One would think with all the states that i've taken my motivational speaking that the state of Washington would surely have been a state i've been to previously. Nope, it hasn't, not even for BMX racing have I been to Washington. Really all I knew about the state was it's high volume of water and cloudy days it accumulates in a calendar year. When I got the invitation earlier this spring to be in Washington in October, I gotta say, I was pretty freaking excited. My time there was so memorable too, what a trip that was beyond any expectation I could have set forward.
Sometimes I think that the heart of the opiate epidemic being somewhat centralized to parts of the mid-west and eastern seaboard can cause you to think that issues aren't occurring in other parts of the United States as well. Just because the state of Washington is not losing 11 a day to overdose deaths per day like the state of Ohio does not mean that their numbers of prescription pill abuse, overdoses or heroin abuse and overdoses is not on a fast rise. The truth is, numbers are up and that's why ADAC is working hard to educate their communities, the families in them and the students who are attending their counties school districts. All of the people who serve on the ADAC committee are volunteer based and I must say, that is incredibly admirable. Not that I look down upon organizations who have paid positions but it takes an incredible amount of passion to serve on a volunteer only coalition. There was no doubts in my mind that those who are apart of ADAC are 100% committed.
I had a lot on my plate in terms of speaking over the two days that I was in Washington. In fact, I got off a plane from Indiana, hit the hotel to change and went straight to work sharing my story with Lakewood High School students. Lakewood was a brand new campus and man was it NICE! Probably the nicest campus I have been on. I believe it was Cambridge High School in Casper, Wyoming that was super nice as well. I would say these two campuses had a ton in common because everything was just so state of the art. Following my Lakewood presentation, I presented to the community in the evening. To finalize my trip the following day I presented to Arlington High School and Haller and Post Middle School. The response from these students was nothing short of amazing. I literally received over 125 private messages, over 150 comments on my Instagram and it took me a few days to get back to all of those messages and comments. I was pretty wiped mentally and often the questions I get in my inbox require even more emotional attachment so I found myself having to take a break so I could answer everyone with quality effort they deserved.
As always, i'm grateful to spend time in a community I go to! I want to personally thank everyone apart of ADAC for allowing me to share my story in your community! It's been an absolute pleasure!