Amor Fati

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

A few weeks ago, I had the cool opportunity to be the keynote speaker to kick off the Endurance Exchange Conference in Tempe, Arizona…

550 of the world’s most influential people associated with the endurance sports community came together to champion all elements of swimming, biking and running, and I was given the task to start this thing off with a BANG.

Knowing that this was kinda a big deal and because I have a handful of future talks in the near future, I decided that if I wanted to make the maximum impact I needed to take my presentation skills to the next level.

After several years of winging it and just telling stories, I spent the previous 2 months putting together something that would be able to more easily resonate with the audience… Complete with videos, photos and life mantras, the finished product is f*cking awesome and has an incredible flow and dynamic that should leave anybody willing to engage much better for it.

So, when Mike Reilly, the famous voice of Ironman called me up on stage, my confidence in the speech/presentation had never been higher…

My plan was to start with a short, 3-minute video that would give the audience a much better idea about the journey, and then follow it up with a series of slides and a few more videos that really help tell the stories and hammer home the messages and accumulated life lessons… 

When I got up there, of course, the video wouldn’t play, but I had actually prepared for that happening and easily knew that I could flow into the speech without losing too much of the overall effect.

All I had to do was grab the clicker and move forward to the first slide of the presentation…  That seemed like an easy adjustment and great idea, but the clicker that was supposed to be on the podium was absolutely nowhere to be found… So there I was, basically naked onstage in front of nearly 600 people, without access to my entire presentation.

There was really only one thing left to do… 

Laugh 🤣

I then explained to the audience what was going on, and then told them that this was actually a perfect way for the speech and conference to begin… With bewildered looks on their faces, I immediately got into a term that I try to live my life by and this was the perfect example… 

AMOR FATI

Love our fate for all of it’s worth, and be grateful for all things, good, bad and ugly because it’s these things that allow us to accumulate experiences and then learn and grow from everything we encounter… 

I quickly pointed out the ironic fact that triathletes typically have a tough time embracing the unknown and unexpected that the sport and life constantly throw at us. 

Too often, we let little things have a huge impact on our race and/or training and mentally mind f*ck ourselves because of the mundane bullshit we can think of… 

To be totally honest, I easily could have done the entire speech without any of the planned presentation or technical support and just as I was starting to flow into it, the video began playing and the clicker was found and brought to me on stage.

The next 45 minutes went as fluid as could be without a hiccup, and I truly believe the overall impact wasn’t affected one bit by the shit show beginning…

As a matter of fact, that night, a handsome and extremely fit elderly gentleman came up to me at the Let Them Play documentary screening and said that my speech earlier in the day was one of the best he had ever seen in all his years… 

Completely humbled, I thanked him and then asked what his favorite part was…

Without hesitation, he quickly responded… 

“The beginning of course… AMOR FATI.” 

-EB