Chapter 18. Find Out What Others Are Doing and Do Something Different!

My twin sons were born on July 28, 1978, and I was facing a critical decision. I had just won the regional championship level of the World Championship of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International in Norfolk, Virginia, several weeks before, and I had a decision to make. If my sons were not born before I was to leave, I would have to forfeit my position and have a surrogate replace me in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The decision was made somewhat easier when Christine delivered a bit early. Now I had another decision to make: Do I abandon her with newborn twins to chase this dream of winning a World Championship of Public Speaking?

That decision was simplified with the arrival of a pair of grandmothers and another half dozen aunts, all of whom wanted a piece of the action. I had trouble getting seat time with my own twin sons.

Realizing this, Christine banished and shipped me off to Vancouver with a simple dictate: Win or don't come home! No pressure there.

I had already blown this same championship the year before in Toronto, Ontario, by going eight seconds over my allotted time limit, thereby getting disqualified. I learned this after I was told that I had won. "Oops, we need that trophy back, big boy. You went a tad long, eh?" I didn't appreciate the Canadian "eh" postscript.

So I landed in British Columbia with this new dictate from my bride . . . to win or don't come home. My first inclination was ...

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