Get It Together

confidence courage honesty presentation respect vulnerability Jan 25, 2023

I just went back, after 10 years, to revisit the exact spot where I first met my future wife. For context, the two tables you see in this image were placed together for a get together at IMG Academy, on September 30th, 2009. Little did I know at the time, these two tables together…at this get together…would change my life forever.

Jacky was working in Student Services for a brief season, and I was running Game On at the Academy. My dear colleague, Blair Bloomston, volunteered me - unbeknownst to me - for the “Green Team”, a small group leading the recycling initiative to help make the campus more environmentally sound. I’m all for recycling, but this was not a meeting I was stoked to attend. I was wiped out and just wasn’t feeling it.

I begrudgingly attended this meeting, with very little confidence anything of significance would come from this gathering. But with confidence I’ll tell you, our lives can change quickly. In this instance, at this meeting, at this table, Jacky showed up, and suddenly that styrofoam cup in my hand was the enemy. I tossed the cup away and was now ready to get this meeting started. Let’s save this planet. Recycle On!

After the meeting, Jacky sent me a very kind “it was nice to meet you and learn more about Game On” email. With that, I went to my office, sat at my desk, stared at my computer, conjured up all the confidence I could muster, and sent Jacky Crawford this exact reply below…all while trying to keep it together:

From: Shenbaum, Steve
Sent; Thursday, October 1, 2009 1:05 PM
To: Crawford, Jacquelyn
Subject: RE: Life Skills


Thanks so much for the email. I wholeheartedly agree that if we all do our jobs and if our hearts are in the right place, we will be teaching life skills every day through our positive interaction with the kids.

I’m also glad you emailed me because it gives me a chance to apologize for calling you “Julie” accidentally yesterday. You may or may not have heard my mistake, but you are now aware of my faux pas, and I grant you permission to call me “Scott”, “Stan” or “Sparky” one time, at your discretion.

Lastly, and I ask this with such honesty and vulnerability…could I take you to lunch or dinner some time? You are adorable and smart and environmentally conscious, and you seem like you truly care for these kids, and that’s why I think you’d be great company. And I think I’d be great company as well because I’m amazing and humble. With that said, if you are in a relationship or hesitant for whatever reason, you can politely decline and I promise our on campus interaction, as limited as it is, will not be uncomfortable.

I hope you have a great day!

Vulnerably sincere,


Thankfully, my email was received in good faith, Jacky responded with similar confidence - and a dash of her own courage and vulnerability - and all’s well that ends well…but that’s not always the case.

Whatever the case may be, wherever the meeting may be, whatever the presentation may be, wherever you may be, may we all show up, go to our meetings, interact with others, face our fears, be courageous and respectful, and sit at the table with confidence, so we can all…get it together.

Styrofoam Cup Off. Recycle On. Game On.

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