A few years ago I got into this habit of just doing things. It was a bit like Yes Man from Jim Carrey but a bit less extreme. I’m not sure what compelled me to take a speech class during my Jr. college days but there I was. I found it so simple when you just let go of the fact that people are watching. It is more than enough when you really don’t care for what people say and you have all the freedom you can possibly imagine. People act like these people really care for what you have to say anyway. I mean I talk to myself all the time so I figured this would be about the same thing. I breezed through almost every speech and actually learned to get better as time went on but I digress. This particular memory was when coincidentally my cousin was in my speech class. There was a local speech tournament happening on campus and he pushed me to join. Being lax, and full of spunk I enlisted to join the 10th annual speech tournament.
Being young, you forget things. You forget to turn the lights off or you accidentally miss that assignment or quiz that was at your doorstep that day. Hell, you forget you were even paying attention! Well, I had forgotten about the speech tournament until the day before. I panicked for a second..then sat there…then I had a drink. I knew I had to get something ready so I called my cousin to get ideas and brainstorm. At the time I was in a Mariachi and knew well enough about the history to talk about it. The panicked subsided after I got the ideas rolling in. Maybe it was denial, maybe it was confidence, or maybe just blind ignorance. Either way it was working. I had three note cards ready for the speech that day. My cousin smirking on the way knowing I might go out in a blaze of embarrassment. In the back of my head though I knew enough and I no longer had fear. It was like…”Well…we’ll see..”
Speech Tournament: We we’re split into 8 categories and subsections for speeches. You know, informational, story telling, political and the list went on. I was in the informational. I sat in my designated room waiting patiently for the well prepared people to blow me out sky-high from this tournament. Eventually only one guy show up with the proctor or judge as they called them. I was pleasantly surprised because he looked nervous as if this was his first day ever giving a speech.
I was like…wow there’s only 3 people how the hell are you nervous?! Haha now this is what happens when good people just get good things! He scattered and bounced his way around the kind of speech you hear at an elementary school rendition of the godfather. It was cringe worthy and we sat there and awkwardly clapped after it was over. Needless to say I won this round and made it to the actual final round. There were so many applicants that in the essence of time they made the whole tournament into only two rounds. I sat there at the final round like a fish out of water. These guys were good…I’m talking presidential speeches here and I’m looking like Moe Larry and Curly. Well I lost, but I got 6th place I’m assuming since there was only 6 of us. All in all this experience taught me that sometimes you go in over your head but that’s all right and you try anyway. You say you want to do something then just do it and hey it works out why not. I got to the final round in a well reputable speech tournament where the best of the best show up. They say if you always wait until you’re ready then you’ll be waiting all your life. Go and do things just to do them. Isn’t that what we’re taught? You say travel I say I have work I can’t miss. No one said to go to Mt. Kilimanjaro and fist fight on top for the sake of adventure. Take a road trip, do things you wouldn’t normally do you might be surprised how well it all turns out.