Alan, a project engineer for a large paving contractor in southern Oregon, told Session 10A of the Leadership Development Lab:
"Over the Labor Day holiday, since I was working in Medford and had a travel trailer down there and already had a camping spot, my wife and children came down so we could do some day trips to Oregon caves and Crater Lake. The third day was open and I had been thinking it might be fun to hike up Table Rock with the kids; Morgan (11), Nathan (7), and Devan (3 ½). Of course they were excited about it because kids live in the present. They think of the happy ending without considering the effort required to achieve the success. What a gift to live in the present! My wife doesn't like hiking and wisely decided to stay in the trailer.
So we set out. It was a hot day and the hike didn't look that far. Unfortunately we had forgotten our water in the car. After about 30 minutes or so, at different times, each of my kids wanted to turn back. The neat thing was that one of the others or I would encourage the group to keep going, keep moving. About three quarters of the way up, having no water, we were all finally ready to turn back. Fortunately, a guy who had passed us earlier and was on his way back down graciously offered to give us a bottle of his water. We shared it equally and were all re-energized and continued on up. We made it to the top, saw a tremendous view, rested a few minutes, and returned to our car exhausted. We eagerly dug into our
cooler and found what we felt were the best tasting snacks we had all weekend!
We looked back on our accomplishment with a great sense of achievement. The payoff later was spending the rest of the afternoon in the campsite pool!
The lesson I learned from this experience is that it is so worth taking the time to share learning and growing experiences with those I love. We were making memories that will last a lifetime. Another reward, since kids live in the present, is when I prepared for this talk and printed out the pictures, I shared them with my wife and kids so they could recall their achievement and live through the adventure in our memories once again. This is the glue that holds a family together.
The action I call you to take is to take the time to plan for and experience those ‘memorable moments' with those you love, do the stretching, crazy things that only kids believe can be done. Don't be so quick to hold back; instead, stretch forward. The benefit you will gain is an enriched life from the memories you have created together."