What a day it’s been already, and it’s hardly past halfway done! Once in a while I spend time writing a blog focused on one thing, but as the dust settles and I get some time to reflect I realize that there was a deeper meaning, something I initially missed… Today was that exactly. The original title was much different, but as I’ve been writing this title really fits.
This was the last official day of Express Leadership Academy and it was amazing on so many levels. Pretty much the entire agenda was focused on one thing – sharing a 3-5 minute presentation of what we’d learned over the past couple of years. We were to share where we were prior to the program, how we’d grown, and where we were now. To say it was powerful is an understatement. We shared the good, bad, and everything in between from a business standpoint, but that was only the beginning.
In each presentation we each bared our souls. There were stories of our personal struggles and growth. Sharing of tough family issues. Insecurities were revealed ad opened up for all to see. It was amazing. All of us successful business owners, all of us with our inner struggles, and while they were all different, it was a chance for us to see we’re all the same. We’re all people struggling to be the best possible versions of ourselves we can be, stumbling and making mistakes along the way, yet staying focused on becoming better each day. It was incredible!
As everything wrapped up there many hugs as we said our thank you’s and goodbye’s to each other. Funny how closely connected we all are once we start opening up and become vulnerable… Pretty sure that’s a blog in of itself at some point. It was big hug after big hug as I made my way through my friends. There were many bear hugs, one after another, some that were some of the biggest hugs since…
One of the last was my friend Reid. I reached out to give him a “bro hug,” but he wasn’t having it. He came in for a full on bear hug, one of the biggest that I’ve had in a long time. It was pretty much one of the biggest hugs since…
As we loaded into the shuttle van for the airport I saw the driver and though that he looked a little familiar… After a moment I realized that it was the same driver I had the day of the solar eclipse (I wrote a bit about him on that day). What are the odds of that??? It was funny, but as we were talking so many memories from our first conversation came flooding back. Of all the cab rides I’d had in the past this was one of the few that I have burned into memory. We quickly got re-acquainted and I learned that he now had his fourth grandson on the way from his daughter. At the airport after he unloaded our luggage it just seemed right to give him a hug, and he presented me with about one of the biggest bear hugs I’ve had in a very long time…
They were all some of the biggest bear hugs since… the last hug I gave my Dad. I still vividly remember that last hug, the one he gave me as he left my office in the end of May. As were all of the hugs from him it was a great, solid hug. It was full of love and happiness and you couldn’t help but smile afterwards. The hugs he gave were some of those “I don’t care if you don’t think it’s manly, you’re still getting a big hug” types of hugs.
When I started typing today I was more focused on the idea of leadership, learning, and other things, but really, at the end of the day, I’m thankful for each and every single one of those big hugs. As I started typing I started to type about one of those hugs and I suddenly thought of Dad… As I started typing about another one I suddenly thought of Dad again… That’s when it hit me, in many ways those were hugs from Dad. They were the result of living the legacy he left behind in me, and they were shared in the way he would have when he was proud of what I had done. There were a couple of times specifically when I knew he was there with me, smiling, holding back a tough moment of emotion by putting his hand on my shoulder, and he was there with me in every single one of those hugs.
I’m so thankful for the hugs from my dad today, they brought much joy today!
Dad, I’m still amazed at how well you instilled your legacy in me without me even realizing it. Many of the decisions I made today were the direct result of what you and Mom taught me through the years, I know you were proud to see them. It sucks to not have you here to hug, but there’s something so awesome about knowing that you’re with me more than ever now. Thanks for the hugs dude, love you Bud!