yeah, I wanted to meet this Chris Guillebeau.

I brought Willow with me.  We were a half an hour early.  I’ve never been to one of these events before, so I didn’t know what to expect.  It was standing room only.

The crowd waiting for Chris to speak. The seats were all full when we got there.

The below shot was fifteen minutes or so before he was scheduled to start.  By the time he did start, the crowd was even thicker than that.

It got really hot in there.  Willow was happy company, though.

Imagine, hit by a car, and this is all the damage that has been done to her lenses. One scratch and a little roughing up of the frame on top. Lucky kid.

Finally the big moment came.  Chris came out and spoke to us and I was very excited and nervous.  So much so, when it came time to have him sign my copy of the book he gave me, I could hardly say two coherent sentences.

He looks like Ron Howard with a goatee. He also kind of looks like my friend Dave. Weird.

The funny thing is, though, fame does weird things to our perceptions.  I expected him to be super tall and more physically imposing, despite seeing his photo on his website (his photo is rather ordinary, in hindsight).  I also didn’t know what he sounded like.  I figured with all the stuff he’s done and knows how to do, that he must have a cool, commanding voice.  Something like Patrick Stewart.  “Make it so!” and his business marches to his orders.  Ha!  When I finally heard him talk, I wanted to search for the ventriloquist.  That couldn’t be his voice.  That voice he was using was….ordinary.  Sigh.

Despite his ordinariness, I still couldn’t get over my nervousness.  I think I left the table blurting something stupid like, “You’re funny!”  And otherwise making a great impression before I left.  Not.  Sigh again.

So I shook the hand of an ordinary person with an ordinary voice.  This ordinary person just happens to have done some extraordinary things.   Not least of which has been to inspire me to try to do what I want to do and gave me permission to dream.

Thanks, Chris!   Really and truly.

Wednesday I walked 3.23 miles.

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