We all have our cute names for the projects or initiatives we love. When we create something from scratch, conjured by the heights of our imagination, and fermented by the hard work of many hands; there is no greater feeling.

This past weekend was one of those moments for me. The inaugural Nike High School Grand Prix, held at Varsity Stadium at the University of Toronto, featured over 250 athletes from all over Canada. Built with our partners at School Sport Canada, and obviously entitled by Nike Canada, the Grand Prix was designed to be a celebration of high school track and field. Boy was it ever.

But to get you to read further, I am not going to painstakingly take you through the schedule, the special events or the exhaustive media coverage. No, I want to tell you a story.
The story isn’t about an athlete. Although I have plenty of those.

It isn’t about a volunteer. I have even more of those.

It isn’t about a parent or a grandparent, a coach, a teacher or an official.

It’s about a client. I won’t share her name because she will think I am really trying to butt kiss. But that’s not what this is about. It’s about paying tribute to someone special.

You can probably guess where this client works. But I am not going to confirm or deny. Seems this evasive technique has served me well the past few blogs, so why not keep it up?

But let’s get on to the story.

We all have “clients.” Whether you work on client side, agency side or property side, for yourself or for government… we ALL have clients!

Clients can be smart. They can be not so smart. They can be nice. They can be not so nice. As one of my clients stated, she can deal with three of the four possible combinations from the previous words. But the not smart, not nice people, she can’t tolerate!

Well this client is smart. And she is pretty darn nice. But what I realized in the past two weeks is this client is more than that.

She is HEROIC.

We had a snag on this project. Projects often do. I can’t tell you where the snag occurred or why. But it wasn’t tiny. It was big enough to cause me stress.

But this client took the reins of this snag and wrestled it to the ground. She stabbed it through the heart, slit its throat and dragged it from the arena like she was a warrior on Spartacus Vengeance.

She put the problem first, herself last and gave it her all. She rallied the troops, including our team and numerous suppliers. She sounded the horn. She banged the drum.

It was awe-inspiring. It was motivating. It was unbelievable.

Many times the worst adversity can lead to the biggest triumphs. There have been times in my life that I have thought this to be little more than self-help guru cockamamie. But this weekend I saw the truth. I saw the light. I got to peak inside the pearly gates and experience how heavenly it can feel when things work out.
The highs were higher than I could imagine. The lows soon forgotten. How privileged I am. How privileged are the countless people who worked on this event. It was amazing.

So I am nearly out of words. Unless you want to watch my first-ever video blog, which talks more about the event. Or read the sampling of tweets we received in the next article.

But before I run out of words. I have to say something. On a count of three.

1, 2, 3… Thank-you “client!”

If you’re interested in hearing some more from me, below is my video blog – in three parts – looking back on this grand weekend.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3