Many people in the north Jefferson area attended the Get Motivated seminar that was held at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. Some went to truly get motivated. Others went to see what all of the hype was about. And some went because their favorite people were speaking. I went for all of these reasons.
Curiosity got the best of me and I couldn’t resist going to get in on the excitement of the motivational speakers. Our editor, Melanie Patterson, went with me to this event and we were nothing less than shocked.
Everyone was talking about wether the speakers would really be there, how it could only cost $2 to see them, and what the catch was going to be.
There were many phone calls and emails to warn attendees of the parking problems and time awareness associated with this event. It took place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. last Monday, but we were told to get there at 6:45 a.m. when the doors opened. Being the studious women that we are, we obeyed their orders. We got up earlier than we had ever done on a Monday morning and hit the road running with excitement.
We were both expecting a dud, but hoping for the best. That was probably the feelings of most attendees for this event. Not much more was known about it, other than the speakers who were to be present. Among the list of speakers were former First Lady Laura Bush, former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Auburn head coach and coach of the year Gene Chizik, and Zig Ziglar. What a powerful line up.
The lights went down and out came our host for the day, then came a Grammy award winning singer Marvin Winans, who sang the National Anthem. Then, while still singing, fireworks went off. At this point, I turn to Melanie and say, “Well, I now feel like I’ve gotten our $2 worth, so this is going to be a fun day.” We laughed and waited for the next big thing to take place. To our surprise, there actually was a “next big thing.” Lo and behold, Gen. Colin Powell came walking down the isle. Fireworks were going off and streamers were falling from the ceiling and we were speechless. He spoke for a while, and it seemed that no one took a breath the whole time. Had we really just seen Colin Powell in person? This day was better than expected.
Then, one by one, each promised speaker came to the stage. Each time, we were more excited than the one before. I must say that the welcome for Nick Saban was probably the loudest of the day. He is not my coach of choice, so I did all that I could do to make Gene feel just as welcome.
Now there was a catch, which we were all waiting for. There were three speakers sprinkled in the line up who were nothing more than a telemarking plot. But I don’t think too many people minded them, since we were waiting on our speakers of choice to come up next. By the end of the day we were a little tired and very hungry.
How can you put on a conference about financial freedom while charging $7 for a sausage dog and $3.50 for a bottle of water? But these guys did. The funny thing is that we all forgave them, because we were seeing Laura Bush in person for $2. Still seems like a bargain to me.
There were plenty of texts being sent to friends and family to gloat about the fact that I was looking dead on at their head coach and my friends were at work, but it was all in good fun.
At the end of the day, Melanie and I ate a nice dinner and talked about the good words we had gleaned from our speakers of choice.