Today’s guest post is from my good friend, Andy Headworth, from Sirona Says Consulting. Andy is based in the UK.
As a lifelong recruitment person I have met my fair share of motivated people. In fact, sometimes motivated is a real understatement.
I am going to test my personal motivation to an absolute extreme on July 21st by jumping 750 feet off a dam dressed as a giant crocodile. Laurie has kindly allowed me to share my story with you — to demonstrate how strong motivation can help you achieve what can seem like an impossible task.
The power of motivation didn’t really hit me until I personally went through a painful and life changing event. In early 2007, the following happened.
- My brother, David, turned 40.
- He got engaged to his soul mate.
- David found out that he was going to be a dad for the first time.
- At the same time, he was diagnosed with leukemia.
Talk about a real kick in the balls!!
After a couple of understandable “why me” questions, David set about trying to beat the cancer in his own way. His motivation was simple — it was April, he had a bad strain of the disease, and he wanted to see his child born in the August. That summer was one of the most painful times of my life watching my brother fight such a horrible disease knowing that there was very little I could do other than to support him and his wife through the hard times. His motivation and dedication to his obvious cause was just fantastic. He would have put many “motivational speakers” to shame.
David’s son son, Dara, was born in August. Very soon after the birth, my brother was diagnosed terminal. Unfortunately, David passed away in December 2007.
My grief turned into a new motivation for me. The reason David died was the lack of medical knowledge of the particular strain of leukemia. My motivation is now very simple — to help raise as much money as I can for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Research charity so that they can try and diagnose cures for these nasty blood cancers.
Last year I dressed as a giant crocodile and took part in the International Worthing Birdman Competition. I jumped 35 feet off a pier into the sea. At the time, I thought that was mad.
This year I have taken it to the extreme!! Below is a picture of the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland. You may have seen it in the James Bond film Goldeneye.
I will be doing a bungee jump off this Dam dressed as a giant crocodile. Just for the record is 750 feet high, with a 7.5 second freefall before the bungee engages. Here’s something that adds to the excitement: my 16 year old daughter, Bethany, is doing the jump as well in honour of her Uncle.
If you know me, you will realise that I am a fairly motivated individual — but I have to say this is taking motivation to a whole new level!
One question I have been asked is why a giant crocodile? Several years ago David and his girlfriend went travelling around the world. They planned to be in Australia, on the beach, the Christmas. So we sent a Christmas package to them containing party hats, Christmas crackers, jokes, novelties and the 6 foot inflatable crocodile. David inflated the crocodile and proceeded to involve it in all the festivities of Christmas day on the beach, including putting a party hat on it, taking it to the bars and having it sit with them while they ate their Christmas barbecue food. It became known as Snappy, and became part of our family’s folklore. So for me it was an easy choice, when I needed to find an outfit to jump off the pier last year.
I have had some real work challenges in my career, and my motivation for success and achievement has helped me overcome these challenges. For once I’m wondering whether I have bitten off more than I can chew with this one?
A year ago when I decided to do this challenge it was easy to talk about, with my bravado taking control, but as we get closer and closer to the event, even I have to question my mental state and level of sanity in making this charity leap. But while my legs might wobble and the butterflies will be flying around my stomach, my motivation is totally unwavering — the more money I can raise in doing this completely mad and mental jump, the fewer families will have to suffer with the heartache of losing a loved one.
So, the test for me on July 21st is to see if motivation can really drive me over the edge of a 750 feet dam!!
There will of course be plenty of video footage, and photos of the day on my blog.
Thank you again to Laurie for allowing me to share my story.
— Andy Headworth