Years ago I learned a very cool thing about Robin Williams, and I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it. I never actually booked Robin Williams for an event, but I came close enough that his office sent over his rider. For those outside of the entertainment industry, a rider lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting them for an event- anything from bottled water and their green room to sound and lighting requirements. You can learn a lot about a person from their rider. This is where rocks bands list their requirement for green M&Ms (which is actually a surprisingly smart thing to do). This is also where a famous environmentalist requires a large gas-guzzling private jet to fly to the event city, but then requires an electric or hybrid car to take said environmentalist to the event venue when in view of the public.
When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that. I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back. I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions. He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example.
If you’re inspired by the example Robin Williams’ set in his rider, check out 3 Small Steps to Make 1 Big Impact.
If you’d like to donate to help counselors who walk along side those in need, go here.
Chrissie Wellington is more than just one of the greatest triathletes in history- she’s a humanitarian, traveler, and one of the most thoughtful people you’ll ever hear. Watch this exclusive interview about her book “Life Without Limits”
NEXT: Check out why older triathletes are freaks!
I’ve come to realize that ‘older’ triathletes (no good PC term comes to mind) are freaks. I’m in my 30s and work at an office in which almost everyone is younger than me, so almost everyone I know in their 50s and 60s are triathletes. In my mind, it’s normal that some 54-year-old woman has extremely defined calf muscles that you glimpse briefly as she flies by you up a 15% incline hill, or some 62-year-old guy has a resting heart rate of lower than his age and still races ironman triathlons in under 12 hours.
Then I went on our first cruise with my family this month. Let’s just say this cruise skewed older. Out of 1,600 passengers on board, only 18 were kids under the age of 12, so this cruise was certainly not catering to people with young families. For the first time in a long time, I was surrounded by 50- and 60-year-olds who weren’t predominantly endurance athletes. They didn’t spend Saturday mornings cranking out 50 miles on the bike, and then getting in a dozen miles more on the run on Sunday before church. They weren’t hitting the pool at 5AM for 100 repeats and getting in a quick 5K run at lunch.
In a word, these people on the cruise were…normal.
They were rounder, softer, and just seemed to look older and less healthy. It’s nothing against them for choosing that particular non-triathlete lifestyle, but it made me appreciate what these people I know have chosen to be and become. It’s kind of like watching basketball on TV. Those point guards seem so short compared to other basketball players on the court. Then you you meet an NBA point guard in person, and you’re like, “Wow. 6’5 is tall!”
I realized that triathletes have skewed my perception of what ‘normal’ is. It’s not normal to keep in shape, to still be an athlete, to have people 20s and 30s wish they could look like someone in their 50s and 60s. That drive and determination are the exception, not the rule. So, to you older triathletes, I salute you, and I hope I can be just like you when I grow up!
Has an older triathlete ever been an inspiration to you? Comment below!
Speaking of living a different type of life, check out my interview with Chrissie Wellington. She’s one of the most interesting people I’ve ever interviewed, and she retired having never lost a single ironman race!
About 10 years ago, myself, the owner of our company and another agent sat down at a local restaurant to interview a new potential agent named David. During the lunch, he mentioned that his family had been very involved with a particular company. I said, “That’s great! I booked George and Barbara Bush for their national conference a couple of years ago.” I then proceeded to launch into this fun little story.
I’d booked George and Barbara Bush to speak at that company’s National Conference at a large convention center in Dallas. The event set up was that Barbara Bush would speak first. Then, well-known Christian singer Michael W. Smith would perform two of his songs. President George Bush (Sr.) would then be the closing speaker. To finish the event, the company’s founder and his wife, George and Barbara Bush, and Michael W. Smith would then all go on stage and take a bow together. Continue Reading
Have you ever had a time where you were laid up in bed for longer than you wanted? When you have all your plans and responsibilities and general habits of life thrown off, it can be incredibly frustrating- but sometimes it can end up allowing you to make a greater impact than you ever had before.
A friend of mine named Brent recently got injured pretty badly and is forced to not walk for a good while, so I figured I’d write this out for him. I’ve had other friends with various injuries and sicknesses that I’ve shared these stories with (not to mention taking this advice myself during an extended hospital stay and recovery), and it always seems to give people hope.
If you’ve ever studied President Kennedy, you’ll know he had a myriad of sicknesses and injuries throughout his lifetime, making his accomplishments even more impressive. A few years after he was elected to the Senate, Continue Reading
One of the fun parts of marrying into an Italian family is getting to know some of the traditions of people from the “Old Country” who moved here fairly recently. The Lords moved to America before it was the United States, so all the stories of adjusting to this new land are lost.
Since today is Easter, I thought I’d share an Easter story, which I think was both comical and tragic. Although I’ve never killed a goat, this seems like the type of well-intentioned thing that parents do all the time to educate their kids that turns out terribly wrong. Continue Reading
Tomorrow, I’m re-tracing the steps of my first half-marathon, that I decided to run for my unborn daughter. Here’s the story of that ill-planned adventure.
A few days after Christmas 2004, we found we’d be having a child that summer. It hit me I needed to do whatever I could to stay healthy for a long time, so the day after I found out, I signed up for my first half marathon. The race would be the Tom King Half Marathon in mid March.
I’d done a couple of 5Ks, but training was foreign to me. Preparation was pretty much limited to fitting in a mile run maybe once or twice before a race. Otherwise, I just stuck to basketball twice a week. Someone had told me that if you wanted to do a half marathon, you did this thing called a ‘long run’, where every week, you run one mile longer than the week before. I started with the week of the half marathon, and worked my way back subtracting a mile each week. To figure out mileage, I’d go out and drive to a point of half the distance I needed, and drive back. I learned that the distance around the parking lots of a nearby school was one mile. Oh, the boring laps I ran around that school! I only knew about this long run thing, so I didn’t do any running outside of that. I had a radio headset, so I’d time my runs during football and basketball games so that at least I’d have some company. I never ran with any friends, because at that point, I only had friends who did normal sports like football and basketball. Continue Reading
Syd is driven to be a famous singer. As soon as she saw it was snowing, she exclaimed, “I have to put on something blue and doing a video singing in the snow!” My California-born wife, who is afraid of any and all forms of precipitation, exclaimed (there’s a lot of exclaiming in our house), “You can’t go out in that! No one goes out in that!” (granted, it was only 21 degrees out.) A few minutes later, my wife relayed the story to me, and I said I’d be happy to video Syd singing, and here is the result.
Syd seems to be a natural performer. She immediately grasped the production value of singing in the snow. She also didn’t break character or stop either when snow started gathering on her eyes or her friends started yelling up from the street. Plus, she’d worked hard enough on the song beforehand that when the chance came up with a surprise snowfall, she was ready.