The process of change has glamorous moments (the reveal) but there is a lot of legwork that goes into that isolated moment. If you have checked out our facebook poll (which I hope you have, because we want to hear from our readers!) you may see that we are knee deep in the process of development. We are really excited to see what all comes out of these are uncharted territories we are traveling through.
A few weeks ago we were focused on just producing the documentary. We were open to seeing new developments, but there was no clear path beyond what we could see. Around this time Stefanie asked me if I would be interested in going with her to an award ceremony where she would be getting recognized by her employers, JetBlue, for the time she volunteered to Project 365. It seemed at the time as though my emphasis should be on working on the movie, rather than going to an awards dinner in Orlando.
I decided that I could do some work while in transit and that it would be worth the investment of time to see Stef get some public recognition for her role in the success of Project 365. The process of flying from Las Vegas to Orlando turned out to be an ordeal when we missed our connecting flight due to mechanical issues. We would have to wait 12 hours in the airport to take a red-eye flight arriving at our final destination after bouncing around airports for almost a full day and night. During that down time, Stefanie and I got to thinking…and talking–about what else we could do. We obviously found something that worked with the diabetes awareness initiative of Project 365 but our intent from the outset was to be able to actually get PWD outdoors on empowering adventures. The whole point of the project was to break the ice and for the film to help enable programs and that was something that we only would have half accomplished if all our attention went to the film and nothing beyond that.
Through the hours of that day and night we put our heads together and gathered ideas, took inventory of what we have to work with, examined what our strengths and weaknesses were-and came up with some really exciting possibilities to move forward. By the time we arrived in Orlando we were completely exhausted and after a couple hours of sleep, it was time to go to the ceremony.
The ceremony was really inspiring, seeing all the great things that JetBlue employees had been giving their time so generously to and to see the way that JetBlue encourages and rewards people for helping to improve their communities. It was also really exciting realizing that we are building something no less inspiring and it was nice to be the wingman and let Stefanie have the spotlight for her role in that! I actually enjoyed being the one behind the camera and supporting her–I am really proud of what she has done to enable the LivingVertical mission.
When Stefanie got called up for her award, we were thrilled to hear that the specific title she won was Inflight Volunteer of the Year, which aside from being a great honor, also carried with it a $1,000 grant award! Suddenly, the ideas that we had been brainstorming during our 12 hour layover began to gel and a path towards implementation began to open up!
So now the first steps are clear for us to see and as we have been taking them, more have been opening up. We have actually discovered that we have more to work with than we initially thought when we began LivingVertical as Project 365 really took on a life of its own and developed its own momentum. Now we are looking at what we can do in addition to the media based awareness component that has grown thanks to you all in the last year. As we move forward, I am excited and I hope you all will be too–we are closing in on a plan which will help us keep doing what we have done well up to this point while building on our foundational initiatives to reach our mission of getting people with diabetes outdoors, empowered and connected with natural adventures!