There are a few things you should know about me. First, I am not an outgoing person. In any new situation I am going to be standing back, scoping out the situation, trying to determine where/if I may fit into this circumstance. Second, I’m a very quiet person. If I am not passionate about a subject or if I do not believe I can speak intelligently about a subject, I’m not going to speak. I also have trouble making small talk with people. I mostly feel awkward and that I don’t have much interesting to say. Third, I am a homebody and I really do not like going anywhere without my husband. Fourth, despite my shyness, I seem to be a natural born leader. Maybe it’s because I was the first born (child and grandchild), maybe it’s because I’ve always been taught there is nothing I cannot do or maybe it’s because I like to be in control and just get things done. I don’t know, I’m not loud or domineering but I always seem to be placed in positions where I take the lead and start making decisions.
That being said, I was pushed way out of my comfort zone this weekend. I have been given the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Hot Springs program in my hometown. (If you want to know more about this program, click here: http://www.leadershiphs.org/) The participants in the program are required to attend an overnight retreat. That’s right, I had to go to an overnight retreat with 20 people I did not know. The only time most of us had ever met was at a short 1 hour orientation a few weeks ago, now we were sleeping within a few feet of one another (and had 15 women sharing 2 bathrooms).
I have been extremely excited about the opportunity to participate in the program but I was not excited about this retreat. Was I going to have anything in common with anyone? Would I be able to come out of my shell enough to get to know people? What will we be expected to do?
Let me just tell you, I had the best time. I quickly realized as we were loading the bus (a big yellow school bus) that everyone was just as nervous as I was. There was also a good mix of people, some quiet like me, some outspoken, some just ready to have fun. Upon our arrival, the camp staff quickly got us moving with different team building activities. We solved problems together, worked up a sweat together and faced fears together (anyone else want to be 35 feet in the air?). Leadership Hot Springs Class XXIX started coming together.
I sit here now, back in the comfort of my own home, and I am so glad I did not chicken out. I stretched myself, I learned more about myself (I am a Lion) and I can’t wait for the next challenge this program sets before me.