Monday, July 11, 2011

Are Party Planners Like Triathletes?

I spent this past weekend in Peterborough, Ontario at a triathlon where my partner, Rob was competing. In sweltering heat, these athletes took to the open water (an intimidating feat in itself as fatalities have occurred and let's face it - the water is dark, deep and unpredictable). Then they raced up the hill to the transition area whilst trying to peel off their wetsuit (I hear a full coating of bag balm on said body helps with that) and the crowd cheered them on.

They sped around the park, all the while facing the possibility of a horrendous crash, and then quickly changed shoes for the run, panting as they went.
At the finish line, one woman was bemoaning her race results while those around her loudly and happily decried her disappointment: "YOU FINISHED!" they gleefully declared. I looked on and thought the same thing. See, for those of us who aren't athletes, any one of the feats of strength and stamina that they endured makes these people heroes in our eyes.

We couldn't picture being able to do this ourselves. Heck, IF I made it through the water part I'd still be flopping around on the ground, stuck in the wetsuit. This stuff is second nature to most who have trained and competed for years.
This brings me to the precarious comparison between a party planner and a triathlete. When the party is over, parents are incredibly grateful and in awe and it's because the feat of throwing a party for their child was seriously daunting. Sometimes I'm taken aback by the praise because I have to remember that this was something the parents couldn't picture doing themselves.

For us, the party planners, it's a great victory but it's something we've been training for and practising for years until it's instinctual. From the moment we arrive at an event until the moment we leave, that instinct kicks in. We don't ever have to deal with a mouthful of lake water, skinning our knees or heat exhaustion. But every event brings a new challenge to overcome, whether it be a crying child who lost a game or a parent who is late bringing out the food.

I should seriously have better abs after all of these events. ;-P

Take a moment a revel in your strengths because someone out there is in awe. When you realize that what you bring to the table really makes a difference, it gives you the strength to push on. And finish.

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