Posts Tagged ‘hiding and deception’

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.

“Getting Up” From a Life of Hiding and Deception

The joy of “getting up” to live an honest and authentic life clearly shows in Jim Manchester’s brilliant smile.

This is now my seventh monthly “Get Up” blog based on US Figure Skating’s popular “Get Up” campaign which shares the message that life, like the ice, is hard, and we can certainly fall on it. But the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become.

So often we can fall down in our lives by living in a web of hiding and deception where we are not totally honest with ourselves and others. Getting up and moving into a life of integrity and honesty can be so empowering and fulfilling. I would like to share the story of a close friend, Jim Manchester, who actually created and maintains my business website.

Jim shares, “After trying to live 45 years of my life pretending to be a straight married man for 15+ years and making huge mistakes along the way, that double life simply caught up with me in a disastrous way. I had been afraid that I would lose my 4 close friends if they knew I was gay. In fact, I did lose 3 of them and the other one moved away.

“But after much therapy and recovery counseling, I started living a fully-integrated life and found appropriate role models in the gay community – one of whom was Stan Kimer. They all became close friends and confidants. I intentionally changed my old decision-making habits and undertook a new journey in life. They helped me realize that my purpose in life was to help build and encourage close LGBTQA communities that would allow others like me to thrive. I redirected my business efforts – along with everything else I do in life – toward that model.

“One very important step was taking full responsibility for my past actions and decisions and realizing that I need to take the steps to change my direction. So now at almost age 65, I have so much business in my web design, social media promotion, and smartphone app development business (IYI Creative – link) that I must schedule new clients into my available time. And instead of just 4 close friends, I now have hundreds of them.

Jim delivering a toast at a wedding among several dozen friends he made while rebuilding his life.

“In addition, I offer my professional services to many Community organizations who supported me in my new journey such as the LGBT Center of Raleigh, St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church, the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina, Crape Myrtle Festival, and the Raleigh Business and Professional Network – Raleigh’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

“I owe all of that to the hard work it took to change old patterns of secrecy and deception, and to the people who helped guide me through my own process of ‘Getting Up.’”

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To read my 6 other “Get Up” blogs, link to my figure skating blog page.

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