I could never imagine that I would be involved in a book signing. But then again it has been a dream of mine to write a book eventually. I guess when that day comes, this incredible experience was good practice.
I did not write this book. I merely am a puzzle piece in the project. However, it was pretty darn awesome to sit in front of people and have them want to ask you questions and sign their pages. It’s a little surreal. I’m just me. You want me to sign your book? Ok, sure. How do you spell your name again?
I arrived at Third Place Books around 615pm. My good friend LeAnn Layman from the Everett Reign drove to the event to support me. She has turned into one of my best friends in the sport. We have been travel buddies and had many adventures at camps. It was pretty awesome of her to come.
We of course had to discuss the state of football for a good 30 minutes because that’s what we do. It was cold outside so we eventually made our way in. We ran into Stephanie Bebe who is also in the book. We then found Sarah, the author.
Third Place Books is a cute little book store. The set up is cozy and the employees are friendly and seem knowledgeable. We walked in to a set up of rows of folding chairs facing a table and 3 chairs. There was a microphone, a glass of water, and a Hustle Believe Receive book.
To the right of the folding chairs sat another table with expertly laid out copies of the book, in a way only a bookstore knows how to do.
Now, I have signed autographs before. But this was a different feel. There is an art form to finding your section in the book, talking to the person, trying not to misspell their name, and not mess up your signature. It was the people I most enjoyed. They were excited to be there and engaging. It was quickly evident that this book is helping people.
Finally it was time for us to take our seats. It felt like a mini stage. There are moments in my life that I’ve been in front of media. Like anything in life, practice helps. Don’t get me wrong. There are still times I get nervous. It depends on the situation and maybe what I ate and how much sleep I got the night before. Ok, really, I have no idea why but we will pretend that is the reason. I felt fairly comfortable in this setting. Maybe it was due to the cozy set up.
Sarah started the event off by introducing everyone. She is quite good at being approachable. I can see why she has done well in her professional life. She gave some background on her story, and her book. She read the 1st chapter out loud. Then Stephanie gave some background on her business and how she overcame obstacles to get it off the ground.
It was then my turn to convey my story of how I found football and how it was an outlet for me to get through traumatic things in my life.
I have to stop and tell you that the fact I can talk about these events at all is a big deal. I really struggled for years. Many people don’t know how much because I’m a Capricorn and we don’t like being vulnerable. We are stubborn. Have you ever tried to move a goat off a mountain? It’s not happening.
Telling my story, even in an abbreviated matter, and having it help other people in the process is a therapeutic moment in itself. It’s that feeling that you have found the end of the tunnel, are in the light, and can look back and say, wow, I conquered that. This tried to destroy me but I was stronger.
When I looked out at the crowd to smiling and hopeful faces of people who have overcome their own obstacles or in the process of working through their own tunnels, it was like a confirmation that there was a purpose to what I went through, and a purpose to being a part of the project.
I also I have to reiterate that the rest of the people in this project are amazing. I keep calling it a project because it’s more than a book. It’s a movement. Reading the book myself and their stories has helped me. Everyone has their strengths and learning from each of them is momentous.
When I was growing up and studying the Renaissance and other movements like it, I always was fascinated with the concept. I told my mother when I was 14 that I wanted to be a part of a new era Renaissance. I mean how cool would it be to sit around a table somewhere over coffee or wine and solve the world’s problems with the brightest people on the planet? How exciting that would be! When I left the book signing, I couldn’t help but feel that I might have found that outlet after all.
The irony is by being in this project, it’s like my life has gone up another level. It’s been self-fulfilling prophecy. By being positive, surrounding myself with positive people, and not being afraid to name what I really want, I have experienced a positive shift.
I can only say my deepest thank you to Sarah, the author for including me, and the rest of those involved.
Pick up the book. It will help you.
Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with the Gridiron Beauties show.