My First Speaking Engagement

So, I was given the chance to speak at a MOPS group a while back, regarding fitness. To catch you up to speed with how that little debacle played out:

If you don’t want to read about my stupidity, I will spoil the story: I went to the wrong church. So, no speaking.

MOPS groups (Mothers of Preschoolers) are held in churches, and I went to the WRONG ONE.

But not today. Today, I made sure to go to the RIGHT ONE.

I decided to stick around for the whole meeting, so I showed up a little before 9:30am, and met with a very nice young lady walking her own children to the church entrance. She asked if I were new, and I informed her about my speaking gig. She seemed very excited when I told her it was about fitness. In fact, most of the ladies did. I felt very welcome and appreciated as I dropped Nolan off in the childcare area, with a grandmother and grandfather type keeping an eye on him and the rest of the kids.

We headed up to the loft of the church. I had no idea this space existed. I’d attended a few services (a friend of mine had attended this church before she moved out of state) but this room was sort of secretive and placed high above. Lots of comfy chairs and couches were littered in a crude circle, and everyone found a space to sit. I hadn’t been nervous, but was getting there, now. My contact person as it turns out, runs her own kickboxing class a few days a week. When she had everyone introduce themselves so I’d know their names, and she talked about her class, I blurted out, “So why am I here?” We all had a good laugh about that, but seriously. I was stumped.

Most of the ladies looked to be very fit. Most said they attended gyms, or did what they could at home. I wasn’t sure what I could offer or bring to the table.

There were roughly 10 ladies in attendance. I was told that some hadn’t shown up today due to trips or sick kids. I didn’t mind, and was very happy about the small group. It was intimate and I was able to relax more.

My contact person (in charge of this group, but today was her last day as the lady in charge) went over items of interest. I sat by politely while she spoke and I was given a newsletter, even though I wasn’t part of the group. I thought that was very nice.

Another woman asked me if I’d like to speak, or if I’d mind if she went first. She had some bible versus she wanted to relay to the group, and I decided she should go first. It was very poignant, what she had to say. It almost tied in with my theme on fitness, because she spoke about the care and proper feeding of your soul, and I was going to speak on the proper care and feeding of your body, which houses the soul. Her words were tender, and comforting.

Then it was my turn. I handed out a Fitness Cheat Sheet I’d created, a nice handout for the ladies to take home for reference. I was emotional when I first started, because I told them about my own journey when it came to being healthy, and how running was such a passion for me. I shared with them how close I feel to God when running. I spoke about the need for each of them to find their own passion, what will help to keep them healthy. A few said they also run. Others said they hated running, but did gym classes. Still others preferred the elliptical machine, or the treadmill, and I enforced the fact that it doesn’t matter WHAT you do, it’s that you DO IT.

It became a conversation, and it was comfortable. I was asked questions, and I stressed that although I’m no expert, I’m an enthusiast. I did the best I could and gave the best information I could, and also asked my own questions.

Some ladies were feeling stagnant with their work out routine. Others weren’t sure how to even begin. Still others were wanting to add to what they were currently doing. It was nice to help them, and to give advice. It was also nice to receive it.

Overall, I think it went very well.

After the meeting, the woman who had read the bible verses  stopped me, and said, “I hope this is OK, but I feel a strong need to pray for you today.” And, she placed a hand gently on my shoulder, and said a prayer over me. She said in the prayer that it was OK for me to be emotional, that my words had come from the heart. She prayed for my well being, and for my health. I’ve never had anyone so moved to pray over me that way, and although I was a bit taken aback at first, I felt it was sweet and I welcomed it.

So, I am going to share the Fitness Cheat Sheet and what was discussed in the coming days. I think I’ve said quite enough today,  outwardly, and through typing.

I hope each of you finds your own fitness passions, today!



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