Final “Get Up” Blog of the Year – Summary and Links to my entire “Get Up” Series


As a long time figure skating fan and enthusiast, and now more recently as an aspiring adult competitive figure skater myself (yep – started at age 59,) I was truly enthused about US Figure Skating’s “Get Up” campaign. The main theme is that, in all aspects of our lives, we may fall, but the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become. And in late October, US Figure Skating distributed this exciting video highlighting the many varied accomplishments of the “Get Up” Program since its launch a year ago. Link to the 4 minute video below.

Figure Skating is a tough sport! (link to article) It may look smooth and glamorous, but those falls on that hard ice are brutal to the body and soul. But there is a lesson here that we can apply to our personal, athletic and even business lives – that when we fall, instead of just lying there feel sorry for ourselves, we need to pick ourselves up, learn from our mistake or from the challenge we were presented, and continue toward our goal.

So I was very glad to write a monthly series focused on the theme of “Getting Up.” Here are short summaries with links to each of the series.

In January, I wrote the introductory blog Introduction to the “Get Up” theme with figure skating examples, including famous skaters and regular recreational skaters.

In February and April, I featured adult skaters who have gotten up from serious illnesses and injuries. It often takes adults much longer to recover, so these stories from adult skaters are truly inspirational. Links to : Stories of Adult Figure Skaters “Getting Up” After Illness and Injury, part 1 and part 2.

In March I wrote about getting up from career and vocational falls with four short inspiration stories of how these people “got up” to move on after falls and troubles in their vocational lives.

In May, in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, my May “Get Up” Blog was “Getting Up after Considering or Attempting Suicide.” Often greatly stigmatized, people suffering with this issue can indeed get up and move on to whole and satisfying lives.

In June, I wrote In “Getting Up from from loneliness and isolation through finding community” where I share the inspiring story of adult figure skater Amanda McGowan find a community through skating.

For July / August – – In “Getting Up from a Life of Hiding and Deception,” my friend Jim shares about “Getting Up” and changing from old patterns of secrecy and deception to living a more productive, honest, rich authentic life as a proud gay man.

In September, I dealing with: “Getting Up from Nay-sayers”, about how to deal with one of the most insidious detractors keeping us from achieving our goals – those negative people who love to tell us what we are not able to do.

My October Get Up Blog – an interview with Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz who has written a wonderful series of books about all kinds of figure skaters, famous and no-so-famous, who all have “get up” stories. Mine is even included in her latest book!

I plan on now closing this series, but if people send me ideas for 2018 I will be glad to continue writing.

Diversity and Inclusion Wisdom from a College Student

Enjoying Georgia Tech homecoming 2017 with mascot Buzz

Often in my “off-work” life I am on the look out for good material for my blog, especially since I try to publish an entry three or four times a month. And I lucked out while attending by 40th college class reunion at Georgia Tech in late October this year.

The Georgia Tech Alumni Association offered a robust series of events on Homecoming Friday at their new Georgia Tech Global Learning Center. One session I attended was the student panel talking about student life at Georgia Tech. I knew it would be fun to see how campus life differed from my time (1973 – 1977) 0n campus.

The panel included 2 male and 3 female students from various majors involved with a wide range of activities on campus. The panel moderator opened the discussion with a few planned questions before opening the floor to alumni, most of who were attending their 40th and 50th class reunions. Discussions included topics such as favorite traditions, hardest classes and easiest classes. Certainly there have been many changes over the past 40 or 50 years.

One of the more notable changes is the gender make up of the entering class. When I arrived at Georgia Tech, approximately 10% of the student body was women. Now the latest entering class was over 40% women. It is great to see the drastic increase in women pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and careers.

Then one gentleman in the audience asked a particularly fascination question of the students, “Who do you feel are smarter at Tech – the men or the women?”

After a short somewhat awkward pause, one of the women on the panel gave a profound answer. She said:

“I have been on project work teams in my classes where I was the only woman. I have also been on project teams that have been entirely women. And I have found the most successful project teams have been those with a good mix of men and women. We often have different ways of looking at issues and problems, and it seems that teams that have more diverse ways of thinking end of with the best results.”

As a diversity and inclusion consultant and trainer, I was so heartened that this young woman could articulate the value of diversity of thought that many organizations still need to learn. Often diversity breeds an increase in creative thinking leading to the best solution to business challenges, the best product offerings and the best customer support. This makes me enthusiastic about the future of American business and the future business leaders coming out of universities such as Georgia Tech.

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