There’s no easy way for me to share this and not feel awkward about self-promotion so I’ll just come out with it.
Last month, I did a TEDx talk in front of an amazing audience of over 650 people. I was invited to share the story of my recovery thus far and how I’ve handled being dealt the most catastrophic hand I could ever imagine.
Quick recap on how I got here:
Last year, when I wrote my blog post about standing up and asking Brita to marry me, a random friend reached out and asked me to share my story at a technology conference he was organizing. While I’d always felt comfortable talking to people and presenting in front of small audiences, I had never done anything like that event, in front of 300+ CEO’s, venture capitalists, and business leaders. He gave me very little guidance and I still to this day have zero idea how or why he knew that I might do a half-decent job, but he trusted me fully and told me to give it a shot. So I got up there, told my story and then made way for will.i.am and his fireside chat (and yes it was deliciously entertaining to see a hipstered out rapper talk to a roomful of Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs).
My talk went over quite well and since then, I’ve been invited to do a number of speaking engagements including large and small conferences, corporate workshops and meetings, business events, and even a roomful of medical students who were on their way to being the doctors, prognosticators and hope providers (or deprivers) of tomorrow.
Although I was hesitant at first about sharing my story, mostly because I haven’t yet achieved my ultimate goal of getting back on my feet and didn’t feel quite comfortable sharing a story of a partially achieved objective, I got over that and realized that I really enjoy speaking to people. As a result, an incredibly generous and selfless friend who I’ve mentioned on this blog anonymously and who hates self-promotion as much as I do but who I will now shamelessly reveal because he’s an overly humble yet completely badass published author, conference organizer and entrepreneur, told the organizers of this particular TEDx event about me. The rest is history.
So here’s the video. Feel free to share as much as you’d like. If there’s one time I’d be ok to see social media saturated with something I did, it’s now. And yes I am interested in other speaking opportunities so please contact me if you have other ideas.
32 thoughts on “My TEDx talk”
you sneaky gypsy…dont be deflecting credit for this one! Thanks for the shout out but never needed…this one is all you
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 23:13:58 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
You deserve the shoutout my friend -AB
Such an inspiring and uplifting Youtube clip. I have tears rolling down my cheeks as I finish viewing it and am absolutely delighted to hear your public speaking has blossomed in such a positive way.
Onwards and upwards I say…..
May little steps turn in to big realities and may your life be continually blessed with positivity and further recovery.
So glad you enjoyed it. I’m happy to see my speaking continue to progress as well. Thanks for the support -AB
Reblogged this on Rashid's Blog and commented:
An Inspiring story to share
Thanks Rashid! -AB
Arash, you are so incredibly inspiring. I cried through this entire thing, mostly because I’m so proud of you for your dedication to healing yourself in spite of early negativity, but partly because I’m so happy to know you, have worked with you, and experienced your positivity before, and after, this event in your life.
Thank you for being so open and honest in sharing your story. I know in my heart that you have, and continue to, spread inspiration to many.
Hi Arash, I’ve been following your blog for a while now and really enjoy hearing every little big step you take. I got an incomplete SCI, at T12, after a ski accident in 2012. The importance of words was a massive thing for me too. My surgeon choose his well when he announced he needed to operate, “to give the best chance of being able to walk again”. When I was discharged from hospital I choose to do sport full time as rehab, and canoeing and kayaking has played a huge role in my recovery (check out my blog for a bit more info on that if you like, http://www.jonnyparacanoe.wordpress.com). I am now on my feet full time. My goal is moving too, being on my feet is not enough, I want to move as I did before the accident.
Anyway keep working and I would honestly consider kayaking as rehab! It’s fun, it’s hard work, and it fires everything, even the bits you don’t know about! It’s working for me anyway.
Hi Jonny. Great to hear from you and learn a bit about your story. Thanks for sharing your blog. I’ll definitely check it out. I’ve tried kayaking and loved it! It’s tough for me because my core control isn’t as good as yours is but I try my best and enjoy it. Stay in touch -AB
Your definitely right the core control plays a big part, but where there’s a will… I started off, and still race, a Va’a which has an outrigger off to one side, giving extra stability. But making adaptions to seats can help give stability. I met a classifier from Sweden who had done a PhD on the effects of kayaking in sci patients. She saw a positive improvement even in high level injuries. But just like everything else related to the injury, it can be expensive, time consuming and challenging!
That study on kayaking and SCI sounds interesting. Can you share that with me? I’d love to check it out. -AB
Hi Arash, so Anna Bjerkefors is one of the paracanoe classifiers and it was through talking with her that I’d heard about some of her studies. She seems to have done quite a bit! Here is a link to one https://www-thieme-connect-com.ezproxy.herts.ac.uk/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-2005-872970#N68768 in case that doesn’t work try searching for “Effects of Kayak Ergometer Training on Motor Performance in Paraplegics” with google scholar!
You! You are just incredible.
I am so proud and honored to know you.
I’m honored to have you as a friend -AB
Fantastic speech Arash. Been following you since ‘pinky toe’, cheering every little big step you make. Here’s to many more leading to big big steps.
Many thanks. Glad I can have you following my blog for so long! -AB
I’ve just started a new job where we do TED talk lunches every few weeks Arash. I can’t tell you how excited I was to share yours. (We’re planning to watch it together next week.) I know what you mean about self-promotion, though. As you and I have discussed, my own accident was a major milestone in my life and has affected the person I am today… But when it comes down to it, I always feel awkward bringing it up to others. Self-promotion is just not our style… I am so happy for you and Brita, and honored to know you, friend.
Many thanks Jess. I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from with the self-promotion thing. Let me know how it goes with the lunch at your work! Hope they like it. -AB
What an inspiring talk!!! I don’t see it as self-promotion but as an inspiration to everyone to live their best fullest life paying attention to every little event as well as the big ones.
Little big steps indeed! Thanks Linda -AB
I am online only a few hours each week, and THIS POST definitely got my attention. I opened it with a huge smile on my face! Am at a cybercafe so will wait until I am online next week to view it on my computer and then share with others. I LOVE TEDTALKS! Congratulations ‘ you definitely deserve to share your story with the world! Lisa
Definitely let me know when you have had a chance to watch it. And feel free to share. -AB
i watched nd loved every second, especially the touching finale! I shared the video in this post: https://playamart.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/lifes-teachers/
you are such a gift to the world.
You are much too kind. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes to you -AB
The Ted Talk was impressive and moving! Thanks for sharing your stories, feelings, and learning tips with us.
Many thanks Homayoon jaan. -AB
Hello, Arash. I read about your extraordinary work in recovery from a newsletter by Rob Brezsny. I have been very inspired by what you are doing, not because I can relate to it in any way but to sympathize, but because of your remarkable spirit. Thank you for sharing your story and being a light to others who need it.
I watched your Tedx talk. I am impressed with your poise and polish. I am an executive communications coach, and I work with a lot of execs in the Bay Area. Not that you need it, but if you ever feel you¹d like some coaching for a talk, please don¹t hesitate to reach out. I would be honored to help you, gratis.
All the best, Kate
__________________________ ____________________ Kate Peters Practice Lead, Vocal Impact, Inc. Vocal Impact Communication Services ³Strengthening leaders to engage with impact”
714-760-4100 714-390-3907 – mobile
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From: Arash Recovery Reply-To: Arash Recovery Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 4:13 PM To: Kate Peters Subject: [New post] My TEDx talk
WordPress.com AB posted: “There’s no easy way for me to share this and not feel awkward about self-promotion so I’ll just come out with it. Last month, I did a TEDx talk in front of an amazing audience of over 650 people. I was invited to share the story of my recovery thus far”
Thanks a lot Kate. I’ll reach out to you privately. -AB
Congratulations Arash!! You never cease to inspire. We will definitely share this Ted talk and continue to cheer you on. With hope, Nancy and Bob Traer (at the wedding of Laura and Justin)
Wonderful to meet you at the wedding and thanks for sharing my talk. Best to you -AB