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Falling Without Failing What Chris Powell has Taught Me

As you all know I am a big fan of Chris Powell.

Chris and his kind-hearted wife Heidi Powell through their communications with me on Facebook have become an integral part of my weight loss journey and huge motivators in my desire and determination to become a personal trainer.

Chris often mentions the need to learn to “Fall without Failing” – What this concept teaches is that we have to expect that there are going to be times when we fall short of our goals no matter what they are. Times when we are going to fall flat on our faces. But we have to look at these times not as failures, but as the I have heard Chris put it; “ultimate opportunities.” How is falling flat on your face or falling short of your goal an opportunity? It’s an opportunity to do three very important things that Chris Powell teaches: confess, reassess and recommit.

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I’ve spoken about my father a few times in the last several days and how men these days are not built from the same cloth that they once were. How my Father was old-fashioned and that the ideas he taught me as a little girl are often void in men I meet in the world today. This is one of the predominant reasons that Chris Powell is one of my heroes and that his words of praise mean so much to me, and that they have been able to become nearly a replacement in my life since my Father’s passing. These words of praise from Chris when I get them hold a meaning few understand, because Chris Powell, through his words and actions, often echo the very things my Father taught me and the things he expressed he wanted for me.

My father taught me that the most important thing I had to do was value my word and live my life with integrity. Chris Powell teaches us that in our weight loss journeys we are making a lifestyle transformation that depends on integrity and that integrity is valuing your word to yourself.

My father taught me that I could do anything and be anyone I wanted to be. He echoed the words of Walt Disney to me “If you can dream it you can do it.” Chris Powell teaches us that we can be whoever we want to be, that all we have to do is live into that identity, that when we find ourselves in any given situation, we just decide who we want to be and we commit to being that person.

My father motivated me to lose weight and became a champion in my weight loss journey until his passing just about two years ago because of a wish that he had for me to live a happy and healthy life. Chris Powell does what he does and reaches out to help the people that he helps because he believes we all have the right to a happy and healthy life

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Why do I bring this all up? Well there are a few reasons. Because yesterday I fell short in a couple of areas. Actually, I felt flat on my face…

So let’s apply the three important things that Chris and his kind-hearted wife Heidi Powell, who has also managed to become an integral part of my support system since I had the opportunity to meet them in May, [ A Bucket List Moment – Meeting Chris Powell ] have taught me…

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 9.24.40 AMConfess: I didn’t meet this huge goal I had to secure enough sponsors to be able to send myself and a Desperately Seeking Slender reader to the Disneyland Tinkerbell Half-Marathon. Additionally, even though I said I would not allow anything to interfere with my biggest goal right now of studying for my Personal Trainer Certification Exam, I did. I allowed trying to secure these sponsorships to eat up Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I knew it was happening, in fact when Chris put a message out of his Facebook page yesterday asking what we were doing to stay on track with our goals this week, I openly admitted that I was letting this project distract me from mine.

Reassess: Okay, I didn’t meet my goal and get my sponsors; There is good news and bad news involved in that. We’ll come back to that. More importantly I lost focus of what I am trying to do here and got sidetracked from studying for my test. But this happened because I was doing some of the very things that my Father and Chris have taught me to do. Back in May when the season premier of Extreme Weight Loss aired Chris and Heidi spent some time talking with people live on Twitter. I asked Chris…

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I’m still working on that 10 lb. window! But what got me distracted from my goal here was actually something that is part of my goal. I saw an opportunity after I completed my own personal Half-Marathon on Father’s Day to bring that sort of sense of accomplishment to someone else and set off on a mission to do so. Being able to do this sort of thing for others is exactly why I am studying for that test to become a trainer in the first place. So while I was off the path I had committed to a bit, it wasn’t that far off, I was just taking a little detour and pressing the pause button for a moment to create a purpose for someone else. Neither of these things were failures. In fact both of them were huge opportunities for me to show the weight loss community and my potential clients who I am and what I am about.

Recommit: It’s time to get back to the grind. I took a break to do something that was well within the parameters of who I am and who I want to be. But now that I have created that purpose for someone else,  it’s time to get back to my other service oriented goal and get that certification by my personal deadline date: October 19th, 2013 so that I can really start helping others in their weight loss journey. Now, it’s time for me to set a couple S.M.A.R.T goals of my own… my focus now is back to WLS Fitness, Bariatric Fitness and helping people Fight Obesity, here is my commitment:

Starting today, June 25th, I will study for a minimum as 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, as evidence by keeping a log of my steady hours. I will do this for 2 weeks until my Surgery on July 10th. I will reward myself with a week of doing nothing but healing and talking to my friends in the social media world. – This goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, rewarded and timed.

After a week or so of healing I will recommit to this same goal again, setting another two-week time frame and at the end of that two weeks I will take my practice exam to gauge where I am in this process more accurately.

I will not allow my own fears or doubts prevent me from taking the practice exam.

I will take the practice exam at the latest by August 7th and if I do well on it, I will schedule my certification test for first available testing date upon my return to Portland on August 19th.

I will be held accountable to these goals since I have put them all out here on the internet and I have so many people who will check on me.

That addresses one part of my confession… now the other… I did not meet the goals that I set to achieve Sponsorship and funding to send two people to Anaheim CA to participate in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January, 2014 – I did however receive enough sponsorship to send ONE person, and there is plenty of time for me to figure out how to get myself there. And I WILL figure out how to get myself there all I have to do this month is make sure I am registered and I can handle that financial responsibility myself. The most important thing is that ONE of YOU is going. So watch for the announcement of the How do you Celebrate Success” contest which will begin announced later this week and find out what you have to do to enter to win. The prize will include; Airfare, Hotel Accommodations, Race Fees, Park Entrance Fees and Ground Transportation to and from the airport.

I want to send a HUGE and I mean HUGE shout out to the companies that have already stepped up and committed to Sponsoring The How do you Celebrate Success Contest.

Kay’s Naturals [ Like Them on Facebook ]

Celebrate Vitamins [ Like Them on Facebook ]

Pace Setter Athletics  [ Like Them on Facebook ]

The Support these three companies showed to step up to the plate and help me make this contest a possibility will never be forgotten. And for any other companies that would like to consider Sponsorship of the How do you Celebrate contest – there is still time. If you are interested, please contact me at pandora@desperatelyseekingslender.com – Now it’s time to get today’s six hours in. I have a goal to meet, and I have the personal integrity to make sure it gets done.

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Dear RunDisney thank you for breaking my heart

I need to write in order to process right now.

There are times when even though I know that I lead a charmed and blessed life, disappointment hits my table in a very big way and when it does, it hurts.

I’m not even sure that what I am trying to make happen won’t happen, we’re approaching the witching hour and whether or not I gather the necessary sponsors is left to be seen, but that isn’t even what saddens me right now, what saddens me, is that a company I have spent my entire life believing in has broken my heart and gone against a belief that they taught me to believe in.

My Dad used to tell me stories about 1955 when Disneyland first opened. When he told me that I could be anything I wanted to be, and I could do anything I wanted to do, he would tell me stories about how a man named Walt Disney created Disneyland out of a dream, a mouse and some orange orchards.

“Honey if you ever think that you can’t accomplish something you just remember what Mr. Walt Disney said, ‘If you can dream it you can do it, always remember that this whole thing started with a dream and a mouse.”

And I believed that. My favorite Walt Disney quote has always been

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Since I don’t know that it will ever come to fruition, I feel like I maybe shouldn’t talk about it, but you know I have promised to share the good and the bad, and so, here goes… today was a sad day for me.

Two years ago, my father passed away. He was one of the biggest champions in my weight loss journey. To help cope with his death I began running. It wasn’t easy at first. I could barely get around the block! But recently, I’m proud to report that I ran my first half marathon — a personal 13.1 miles! — in honor of my dad on Father’s Day.

Today I was willing to step away from my studying to pursue a dream that I have. First let me say that I think you have to understand often times my dreams are a little less selfish than I think most people realize. In a few weeks on July 9th, RunDisney will open registration for the Tinkerbell half marathon, and no matter what happens, I will register and I will run that half marathon because I committed to doing so.

But I didn’t want to just run that half marathon, I wanted to empower someone else to run it with me. And if I had more than the few weeks that Disney allowed me between registration announcement and the actual registration, I have no doubt that I would find the sponsorship to make that happen. I already have 1/4th of the sponsorship I need and I haven’t given up just yet, it may still happen.

But what bothers me is, that I shouldn’t HAVE to be on such a tight time limit to make it happen, and the only reason I am is because of the ridiculous politics of them requiring the name of the person that I take with me on registration day, 7 months prior to the event.

If I could simply purchase my registration and a second spot, and notify them within a reasonable time frame who the second runner would be, this would be much more feasible. I’d purchase the registrations myself and then in I could obtain the rest of the sponsorship I needed for us to go, we’d go and if I didn’t well then I’d sell the registration to someone else that could participate and that would be that. In the mean time I would have a few months instead of a few weeks to try to make this all happen.

But instead I have to try to find the sponsors, run a contest, pick a winner and have that winner’s name in place to register them for the event by July 9th. Thank you RunDisney for making this awesome idea nearly impossible.

I tried so hard. I spent hours and hours today trying to contact people involved with the RunDisney events to see if they could help me make this possible. But really, what I felt like today after talking to most of them was that I was a little fish in a big world and since I wasn’t a non-profit organization willing to secure race registrations for thirty people instead of two, I wasn’t important.

At 6pm tonight here in Dallas where I am visiting, I finally got ahold of a very nice woman named Cindy Hernandez who tried to help me. But Sadly, all the resources she had to try to help me, I had already exhausted. She wanted to send me to talk to the woman I talked to early this morning Katie, who had only been the first to make me feel like that insignificant little person in a great big world. After she had spoken to Katie herself who informed her that she had already talked to me and had “forwarded my request” to their Florida Office Cindy tried for quite some time to find a number for that Florida office that I could call and talk to someone at. She even called the number herself to try to find a way through the bureaucratic red tape. But to no avail, she couldn’t get through the computer animated message that had forwarded me to her any better than I could. Cindy suggested that I email a woman named Shannon who is Katie’s supervisor, to see if she could help me, but she warned me that Shannon and Katie worked very closely together and that she wasn’t sure she could help me either. She apologized to me over and over and expressed her sadness that she couldn’t help me.

At one point during the conversation I told Cindy “Disney is a company I grew up with. I had a father that was born before your doors were even open and I spent so much time in Disneyland as a kid. I’m not asking you guys for money or charity or anything more than the ability to do something great and empower someone else to do it with me. Your company was founded on the beliefs of a man who believed if you can dream it you can do it. And this is a really small ask, all I’m asking for is a little time before an event that occurs 7 months down the road to give you a person’s name. If Walt Disney was here right now, he’d be ashamed of this.” Cindy very compassionately said to me “I really hope he wouldn’t be ashamed of me.” I assured her she was right, he wouldn’t be, as she was the only one that I had gotten on the phone today that really and truly tried to help make this happen for me.

It’s nearly 8pm and I really want to go to bed early tonight, I am emotionally drained from this day of doing nothing but writing letters to sponsors asking them to get on board at the last-minute, reaching out to people to try to make this dream happen and I am emotionally exhausted from it. I’m sad that RunDisney made this so impossible and I am heart-broken than a company I have always believed so much in left me feeling like Aladdin, the lowly street rat who didn’t have enough to offer.

“Riffraff, street rat, I don’t buy that, if only they’d look closer. Would they see a poor boy? No, siree, They’d find out, there’s so much more to me.”

All you had to do was look at what I was asking you for to see that deep inside, I’m a diamond in the rough. I might not be able to put it all together in the time frame you are setting, which is just a horrible unrealistic time frame, heck RunDisney YOU don’t even have all your details hammered out yet. You don’t even have pricing available yet, nor does your event travel coordination company because they don’t have your pricing or even know how many registration blocks you are selling them yet. If you call the Disney resorts and ask to for the prices for room reservations for that weekend they will tell you they can’t tell you because the pricing for the new year doesn’t come out until August. So you can imagine how hard it was for me to even put together a budget to take to my sponsors this morning. But you can’t find a way to cut me a little break on having to have the name of my team member ready to go registration morning?

Disney, you’ve broken my heart today. I’m going to hope that somewhere in the night while I am sleeping the answers come to me, or that by Monday morning my own little Genie shows up and starts waving wishes around.

For right now I am going to go do something that will make me feel better. I’m going to go find a little Pandora mental health reprieve and I am going to remember …

“No Matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you dare to wish will come true.”

RunDisney, Mr. Walt Disney would be ashamed of you for they way you shattered my dreams today, but he’d be super proud of me, who I am, what I have accomplished and how big my dreams are.

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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