What if there is no Plan B. What?!?!?!?! No Plan B. In this industry not only is there expected to be a Plan B, there better damn well be a Plan C, D, E and freakin’ F while you’re at it! However, what if all your planning, long nights, “if this, than that” scenarios go down the drain, or in this case, out to sea?
You may read that question and think, “That will never happen to me, I plan too well, I think of everything, there is always a back-up.” Well, I thought the same until last month. I was directing an event on a beach for people with special needs on the other side of the country. Happy, smiling, tan, California gal M. going to her perfectly planned event on the East Coast…what could go wrong. RAIN. RAIN DROPS THE SIZE OF THE ATLANTIC…that’s what went wrong.
First, I don’t even own an umbrella let alone a rain coat and I am having an event on the beach, nay, a surfing event in the water and it is torrential down pour. In Cali this is what the Weather Reporters would call a Flash Flood and Storm Watch 200-whatever year. Jersey-folks…they say, “its sprinkling,” and “it will pass.”
In the meantime, I had participants arriving, a sandy beach now flooded, knee-deep in water, and no Plan B was going to dry it all out. What now?
Improvise! As the saying goes… Fake it, until you make it!
So that’s exactly what I did. The smile can never leave your face and you can never ever look flustered. Act like you are excited that you get to change up the event, as if it was meant to be this way and will be much more fun with the added excitement. Then get to work.
Control what you can. I got tents up everywhere I could. We used trucks to cross the lagoon that was supposed to be our beautiful beach and all dry towels and tees went into trash bags.
Laugh off what you can’t. We decided we were all going to get wet eventually so what was the harm in starting it off early. We helped our participants into their wetsuits immediately upon arrival to help keep them warm and dry-er and laughed as the little ones immediately headed for the puddles!
Enjoy the outcome. It may not have been how you planned it, but it almost always makes for a great story and while the means may have been different, the end result is usually the same‚Äîhappy people enjoying the event. All of our surfers that day found the inspiration and healing power of the water, whether from the sky or the sea and we all bonded trying to make it happen.
And as cheesy as it sounds, the sun finally came out and brought with it a beautiful rainbow over the water. (Yes, I know cheesy!)
Dream Big. M.
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