Stu Speaks
Stu Speaks

A Message of Leadership and Laughter.

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The run

Wed, 2008-06-11 00:04

Stayed at my mom’s last night. There is a certain comfort when you arrive back at the home that you grew up in. I recognized the smell and the feel. My mom has made many, many changes to the house, but in the end it’s still “home”.

As part of the 22 day challenge (let’s hear it for day 16!), I run for six days and have one day of recovery. So this morning I had to run, but this would be another challenge for me because I have only run my run, my 5 km around our property. I was so nervous. The night before I mapped out the circuit by driving in my car until I found a 5 km route. When I awoke this morning (on time… 4:39am) I did my morning holy hour and then got ready for the run. Tightening up my running shoes I ventured out of the house. It was a beautiful morning, perfect temperature, a light rain was still falling after the mighty storm that carried through most of the night. I ran and I ran, 1 km then 2, 3, 4 and finally the 5th. The thing was I was still full of energy, still ready to run some more. So I went around my old street to the circle (it’s a court) and instantly remembered great games of hide and seek, kick the can, tag, king of the castle in the winter. As I ran by, I could here the laughter, the kids darting around, screams of pure joy. I could see all my friends… John, Chris, Anita, Lori, Derek, Brian, Pete and my brother. They were there, clear as it was 30 years ago.

I continued across the road and did a lap around my old elementary school, still the same. I saw the place I won at marbles (a game long lost now), where we played 21, soccer and handball. I ran by where I had my first kiss, the time I tried a cigarette, that spot I was married for the first time… Darlene where are you? I slowed down at that exact spot that Kieth punched me… the same place where I got right back up and tried to fight back.

I ran back to my mom’s home, my home. I ran up the steps top speed, just like I did when I was eight years old. When I got to the door I saw my face in the reflection of the window. I wasn’t eight I was thirty eight, a long way from that time. But as I turned around to look across the street at my old best friend’s home (long moved away), I felt good. I had done it, I grew up. There was a time when I thought 38 was like the end of a life. I would never reach that time, that age, no way.

My elementary school principal once told my mom I shouldn’t take advanced courses in high school because I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I wasn’t focused enough, smart enough. My mom had faith in me, she signed me up for the advanced courses. I more then survived, I succeeded.

As I move towards the end of the 22 day challenge I am very aware that I am capable of more. My mentor has always told me, “With clarity comes mastery.” I know that’s true now. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You can be the person that YOU choose to be. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but I am proof. That run today reminded me of where I’ve come from. The street, the playground and the home. I am ready to keep going, to keep building, to keep getting better.

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  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye