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March 5, 2005 / TildeWill

Yuck Makes You Stronger

When I was in 7th grade a motivational speaker came to our school. His name was Mike Karpovich. “The kids used to call me Mike Karp-o-swear-word”, as he phrased it. He told some funny stories, and I laughed but I wasn’t really engaged. I mean here’s an overweight guy who showed up late, is wearing a t-shirt, and mis matched canvas shoes, and he wants me to listen to him about why I shouldn’t beat up other kids? Like I could beat up any other kids! I was a 90 pound weakling.

Then he needed a volunteer from the audience. He needed someone small and skinny and I knew better than to volunteer, but the people next to me decided to point and raise my hand for me. So I get down there and I get turned into Mike’s mobile microphone stand. Ha ha, I held the mic too far away, now too close, now he’s carrying me, then WOOSH! My head swings inches above the floor and Mike is holding on to my feet. I still have to hold the mic up to his face and all the blood is rushing to my head so I don’t hear much but I’m looking at his orange Chuck Taylor All Star and his purple Chuck Taylor All Star shoes and I think I resolved there and then that I’d do that too.

The other half of Mike’s message was that if you do get picked on or beat up, that the “Yuck makes you stronger.” That you’ve got to push through the tough times in life and recognize that this temporary inconvenience will pass eventually; and that by having lived through it you’re that much stronger for the next time something bad comes along.

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