IMG_0480“The greatest two-minutes in sports.” That’s what they say about the Kentucky Derby. I’m not so sure about that. I do know that there’s something revealing that the highlights of my trip had nothing to do with horse racing.
In addition to Churchill Downs, Louisville houses one gem of a guy I count myself lucky to know: Cliff  Kuhn, who is known as The Laugh Doctor. If you took the quality of experiences together and divided it by the minutes together, that quotient for my time with Cliff probably exceeds that of anyone I’ve met. Over
the past decade or so since we’ve met, we’ve only spent hours together. Our time included what I think is the hardest laugh of my life — we were doing an exercise, called a “laughter quake,” at an International Laughter Symposium. We ended up on the floor convulsing, tears and snot from unbridled guffaws. We also have had conversations with exquisite poignance. After our time at the race track, Cliff shared with me deep experiences and we explored life’s biggest questions. We have tremendous mutual respect and admiration, which I take as a total honor. Something that makes a relationship is who you get to be in the presence of another. We spend so much time deluding ourselves and posing for others that it is precious to be who you truly are and to be seen as such.

What brought me to Kentucky was a generous invitation from the InspireCorps team. For years I have
longed for collaborators and playmates. The partners Jen Grace Baron, Allison Holzer, and Sandy Spataro
have welcomed me to coach, design & deliver programs, and be part of their firm that uses the best of
positive psych and somatics to create epic teams and leaders. We practice what we teach and this means
both being in flow while creating workshops and laughing our asses off driving to and from Northern
Kentucky to Louisville. This weekend included re-uniting with one of my favorites from my cohort in years
of sport psych conferences as a grad student and young professional, Katie Kilty, who serendipitously also works with InspireCorps. I also got to hang out with Gabrielle Joyce, who keeps us all organized with beauty and elegance. Like Cliff, these amazing women provide moments of utter hilarity and spectacular insight. For most of my life, I have had a “story” that I don’t fully fit in or belong and these folks bust that up by providing a rich tapestry of connections.

Given our firm’s name and mission, I had to bet on Mor Spirit. He finished well out of the money, but the weekend was a great victory. An ad in the program caught our eye with the large text across a photo from The Derby, “INSPIRED.” The last line was “Dream BIG. Breed.” Make up your own joke. I am full of gratitude and appreciation for these people who inspire me, fulfill my dreams, and breed my desire to make as big a difference as I can.

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