Thank you much. My athletes have been thanking me and praising your words and delivery throughout the day. My part was SMALL in the overall outcome. Coaches and administrators have been echoing the athletes claims, that the passion and heart felt connection was pouring through everyone. Your journey and subsequent triumph in life, will be a beacon of light for others to follow. I commend you and truly appreciate your candor, you have left a charge of encouragement and enlightenment on Arkansas Tech’s campus.
— Brett "Duke" Waldon, MS, ATC, LAT, CSCS Head Athletic Trainer Associate Athletic Director- Arkansas Tech University

Last week I kicked off my fall speaking tour with the NCAD conference in Southern California. I'm waiting for that event to finish and get the clients feedback before I post a blog about it. I gotta say, it's great to be back on the road and sharing my story. I'm especially stoked that I got to kick it off in front of a bunch of athletes from Arkansas. 

Substance abuse speaking at this arena can be tricky, especially because the students are old enough that being lectured is not what they are interested in but also because we all know that college contains a fair bit of having fun (partying). Another hurdle is the bike, college sports don't involve BMX, minus the couple in the midwest that have it as a sport. Will athletes relate to a substance abuse speaker that talks about BMX racing? The answer is yes, for a couple of reasons. One, I don't talk about the bike much to be honest, they don't get any details about the sport, how it works or any racing stories. Two, I don't lecture them about drugs and their dangers. It's not a speech on statistics or the current opioid epidemic the country is facing. Of course, I do talk about these things to a certain degree but the magic is that I build messaging into stories that contain life lessons. 

It's always and honor for me to present to athletes of this type. Afterwards many expressed how much my speech made and impact and how much they really enjoyed my story. Several wanted pictures and the coach who helped facilitate my visit said that the students asked more questions with me than any other speaker they have had. I got lots of messages privately on instagram which was an even stronger indicator of the impact that was left behind. Thank you "Duke" & Arkansas Tech for hosting me!