I have never been one to hide in the shadows.
I feel the power of a smile given and a smile received.
And I love to teach what I know.
Much of my career has been spent coaching horseback riding.
A life of coaching primarily outdoors requires a big voice and maybe a few other things. However, a big voice is "top of the list" important. If your students cannot hear you, they are left on their own out there (not necessarily a coach's dream).
Over my career, I have taught private lessons to large groups, indoors and outdoors, in all kinds of weather. I embrace all stages of riding - beginner riders, of all ages, to advanced riders competing on a national level. I have folks that have been taking lessons with me for decades. The joy on students' faces is reward unto itself.
As the years have ticked by, my big voice has taken a hit. Long teaching days leave my throat sore, voice scratchy and it takes a few days to recover. About 10 years ago, I took an ego risk and purchased a pink megaphone. Who knew, a pink megaphone can be purchased on Amazon at a shockingly good price of $13.77! You CAN buy a variety of color megaphones. But remember I don't hide in the shadows. Pink seemed then, and still does, a great choice. I have listened to my voice loudly for so long..now I play with intonation, accents and ways of saying the same thing differently. My voice is comfortable to me.
Teaching with the megaphone has offered volume, hilarity, curiosity and education. I am pretty sure the neighbors of Dusty Dog Farm could now ride well if given the opportunity.
In a whole self sense, I found my voice. To me, the pink megaphone represents far more than volume control. It represents being authentic and having clarity surrounding my values and messages. It means daring to be powerful and daring to make mistakes. It sets the stage for others to do the same. You have no idea how many times children with big eyes will reach out to try the pink megaphone. The timid voices peeping out the megaphone make me smile every time.
Not sure how many folks will run out and buy a pink megaphone after reading this blog, but maybe take a moment to think about your own version of the pink megaphone.
Enjoy the changing season. Best,