By Carolina Tumminelli
Be the main character in your life, and the supporting character for others, especially in those lives of the people you hold dear.
When Randy asked me a few days ago if I wanted to write the guest blog about his foundation’s main event, Peak Potential, I was thrilled. When I realized that he asked me because of a conversation we had had months ago – marathons ago, difficult times ago, ages ago – I was honored. I have never heard an unkind word spoken about Randy or Tracy – in fact, everyone always says they are both inspirational, awe-inspiring, amazing. That’s all true, and last night’s event was a complete testament to that. But that wasn’t my take away from last night’s dinner and fundraiser.
I arrived fashionably early last night, and was immediately greeted by Tracy, Randy’s beautiful and also inspiring wife. Tracy isn’t just the woman behind the man – she takes on her own challenges – school while working full time, running, etc – and handles them with grace and sometimes, I’m sure, a few choice words, but nonetheless she handles them! I was handed my name tag, given a few details about the night, and directed to the room where the silent auction items were laid out. There were people milling about looking at items, but what struck me was the team that was still working diligently to take care of those last few details to make sure the event went smoothly. As my friends arrived, we drank, ate and chatted. And that’s the second time I was awe-struck again. I was surrounded by friends – amazing people who were doing amazing things, some small, some large – none more amazing than the next and everyone had chosen to spend an evening in support of our friend, Randy, because of what he meant to us.
The items for the silent auction were plentiful and amazing – from jewelry, to weekend stays at a ski resort, to a beautiful, handmade afghan blanket made by Randy’s mother (probably the most valuable item in that room). It was wonderful to see how many different people and organizations had come together to donate items to support 2020 Vision Quest.
We were slowly ushered into the dining room, where dinner was served. The food was delicious and the atmosphere lively – somehow you felt and knew that Randy and Tracy, and their friends, had orchestrated every last detail so that we would all have an amazing evening (although I must admit, the coffee was lacking in quality, but I’ll let it slide).
The Live Auction was next and brought laughter, bribery with puppies, bidding wars, and an extraordinary amount of money raised for the charity! And apparently someone is being fed homemade scones by Randy while riding in a hot air balloon – I’ll let you decide if that’s a prize or not.
Then, Randy spoke. I don’t want to say he gave a presentation – he does that almost every day to various schools and organizations. Nope, last night, Randy spoke. He spoke to a room full of friends, family, supporters – he spoke to his team – the people he has in his life who help him get through the big challenges, the daily struggles, the happy times and sad days. Randy spoke about being the main character in your life story – making the choices that allow you to be the best person you can be, to reach your Peak Potential. No matter who you are, you need to surround yourself with a team of people who will help you, guide you, catch you when you fall, laugh with you, and love you. Randy spoke about building that team so that you could be the main character in your life story, not just a backseat driver. And I’ll take it one step further: on top of being the main character in your own life story, be a supporting role for others, particularly those people that you hold dear. Life is too short to live it in solitude, thinking you can achieve your goals alone. Besides, when you get to the top of the mountain, you want someone there to share in the champagne, whiskey, coffee, and cake (okay, maybe not the coffee!).
Guys, life is not easy, but it wasn’t meant to be. We all have our stories, our struggles, our journeys. I own my own business, have two small children, attempt to be a runner, and try to be there for my friends and family – the people I hold close. Because without those people, I wouldn’t be able to even THINK about achieving the goals I want to achieve. They believe in me, even when I do not.
The final “event” of the night was a team/table event where people could make pledges towards 2020 Vision Quest. The team – everyone in the room – raised more than $13,000 in less than 10 minutes! That’s teamwork!
At the end of the night, I grabbed one of the posters that was being handed out. I didn’t open it up until this morning, but when I did, I knew it was a poster that was going to be hanging in my kitchen so that I could see it every day, so that my kids could see it every day. It is the embodiment of what I want to teach my children – climb your mountain, reach your peak potential, and remember, you can’t do it alone – build your team and be there for the people who have chosen you to be on their team.