Thursday, January 26, 2012

An S&D workshop story (day 36)

As many of you know, Nancy (and I) coached and facilitated dozens of workshops over the last 18 years.  In August 2010, she became the west coast manager the Pathways Institute, running the core programs. &One of our friends, Heather Hafer (whom some of you know) sent me this story a few weeks ago, and gave me permission to share it. Nancy was direct and earthy, something I've always loved about her.


This is my absolute favorite memory of Nancy:

We were at the ropes course - it was the start of the "Stand & Deliver Round That Shall Not Be Named". We were in southern San Francisco; and it was a very brisk day. It was a new group so we were all still getting to know one another. It was a day full of thick observation and introspection as we mentored our participants towards self revelation, discovery and teamwork. And...I had to pee. As I mentioned, it was a brisk day, Nancy and I were standing so close to each other that we were actually overlapping. We were huddled together as the following conversation occurred.

Heather: Man, I have to pee!

Nancy looks all the way around their surroundings and opens her hand as if to showcase that nearly the entire universe is readily available, and proceeds in a matter of fact, yet simultaneously slightly befuddled, tone.

Nancy: Well go. There are a thousand trees to choose from.

Heather looks around skeptically, and gives a slight grimace of doubt.

Heather: I don't know...

Nancy rifles through her jacket pockets and hands over a tissue that looks as though it had already been used four...possibly five...times already.

Nancy: Here (hands over the tissue).

Heather (takes it politely, still looks around): I don't know, there's people around. Maybe I can hold it.

Nancy (at this point somewhat angrily): Heather, what are you afraid they're going to see?!

Heather: Um, my big fat white ass!

Even re-reading it I'm not sure if it was actually that funny, all I can say is that Nancy and I laughed hysterically for at least a half an hour. We were both in tears, and then we still continued to laugh occasionally throughout the rest of the day. We had to stop looking at each other because every time we did the laughing would continue. It still cracks me up every time I think of it. I'll always have that memory and it will always cheer me up. I am grateful. 

I'm also grateful that with Nancy as my mentor, I did eventually pee, in public, with questionable tissue - laughing the entire time - and not caring at that point who saw what.

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