I believe I can fly

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For the past several weeks, my life has been dominated by terrible headaches and even worse dreams. Last night, my headaches subsided, and I dreamed I could fly. Perhaps it was a silly dream, but I woke up with a smile on my face. For the record, even though I could fly, I was still goofy.
I’ve spent the last couple of days at a leadership summit in Meridian, Miss. This group in Mississippi was one of the most amazing groups I’ve ever been around. The group was a final expense insurance group, but insurance was hardly discussed. We discussed many topics, including influence, integrity and faith. There were several amazing presenters, and I was just honored and humbled to be in the lineup.
I could talk about each of the presenters, but I’ll focus on two of them. One of them was Derrick Moore, the director of leadership development for the group, but he’s also the team chaplain for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. He played football at Troy. The running back was the MVP of the Blue-Gray Football Classic and the Hula Bowl his senior year and went on to play seven years in the NFL backing up the likes of Barry Sanders. Most noteworthy is the fact that he married an Auburn cheerleader. War Eagle!
Ted Dibiase Jr. was also a presenter. Dibiase is a former professional wrestler, actor, business man, humanitarian, military supporter and a man of God. He worked very hard to make a name for himself in the wrestling world. At one point, he worked four jobs just to make his dream a reality, and this was after graduating from college. Although he’s experienced more success than I am ever likely to see, his journey reminded me much of my own journey. At 42 years old, I’m a devout wrestling fan and couldn’t wait to talk with him about the industry. After hearing him speak, the last thing I wanted to talk with him about was wrestling.
Oftentimes, speakers come in and do their thing, shake a few hands, then go about their business. Routinely, I’ll hang around a little longer than the average guy, because I love meeting new people, but eventually, I leave, too. That didn’t happen this time. I couldn’t leave. It was wonderful being around such positivity, and I’m leaving this summit wanting to be a better man and am more focused and determined than ever before to continue to grow my career.
I’m often taken aback at how blessed I am, and I thank God every day. At two o’clock this morning, I received an email from a fellow stutterer who is a college junior at Illinois State. In his email, he mentioned that he recently dropped out of the ROTC program due to his stutter, fearing that he could not be an effective leader. Through my comedy, he found out about my career in the military as an Army officer, and according to him, I’ve helped reshape his plans for his future. I never started any of this thinking that a poor, stuttering kid from Opelika could influence anyone. I write that with sincerity, but what a blessing it is to be able to influence others in such a positive manner, and I’m ready to do more, and I will. The sky’s the limit. I believe I can fly.
Jody Fuller can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com.

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