Girls Fight Back is the Winner: 2012 Best Speaker / Program

The people have spoken. Girls Fight Back has been named 2012 Best Speaker/Program by Campus Activities Magazine! You basically gave us an Oscar of the college speaking world, and to my knowledge, this is the first time a team of speakers won the award (as opposed to an individual).

To really slather on some delicious icing on that happy cake, all you voters accomplished this after I wrote a blog post back in December telling you not to vote for us. It seems our fans are quite rebellious, and I am so humbled by you taking the time to cast a ballot.

I’m also incredibly grateful for my stellar team of speakers who made this possible. They are beautiful, bad-ass fight girls who traveled countless miles on hundreds of airplanes and rocked stages nationwide. Together our team teaches women some snazzy self-defense moves and serve as a reminder to females everywhere that we are WORTH FIGHTING FOR! (I’m lookin’ at you, Megan Ellis, Heather Maggs and Bree Swartz.)

After achieving something so monumental, one starts to ponder…now what?

It’s brutal honesty time. Leading up to our amazing news, I’d been at that critical place where most Founders of companies/organizations find themselves at some point. Do we grow? Do we simply maintain, and just rock what we’re good at? We’ve been around 10 years – that’s a long flippin’ time – is our work done here?

Recently I was presented with a business opportunity that was forcing a decision sooner than later. So I did the only logical thing, and headed to Jimmy John’s to ponder this mega-dilemma over a delicious Turkey Tom. Chomping away, I thought to myself “I wonder what Shannon would do…”

(Note: Shannon McNamara is my friend who was murdered in 2001, and is the angel who inspired Girls Fight Back.)

In the following moment, a text message dinged on my iPhone. It was from Shannon’s only sibling – her brother Bobby. More than a typical “hi” message, it was a photo of an ultrasound accompanied by news he would soon become a father.

A new life in the McNamara family is such a blessing, and yet another bittersweet reminder of the one who is so sorely missed. I couldn’t help but think what an amazing auntie Shannon would have been.

To me, babies symbolize so many things. Life. Growth. Hard work. Change. Hope. New beginnings. Bobby’s text message (and the eerily perfect timing of it) was a message from Shannon saying it’s time to bring something new to the world.

I couldn’t agree more.

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