I have done speaking engagements in many places from coffee shops, running groups, retirement homes, universities as well as black tie events where I have been the key note speaker.
My talks center around my Book Why I Run “My story of how I won my life back from the darkness of depression”. My goal is to get people talking and by telling my story openly I break the stigma behind depression.
I tell my story from the beginning when I started struggling with depression and take you on my journey through my depression and how it grew and grew through out my life, how it controlled me and almost ended my life. I then talk about the events leading to me making the call for help and changing my life.
Then what led me to writing my book and living a life of purpose and finally living my dream I had since I was just a child, that dream of finally being myself after 38 years of struggling with depression.
I cater the rest of the talk to the theme of the night.
-Whether I am just telling my story, doing a reading from my book and opening the floor to questions.
-Talking about the similarities between learning to run long distance and learning how to use the tools I was being taught to fight depression are one in the same. That with hard work learning to change your negative thought patterns and learning to fight depression is so worth the fight! “Nothing worth having doesn’t come with out some kind of fight! You gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds day light”. Everyone deserves to be happy!
-Mindfulness and Meditation. How at first, I was so against such silly things and that this hippie trippy stuff could never help me. But over time and after a lot of practice it became a natural thing, I actually look forward to doing it now and it is a part of my everyday health and well being. I give examples of how I started Mindfulness and Meditation, share readings from my book where I use mindfulness and meditation together along with running.
-How I stopped drinking, excepting the truth that drinking alcohol was fueling my depression. I talk about how through a mood monitoring exercise I excepted that I could not drink anymore. I am now 5 years with out alcohol and I take great pride in the fact that I acknowledged this problem and took the steps to better myself.
-The power of writing and how it helped me learn to embrace the tools I was being taught use. I talk about my latest book "Creative Writing For The Mind, Body & Soul". I can either teach my 4 night course or break the course up into separate presentations.
The over all theme is that only with hard work can we all accomplish great things life. That beating depression is possible and worth the fight, that there is always time to change your lives. But most important above all “Only with open Conversation can we kill the stigma behind depression, Lets start talking and kill it together”