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Don’t be Scared…Speak Up! (a funny and true story)

A couple of weeks ago I was out on my daily run through my neighborhood. It was a longer run because I was preparing for the 10 mile race. There are a few homes that have dogs that bark like crazy as I’m running past their house. One dog in particular I know would charge me if he wasn’t on a leash. So I’m always thinking, where would I run if this dog came at me, and how would I protect myself.

As I’m running someone had cleared some brush and had placed it on the curb in front of their house. Lying on the ground by the brush was this big stick. I thought to myself, I need to pick up that stick in case I need it. I did, and proceeded to go on my run. It’s funny because a couple of older gentlemen who were working in their yards asked me if it was a “dog stick”. I shook my head yes…and kept running.

By this time, I was getting hot, so as I ran past my house I took off my new lime green Nike jacket and placed it across my mailbox…and kept running. I made another jaunt around the neighborhood to finish my run, and as I’m coming around the corner to my street, a New Albany truck with two workers in it turned on my street. They were picking up things that people had put out on the curb. As I watched them go down my street I saw my new lime green Nike jacket lying across my mailbox. I thought to myself, “I bet they’re going to take my jacket”. Sure enough, as they came to my house, one of them reached out and took my jacket!

I said to myself, “Oh no they didn’t”! And something rose up in me. I live on a cul-de-sac so they had to come back past me. I stood in the middle of the street, blocking them, with my big stick pointed straight at them. I said “that jacket is mine and I want it”! When they pulled up right next to me, one of them handed me back my new lime green Nike jacket through the window. I took it and headed home. The nerve! I thought that my stick was going to be used for dogs, but it turned out I needed for a couple of New Albany sanitation workers.

The funny thing is that this has happened to me before! When I was about eighteen I had a UofL duffle bag that my sister gave me. One of my brothers took it and naturally I was not happy about it. One day as I was coming down the street from work, and I saw one of the guys that we grew up with, had my UofL duffle bag! I walked right up to him and said, “That bag is mine and I want it”. He looked at me, and handed me the bag. I know you’re thinking, he could have hit you or something. As a side note, none of the guys in the neighborhood messed with me because they didn’t want to come up against my five brothers. So, I continued home with my bag.

What’s the moral of the story? Sometimes you have to speak up and fight for what’s yours. Don’t let fear keep you quiet. If you want that promotion on your job, speak up. If you’re trying to purchase a house or a car and you want a better deal, speak up. If you like that guy…tell him. Time waits for no one. Don’t let the moment pass because it may not come around again.

I spoke up…and my new lime green Nike jacket is hanging in my closet!

Love you to life!

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