After I grabbed a quick nap to recover from my long night of traveling, I had to get back to work. It was time to prepare for my next event, which would come bright and early at 8am the next day. I spent a couple of hours preparing, and then I got to relax a little bit by attending a Ronald McDonald House Charities event. One of my friends works for RMHC of Columbia and was a major influence in coordinating the event. She invited some of our friends and me to go and support not only her, but RMHC as well. They were auctioning off my last cleats worn as a Gamecock so I was excited to be able to support a friend AND a great cause. The event was a lot of fun, and I met a lot of great people. I also got several compliments on my Garnet blazer! It was such a special night for all those who worked hard on making the event successful.
The next morning, my alarm went off at 6:45 am! I have been waking up early since I got home from Utah, but I am still not used to that. Man, did that annoying beeping sound come early. It still makes me shudder to think about getting up at that time. I went from waking up around 10:30/11 during the season to before 7am! I guess it’s a habit I will have to get used to. Anyway, it was time to get moving. Thankfully, the coffee is brewed within a few minutes and that’s when I am ready to roll. My morning routine? I literally roll out of bed and stumble to the Keurig. While I wait for my coffee, I check twitter. I have to check twitter! It’s my primary news source. Some may call it addicted. I call it the most useful tool of my era…but that’s for another blog.
After a quick breakfast and a shower, I got dressed and reviewed my material, still trying to wake up. Little did I know, I was going to be awake very quickly. I arrived at Hammond School, and they took me to the lower school first(preschool-4th grade). Every Friday, they have a mini assembly for the lower school called “Friday at the Kiva.” They pack about 400 kids in a room and sing the Hammond Fight song, go over school news, and finish with the YMCA. I cannot even begin to describe how loud those kids sang that Hammond fight song. They were belting out lyrics at the top of their lungs. You can’t help but smile and love the enthusiasm they were showing at 8:15am. Nobody could have been in a bad mood after the Hammond fight song. After their announcements, I was introduced and gave a short talk to the kids. I then had the pleasure to dance the YMCA along with them! Sidenote: One of my buddies in pro ball was charting pitches in the stands, and in between innings, the YMCA came on. He proceeded to dance the whole song without knowing that our manager was watching the entire thing. It was epic.
After my time in the Kiva with the lower school, I was rocking and ready to go. I think I could have climbed a mountain. This was great because I had two more presentations to give! Next up was the middle school group. One kid really stood out in that group. I had asked a question and was fishing around the room for some answers. One kid raised his hand and politely said, “I really don’t like you because I’m a Clemson fan.” It was the most honest thing any of those kids could have said, and I loved it. It showed a lot of confidence for a kid to be able to say that in front of a large crowd and be that up front and honest! There was one downside to my presentation. I was talking to the group about time management and went over my allotted 30 minutes, not leaving any time for questions! Way to go, Michael! But my presentation to the high school group was right on time. Live and learn! The high school kids were the quietest group out of the three. They are at that age where they don’t want to speak out and sound stupid or not be “cool.” But, during the time for questioning, I was impressed again. One girl raised her hand and asked if I was going to the UGA game. She then invited me to her family’s tailgate! Another very gutsy move by a student!! By the time I got in my car to head home, I was completely wiped out. I was surprised by how much talking in front of people for an extended time can wear you out! But, my work day was finished! I was able to head home and grab a quick power nap before getting some other things done.
My first week as a businessman was a fun one! I got to deliver two different messages to two very different audiences. Children of all ages all the way to grown in businessmen and women. I learned a great deal and met a lot of new faces. It was an awesome first full week of business. I’m hoping there are many more to come!