Licorice, lollipops,chocolate and health fairs….

I attended a health and wellness expo last week to promote my business and share the methods I use to help people move better, feel better and get out of pain. I don’t participate in many events, but when I do, I always place a lovely basket of high quality dark chocolate at the edge of my table.

Just the thought of chocolate brings a smile to my face. And the smell! Is there anything more comforting than the smell of rich, dark chocolate wafting over you? Especially when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. As much as I enjoy getting out in front of the public, these big health expos make me incredibly nervous. I’m always afraid of feeling inept, or out of place.

As I organized my table, I set out my basket of chocolate. The heavenly aroma combined with the pretty wrappings began to work it’s magic. A few more deep breaths and I was home free. The other exhibitors were filling the room. One of them walked past me, so I gave her a bright smile and greeted her with a chipper, “Good morning!” She looked derisively at my table, sneered, and said, “Candy… a health fair! That hardly seems appropriate.”

Sheesh! I wanted to educate her on the many benefits of dark chocolate, but she didn’t seem interested in friendly conversation. She breezed past me to set up her table, which was across from me. To make matters worse, the nice young lady next to me was pulling out fresh produce and setting it out just a hair’s breath away from my chocolate.

My nerves started to kick back into overdrive, and the familiar feeling that I didn’t belong there threatened to take over. To pass the time and to avoid the condescending looks from my neighbor, I walked the floor to introduce myself to the other exhibitors. After all, if I was going down, I might as well go out in style.

I saw all kinds of people representing all kinds of businesses. I also saw bags of chocolate, bowls of licorice, and even a basket of gourmet lollipops. Yes, all at a health fair! Apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt it was okay to bring a few treats to the table, so to speak. Maybe I wasn’t out of place, and maybe I did belong there. My confidence started to return, along with my sense of humor and my incomparable stubbornness. I was ready for action.

It was a terrific event. I ran out of chocolate before the day was over. The gourmet lollipops were gone within a few hours, and so was the licorice. My next door neighbor never did run out of kale. And the lady across from me never ran out of opportunities to scowl as people walked past her with their licorice, lollipops and chocolate. I felt bad for her, because she didn’t seem to be having much fun, and she didn’t seem particularly happy. A small piece of chocolate might boost her spirits a bit.

Remember, everything in moderation. Including chocolate. And kale. It’s good for your health!

Be healthy!
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP

anxiety, belonging, chocolate, dark chocolate, health fairs, kale, licorice, lollipops, moderation, mood, out of place, public appearances, public shaming, public speaker, public speaking, spirit