Life lessons illustrated | SteamboatToday.com

Life lessons illustrated

Hayden High School junior Jordan Williams balances a stick on his hand to help illustrate a point speaker Mark Windle was making. Windle spoke to all the students in the Hayden School District on Tuesday about self-esteem and life choices.

— For a minute Tuesday, it looked like a food fight had broken out in the Hayden High School auditorium.

Speaker Mark Windle launched an egg over the heads of Hayden middle and high school students to prove a point. That point cracked in the hand of freshman Tucker Vestal and spilled onto the auditorium floor.

“Take a chance, risks and gamble,” Windle told Tucker before launching the egg, adding some of the eggs in the carton might not be hard-boiled.

“There are risks you should take, and there are those you should not take,” Windle said. “Self-esteem affects the risks you are willing to take.”

The egg was just one of the props Windle used to illustrate the stories he told relating to self-esteem, self-image, life goals and the other tough issues kids and adults deal with on a daily basis.

Windle has been speaking to groups of young people for the past seven years, but he says he’s not your typical motivational speaker.

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“The words ‘motivational speaker’ make me giggle,” Windle said. “I just get energized being around kids.”

His talk does carry a message, which many of the students said was important.

“These kids certainly have some big risks and some big pressures,” Windle said.

He was invited to speak to students in the Hayden School District by the National Honor Society members. The group’s 17 members saw Windle speak at the Routt County Leadership Symposium.

“When we were coming home with the kids they were like, ‘I wish the whole student body could hear this message,'” Hayden counselor Danica Moss said. “His message is of being a good person and who you are in the inside. Teachers and kids all needed to hear that again.”

Another one of Windle’s visual examples involved having junior Jordan Williams try to balance a stick in the palm of his hand. Jordan’s first attempt was not too successful, but then Windle gave Jordan some advice.

“Your focus should be on the top of the stick,” Windle said, adding that Jordan was not focusing on the “bigger picture.”

On his second attempt, Jordan was able to balance the stick.

“You have to look beyond these moments and keep the greater future in perspective,” Windle said.

He also stressed the importance of having goals, and he shared an experience he had with 30 seniors he spoke to in Colorado Springs.

“It’s scary to me that they had no dreams or didn’t know what to do with themselves,” Windle said.

That point seemed to resonate with at least some of the Hayden students.

“It really reached everybody,” said senior Kelsea DeBowes. “It shows us how to reach for our goals instead of waiting until the last moment.”

– To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210

or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com