Life is about showing up: By not doing so, we could be missing magical miracle moments.
June 19th, 6AM: I woke up having had little sleep and no coffee, which meant I could not think. We had a very technically involved multi-camera indoor skydiving shoot that was to be like-live, high-energy, and quick paced at the amazing Roseville iFLY for our next episode of Rob on the Road. It airs October 31 at 7:30PM, and let me tell you, it’s fun! It features the CSUS Aquatic Center at stunning Lake Natoma, indoor skydiving, and pickleball!
I met two people that day at the shoot I will never forget. One was our guest, Jeanie Murphy, a lovely vivacious lady who bid on an auction item at a gala benefit to support the American River Parkway Foundation. In return, she got to watch a Rob on the Road shoot. At the event, she couldn’t stop smiling or hugging me. She couldn’t stop for one moment loving life more than anyone I had seen in a LONG time. That morning at the shoot, she came with the same shine in her soul. In 25 years of television, I have NEVER seen anyone as excited as Jeanie Murphy. She said she’s in her 60s. She beamed with excitement from the get go. Indoor skydiving at iFLY Sacramento is an ambitious journey. You go through training, uniform fitting, and then right into the wind tunnel at up to speeds of 130 MPH, guided by experts with thousands of hours of training. It is a mind blowing and exhilarating experience.
Jeanie lives in Carmichael and could hardly contain her excitement. It filled the room. That room is filled with a wind tunnel in the middle powered by a jet engine – so that is no small feat. Her husband captured her every gleam on his camera. It was like time stood still for them. I would later find out why.
So off Jeanie goes. She’s in her 60s but acted as if she was 20 years old, and knocks it out of the park. With her instructor, she flew high and she flew fast! I noticed a smile on her husband’s face. I said “look at her!” His response was profound and simple: “That’s my Jeanie. She is a vivacious, energetic liver.” Wow.
She came out of the chamber as if she had been Cinderella at the ball. We chatted, took our pictures, hugged a lot, and said our goodbyes. Then she came back and asked for some private time. “Rob, I want to tell you something. Thank you. You are on my bucket list. I have stage four inoperable, incurable, cancer between my heart and lungs. Doing something with you like this was on my bucket list and I’m running through it as fast as I can.” It was all I could do not to cry, but that’s when I jump into inspiration mode. We talked it out for quite some time. I will never forget her. Not the cancer part, but the way she smiles at life.
A stage four cancer patient. A “vivacious, energetic liver.” Just think on that for a moment before we move on.
Now to the second person I met that day: Peter Hiscott. He just happened to be at iFLY Sacramento the day of our shoot. He is one of those young guys that have the world in front of them, ready for any challenge. And so energetic. He grabbed me and said, “You’re Rob on the Road and guess what: I’m going into the CHP Academy thanks to inspiration from your show. Can we get a picture?” Of course I said yes, but I wanted to know more. He told me he wanted to learn more about the CHP, so he googled it and our Rob on the Road: CHP Academy episode popped up first. He said he was sold.
Now to the point of this entire blog: This is the power of PBS. This post is not about me, and not my show. It’s the power that comes from showing up on those daily days where you just might not feel it and finding out that someone else is waiting there to feel everything in the world.
I hope you understand that what I’m writing is NOT about me. It’s about being a vessel for inspiring people. It’s what we do at KVIE Public Television. It’s our driving mission. For some reason, had I not been at that shoot, I would have missed these blessings that were meant to be lived.
Show up, and go where you are led or called. Be present. Your very presence may be just the present someone desperate needs that day. Don’t block a blessing that was meant to be share by you and those you encounter.