We all deserve to be Wowed at least once each day. A WOW moment can make or break a day. I have had many WOW moments in my life and loved them all.
Saturday, Polly and TheFatGuy attended 'Celebration of Life 2012' in Manning, SC. It was a great event and an event to be Wowed by! TheFatGuy was asked to introduce the Master of Ceremonies, which was fun and easy for him to do. The MC for the event is someone TheFatGuy has known for 13 years. His name is Craig King and he is a cancer survivor. Craig was diagnosed with bone cancer 13 years ago. He was a vibrant teenager at the time and then life happened. He was left dealing with bone cancer and wondering what the future might hold. Craig is fortunate to have a very strong mother and loving family to support him. The short version of his story is on May 2 , 2000 Craig was declared cancer free! He has been cancer free for the past 12 years. WOW!
I got to know Craig through Lasting Impressions, a teen support group for teens with cancer, and Camp Kemo. Craig, as all of us have a tendency to do, fell in love with Camp Kemo 13 years ago and quickly moved into a counselor position at camp. Craig and TheFatGuy have become good friends over the years and have developed a mutual appreciation for each other's journeys.
Now on to TheFatGuy's introduction of Craig. I use to stress over public speaking and often over-prepared. Now I pick a thought or focal point and just let it fly. As we arrived at the event Saturday, TheFatGuy put a few words on the back of one of his tickets. As he entered the event, pictures were taken, and a wonderful band was playing. The word WOW popped to mind. WOW moments are so much fun and most times something to celebrate. WOW would be TheFatGuy's focus! Here are the WOW moments he focused on:
- As I rose to start the event and introduction I said WOW, what a great band! Let's give them a big round of applause! And everyone applauded. I told them that WOW would be heard several more times before I was finished. (this turned out to be true times about 100)
- My second WOW moment was about Camp Kemo. I did not want to talk extensively about Camp Kemo, since Craig and the Co-Founder of camp, Linda Wells, would give the crowd a great understanding of just a how special Camp Kemo is to ALL. So, I told the crowd that at the end of my first week at Camp 26 years ago, the main word that came to mind was WOW. That small word did the best job of explaining my feelings about my first camp experience. At the end of that week I went to my wife's sister house to wait for my wife to pick me up. I sat in their back yard pool for over an hour just thinking WOW, as I replayed my first week of Camp Kemo in my head. After that week, I told the co-founder that I would keep coming back to camp until they no longer wanted me. I guess things are going OK, since this is year 26 for TheFatGuy. WOW!
- And the word I started with to talk about Craig King was, you guessed it, WOW! Craig has taken the extreme negative of being diagnosed with bone cancer and turned it into a wonderful positive. He and his family (Team King) have been big supporters of Relay for Life over the past 12 years. On top of that, Craig created the event 'Celebration of Life' to raise funds for American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and Camp Kemo. He had the inaugural event in 2010 to recognize his 10 year anniversary of being CANCER FREE! WOW! This year was the second go round. Although Craig has a lengthy resume, I told the crowd it did not speak to the heart and soul of the person I know. I told them several things about Craig with the main focus being his role as Head Counselor of the Peanuts (5-6 year olds). Watching Craig as a counselor with those young kids is a continuous WOW moment. The smiles and caring seen between 'Mr. Craig' and the kids is priceless. And the fact that parents are so willing to entrust their child to him for a week is amazing at times. Seeing your child go to camp is tough; seeing your 5 your old with cancer go to camp is somewhere far beyond tough! Craig, as all counselors at Camp Kemo do, keeps 2 things at the top of his mind during the week of camp> 1. Make sure the kids have FUN!. 2. Make sure we do the 'best possible job' taking care of each child a parent has trusted us with during that week! Craig is top notch at these 2 things! WOW for Craig!
As TheFatGuy handed off the mike to Craig Saturday night, Craig said "WOW" and proceeded to tell everyone that WOW would be the word of the night, that instead of applause we would say WOW. Then we proceeded to practice saying WOW! WOW was definitely the right word for the evening, as we heard many stories of survival, Camp Kemo, God, and family!
This evening got TheFatGuy thinking about the WOW moments in his life and when they happened. For long stretches in his life, he did not have many, if any WOW moments. Other times, TheFatGuy has had non-stop WOW moments. I started thinking about the when and why of my WOW moments. Then it hit TheFatGuy! WOW moments happen all the time in life. WOW moments are happening all around us. The biggest thing that helps TheFatGuy have WOW moments is his own awareness, his ability to keep his eyes wide open and seeing the world for the WOW moments.
As I look back through my journey through life and TheFatGuy's present journey, I realize that WOW moments have continuously happened in MY life. What has changed over time is my ability to SEE the WOW moments. TheFatGuy always sees WOW moments now and is ALWAYS looking for WOW moments. AND those 2 things go together, looking and experiencing WOW moments go together.
TheFatGuy's main take away from this is WE ALL DESERVE TO EXPERIENCE WOW MOMENTS each day. How do we do that? First, WE KEEP OUR EYES OPEN FOR WOW MOMENTS. Second, WE BUILD ON THESE WOW MOMENTS. We use the inspiration created by a WOW moment to help us create our own WOW moments. And we keep repeating this process till it just happens!
WOW moments make TheFatGuy's journey ROCK!
Note to ME and YOU: If you aren't seeing WOW moments, LOOK HARDER, OPEN YOUR EYES WIDE! AND, it doesn't hurt to gravitate toward and surround yourself with people that create WOW moments!