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Embrace who you really are

Embrace who you really are

I have an interesting habit. If I'm going for a decent sized walk (which, in NYC, is usually just called "a walk,") I wear my headphones, and I tend to sing and maybe even bop around a little bit as I'm walking.

Monday morning found me on a three mile walk from my apartment to my daughter's school, for a meeting to help launch a Neurodiversity affinity group. I'd already worked out on the bike, so by the time I started walking, I was filled to the brim with dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline. A mile in, and I was basically on American Bandstand, if American Bandstand was on 6th Avenue and moving downtown.

Now, this being NYC, no one really cared that a random six foot man was singing dancing to music only he could hear. But, when I arrived at the school and met my daughter outside, she saw what she considered my "cringe factor" from a mile away. I get it. Dads are embarrassing, especially dancing dads. We talked about it on the walk home, and she said "but people look at you when you walk and dance!"

I quoted a line I once head from Robin Arzon, a Peloton instructor, that she said years ago, back when Peloton was small and felt like a family. She said "They're gonna look either way, why not give them something to look at?"

READ MORE: What to do when you're having "one of those weeks"...

I'm a huge believer in that. Being Neurodiverse, I've always walked off the beaten path, or "marched to the beat of a different drummer," as my mother used to tell me over and over when I'd come home crying because everyone thought I was weird.

It took me 40 years to embrace my weirdness, but only when you embrace who you really are, can the magic really happen.

Remember: Weird is simply a side effect of awesome. Never, ever forget that.

Have a wonderful day today, wherever you happen to be, and reach out if I can help in any way! :)



PS: If you'd like it, here's the playlist I was jamming out to during my walk on Monday. Don't judge me for how it goes from 80s music to classical to 90s dance to a 20 minute dance remix of Les Miz. :)

Peter Shankman is a best selling author, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and a trainer living in New York City. He is a stay at home dad as well. Check out his blog.

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