World Champs

I rejoined Toastmasters a couple of months ago for completely social reasons.  I have no desire to write speeches right now but I’m having a hell of a lot of fun with the group.

Tonight I chaired the meeting and I chose the theme of World Champions because the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking is coming up in a mere 21 days and I am super psyched because I am GOING.   And the meeting was totally fluid and super fun.  Great speakers, great questions, great energy.  I felt like I was riding a wave most of the night.

I started off the meeting talking about the various very ODD World Champs that are out there, like the World Champions of:

Worm Charming

Bog Snorkeling

Hide and Seek (they still haven’t found the winner)

Rock, Paper Scissors

Air Guitar

and my favourite Air Sex.  Yep.  lol

And in this little opening speech I was going to mention that I am actually the 1990 World’s Nude Freestyle Dance Champion.  I wanted to mention it because

a. I want it all to be a part of me

b. I feel old enough and far enough removed from my former career (14 years) that I think it would be telling that anyone defined me by it anymore

c.  I think it’s pretty damned interesting and I actually feel proud of my accomplishments in that world

But you know what?  When the time came, I actually chickened out.  I did.  And I kept wondering how or if I would fit that little tidbit into the meeting.

And at the very end, after riding that wave for over an hour I thought I’d close with it and I did.  I just slipped it in and WHAT a response from my audience!  They LOVED it.

I didn’t turn red, I owned it.  A couple of people asked me about it afterwards and we had a quick little chat and now, that’s just a part of Paula, along with the fact that she’s a redhead, she owns Head Start Public Speaking For Kids, used to be a Christian, and is generally quite loud.

I thought about it and contrasted it with the first time I was in Toastmasters.

It took me TWO YEARS to get up the nerve to say the word ‘stripper’ and I glossed over it quickly in one speech and NEVER MENTIONED IT AGAIN.  It was like ripping off some kind of bandaid but pretending the wound never happened.

The fear I felt of being judged then was SO real, and I know it was partly because of the conservative company I was keeping.  I was in the thick of Catholicism then and still felt that I had to distance myself from my past to legitimize myself as a human being.

Tonight there was a tiny twinge of fear at the beginning of the meeting there.  And that’s where I initially held back. But a desire to OWN myself, my past, my glorious life, prevailed.  And it felt SO GOOD to be her!  To be me.  I felt like a World Champ.

Damn I love living in my own skin.  Cropped champ



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