Do You Know the Rules

“Sometimes we have to throw ‘the rules’ aside, say yes, and let life work out the details for us.” — Misti Burmeister

On May 4, 2013, Alison Whitmire organized and hosted the very best TEDx event I’ve ever experienced – TEDx Rock Creek Park.

The day was filled with many exceptional speakers, and Mo Fathelbab was certainly one of them. His energy was vibrant and deeply kind.

After the event, my friend Brian introduced me to Mo via e-mail, and we set a date to have tea in McLean, Virginia.

Fifteen minutes into our conversation, I asked Mo what he does for fun. He pointed toward where his car was parked and said, “Well, actually, I have my paddle board on my car. That’s what I love doing. Do you want to go?”

“Yeah, I’d love to go sometime,” I said. “I’ve always wanted to try it.”

“Well, let’s go,” he said.

“Right now?” I asked. “Where?”


Without giving it too much thought, I agreed. This was my final meeting of the day, so time wasn’t an issue. It didn’t occur to me until we got to the boat-rental place that I was wearing dress clothes.

“If I fall into the water, you’re buying these clothes,” I said.

“OK,” he said with a chuckle as he pulled his board off the roof of his SUV.

I stood there thinking, There’s no way I’m going to make him pay for these, but I really like this outfit!

“Do you have an extra t-shirt?” I asked. As he tossed one over to me, I added, “What about an extra pair of shorts?”

Nada. He had no extra shorts. Fortunately, my underwear, which were a solid bright pink, covered more than most swimsuit bottoms.

So, I threw his shirt on, left my shorts in the car, and headed down to the water – where I had an awesome experience!

Sometimes we have to throw “the rules” aside, say yes, and let life work out the details for us. Otherwise, we’d never have those adventures that make life exciting and push us to new heights.

Honestly, I have no idea what Mo thought of my ingenuity (and perhaps my lack of decorum), but I suppose it doesn’t matter. We’ve already scheduled another outing, and this time we invited our mutual friend, Brian.

Join the Conversation: All great adventures involve risk. What adventure is calling for you?

Keeping it simple,

Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across GenerationsHidden Heroes and Power Suck.

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