“Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but an urgent impulse to do something despite fear.” Grant Cardone
I had to leave before they sang “Happy Birthday” last night. My mom’s birthday is tomorrow. My father, twin brothers, sister-in-laws, cousin, and daughter brought out the cake and lit the candles after I left for my graduation from Improv. I left both excited and nervous that I would, or scratch that, that we would, bomb.
We didn’t bomb, though.
What a treat to wake up this morning, still coming down from the adrenaline rush of last night, to open the refrigerator and peel back the tinfoil to unveil a huge chunk of an Atomic Bomb cake from Wolf’s bakery in Evergreen Park. The bananas, strawberries, and chocolate fudge sandwiched between layers of white and devils food spongy cake and whipped cream is pure heaven.
I haven’t had a slice of cake for breakfast since I was a kid. What a treat it was to wake up on a Sunday morning, my parents still in bed, to find five pieces of cake carefully wrapped in wax paper, one for each child, gently placed on the kitchen table the night before, or early morning. Who cared when it arrived? It was there. It was someone’s wedding cake the night before, and that morning it became our breakfast of champions.
Like a champ, yes, that is how I feel this morning. As if I ran a relay race in record time last night, with friends and family cheering my team and me on, all the way to the finish line. This morning’s quote about the absence of fear nailed this morning’s mood.
Last night, sitting with three of my friends and fellow players after the show, laughing as two newly minted fans stood outside in the cold, peered inside and repeatedly tapped on the glass at Muldoon’s to applaud us once again, we celebrated our courage, our bravery, our friendship, and our success. Wins are so much better when they are shared. And last night was a collaborative effort. Jeff reminded us during our warm-up:
- Follow your feet: They will know when to the edit the scene
- Relationship: Identity who you are to each other, then the stakes will fall into place
- Set the scene: The audience wants to know where you are
- Say Yes: And anything is possible
Cheers to Westside Improv, to Jeff Ash, our teacher and director, to my fellow players, and those who came before us, to Buzz’s Girlfriend, especially Sophia Clinton, without whose example I would have never taken the class, to Rad Uncle, and to every friend, family, and stranger who laughed and applauded us last night. Thank you for helping us overcome our fears to be courageous and live in the moment.
From a stuffed snake to bowel movements, to rude bosses, a baking soda addicted mother, and deadbeat kids, this morning I struggle to recall what I did when and why with my fellow players last night. The specifics are unimportant because all that matters is we rocked, we said yes, and we had fun. And, champions get to eat birthday cake for breakfast.
P.S. Special thanks to my friend Mary for capturing some of the night with my phone, so my sisters could watch from afar. My niece Claire said to her mother, “I didn’t know we could eat baking soda?”