6 years ago I went to a fitness convention and was completely affected by the very last speaker of the event. His name is Jay Blahnik and his speech encompassed the word Extraordinary.
As you entered the amphitheater, you were given a questions sheet with 3 things on it...and a wrist band. I remember, probably for one of the very few times in my life during a lecture, feeling completely present. The 4 days of fitness training and education were done and I was in the middle of a major life adjustment. The 3 questions are buried somewhere in my files, but the wrist band (dead broken and useless) is still around to remind me of that week and what was to come. The lecture feeling still anchored deep in my purpose.
I had yet thought about the next part of my life. Wanting to make shorts for active men like myself was not part of the equation. I had been training for a few events that were more about life than competition. Project Athena's Rim to Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon and a bucket list trip to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. The "selfish" life experiences would prove the theory of a Life Extraordinary.
Jay touched on one thing that still resonates with me. We all have a quality that is extraordinary, finding it is one thing. Putting it to use is another. Believing in your own Extraordinary-ness is the only way to get to the latter.
The Project Athena event was filled with stories and epic teamwork. The leader, Robyn Benincasa would prove to be one of the keys to believing in my own Extraordinary-ness. She would demonstrate over the course of two days of hiking what Leadership looked like. One very apparent thing would be her ability to bring out the Extraordinary in everyone around her.
The Kilimanjaro trip was the first reward to myself in 6 years. I had some failures that took time to rebuild security in my own life. My friendships during those days was always clear, who was true and who was in it for something else. Very few of the latter....blessed with time and permission, I planned the trip with a simple request... if you are going to Kili again, I would love to go...I had finally felt like I had permission from my non-extraordinary self.
The start of PHIT Threads actually happened on the way down the mountain. The first phone call happened before I left Africa. The first meeting and cutting happened in the second week after touching ground. The first pair of prototype shorts were on my legs within 40 days. I was off and running. The life Extraordinary continues...now its this...