Who is this, Eric Hultgren?
Since coming to MLive three years ago I have been asked to speak, host, or coach all over the state, in the past year those travels put nearly 70,000 miles on my Jeep. Nearly every time I come to a new city, event, or venue...they usually know very little about me and someone will ask "Who is this Eric Hultgren guy?"
This is my second favorite moment of public speaking. The ability to fill that space of anonymity with a memory that leads them to ask me back. I am SO thankful for that person every time they ask that because the underdog spot has always been a place from which I excel.
But my favorite time is the moment before an event. The quiet between the rehearsal and the real thing, those scant moments that I can center myself so that for the next 15, 20, or 90 minutes I am in the moment giving every bit of energy and attention to the audience. No emails, no phone calls, no pull of social media notifications. Just...nothing
3 minutes until showtime
In that moment I stretch a bit, bounce on the balls of my feet like a boxer preparing for a match and all the while my body begins to feel electric. A thrum begins in my ears and just for a moment the world peels away and I am centered.
30 seconds until showtime.
The thrum merges into the sound of blood pumping into my brain and that electricity turns into that feeling you get right before the roller coaster begins its decent...unbrideled terror.
When the fear arrives, I know we are close to starting.
The flurry of activity in my brain settles on the first word of the first sentence...how will you start this thing, once you start it is all down hill. You, are the roller coaster.
A smile comes across my face as the fear melts away into determination at the task at hand, a serene moment before the cacophony that is speaking before a crowd.
One last deep breath and then that first step..
And here we go.
Here is Eric Hultgren