No More D-Words

On my second day in Colorado Springs for the USA Strategic Planning Meeting, I woke up early thinking about all the d-words that described how I’ve felt after similar meetings over the past couple of years: dismayed, disheartened, discouraged, demoralized, depressed, disillusioned.

These d-words are old and familiar acquaintances under such circumstances, to the point that it took me a little while this morning to realize that something was different, that they no longer described what I was feeling on this particular morning. These d-words no longer applied.

At the end of this second day, it’s absolutely clear to me that I need to move on in the alphabet to find more appropriate vocabulary to describe my current mood. What I need now are E-words: education, engagement, enthusiasm, excitement, exhilaration, excellence.

It’s only a beginning. We’ve barely begun to grasp the magnitude of the work we have ahead of us, which is probably a good thing–if we fully understood what we are undertaking, we’d likely emulate the Python version of King Arthur and his knights (“Run away!”).

But there’s one more e-word that’s relevant: expectation.

We 40-some board members, committee chairs, long-time volunteers, and staff have created major expectations of ourselves, of each other, and of scores of others who’ve no idea they’re about to be recruited to join in the process of reinventing USA Fencing for the modern world.

Oh, and I need one more letter of the alphabet, one f-word that’s been missing from USA Fencing governance for too long:

Fun.

This is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

(I’m glad I stuck around.)