I have always been very nervous about public speaking. In elementary school I was evaluated for mental retardation because I found it so hard to speak in front of teachers and classmates. In middle school I used my diabetes as an excuse to not have to give my speech in class “My blood sugar is high, I just can’t do it today.” In high school, I got really goofy with my public speaking as a way to curb my fear. I used humor and I always began by saying how nervous I was so people wouldn’t whisper to each other “she seems nervous right?” It seemed best if they just knew and then rooted for me to not bomb my presentation.
I did several public talks about my diabetes and other topics as a teenager at camps and church youth groups. I have done presentations for work, twice presenting in Spanish to dozens of male contractors, an intimidating crowd for me. Each time I was sick to my stomach, trembling, and 100% in love with the idea of speaking in public. I really enjoy it but it has made me wonder why I like torturing myself.
I think I love it because I am SO moved by public speakers. So incredibly moved and inspired. And if there is the slightest chance that I could do a little of that for someone else by sharing my story or struggle or anything, then the nervousness is more than worth it.
I’m hoping to participate in the A1c Champion’s program. I’m also going to be presenting in public this year in various local workshops about nutrition and other wellness topics to people who want to hear what I have to say. I hope to be relaxed through it all but maybe also accept that perhaps part of my nervousness is just extreme excitement over doing something I really, really want to do that just might possibly help someone.
So mostly, I think I want to do it for the love of advocacy. Since I was little, speaking up to help someone has always been one of my favorite things.