Ever had the jitters in front of an audience? Or its evil sister, flop sweat? If not, just picture Albert Brooks and his on-air meltdown in Network News.
I had my version one frigid day in Dallas hawking my graphic services in a mandatory CLE for attorneys who'd rather bill rich clients than listen to me. Dressed in my best winter wool suit in an overheated room, one trickle of sweat led to three, soon followed by a torrent of self-doubt and embarrassment. I couldn’t shed my jacket to cool off because my shirt looked like it was removed mid-cycle from the washer. I survived the day but my confidence was shaken to the core, and I vowed never again to wear a winter suit at a meeting.
Apparently, that memory has receded enough for me to add a public talk to 65 or more people to my List. Our Camino adventure seemed to be the perfect vehicle to fulfill this goal and promote community within our community. Friends, neighbors, family, golf buddies, yoga students, strangers, and local Caministas we met along the Way were invited.
A date and place were reserved with the promise of free bocadillos and tempranillo. That afternoon with the help of friends Connie and Terri, we prepped baguettes from Nightingale Breads with enough jamon and manchego cheese to make 110 servings.
Not knowing how many might be interested in a stupid slide show about a 500-mile walk most hadn't heard of, I hoped 65 might show. But more than 100 came through the doors, many bringing snacks to share. Anne Faught brought a taste of the Camino with a homemade Tarta de Santiago and her OneWordCamino video.
As the room filled, my anxiety rose a bit, but not one trickle of flop sweat appeared. In fact, I felt really comfortable – must be experience that comes with old age, Or maybe it was the comment and laughs about an intermission after an hour and a half that set me at ease.
We wanted to avoid a boring linear Point A to Point B travelogue, so we dressed in our Camino clothes and gave personal insights to life on the Camino. I talked about trails and yellow arrows, peregrinos and their motivations, pace and pee, and lessons learned. Cheryl covered food, feet and fashion on the Camino. The real interesting part about sleeping with strangers somehow was left out.
Thanks to everyone who came or sent support for the opportunity to overcome my flop sweat demon from Dallas and to promote community within our community.
PS: Those that came saw a one-of-a-kind show. The presentation was lost when my hard drive failed two days later and I hadn't backed up for ten days. Another lesson learned.