Updated: Oct 28
Trailheads hiked an utterly new trail this week––public speaking. Our group came together for many reasons. Everyone (except Roy) loves to be outdoors and hike. We all love barbecue. We thrive on the health benefits of exercise and bonding. And we love an opportunity to give back (George demands it as a dues-paying member of the Hippies Union Local 319).
As far as promoting Trailheads to help goose the sales of our swag (buy yours here), we assumed we could be lazy and let social media and blog posts do the heavy lifting. But this week, we got pulled out of our comfort zones.
Roy, Steve, and Brad play Pickleball at Piedmont Health and Fitness, and we made friends with a charming young lady from Roy's neighborhood, Brookwood Hills. Her name is Jennifer, and she’s got game––everyone wants to be her partner. She is a dinker and shotmaker extraordinaire. One day, she asked if Trailheads would be interested in being the program for the Brookwood Hills Garden Club.
Our initial reaction was, “No way.” For our inaugural speaking engagement, we envisioned being the warm-up act for Taylor Swift, or at least a sold-out solo show at the Fox Theater with klieg lights roaming the sky. There’d be groupies clustered around the back door, waiting for us to rush out to our separate limos in true Beatles fashion. In the tradition of “Swifties,” we assumed we’d have “Traillies.”
As Roy presented the offer to the team, it struck us––we had a request to talk to 40 women in one place! How often do old guys get to hold the rapt attention of 40 women? Never. Our wives are sick of hearing about our little Trailheads' exploits. "Cute," they’ll say. “You wore your big boy boots and went for a little walkie-walk in the woods.” Or, “You ordered the pulled pork instead of the brisket? Aren’t you the adventurous eater? Oh, yes, you are!”
So, we agreed to put on a show. Everyone started picking out their Garden Club-appropriate Trailheads outfit. “Which shirt are you wearing?” we asked each other. “Which cap? We don’t want to look like Cub Scouts or be off-brand. By the way, do these pants make my butt look big? Be totally honest."
We asked Jennifer if they had room for all six of us. Sadly, no. The meeting was at Katie’s house, and the Club expected a massive turnout for this meeting (we assume the word got out that the Trailheads were on tour––scalpers would make a killing). We were asked to limit the number of Trailheads to two. Who???
Since Roy lives in Brookwood Hills and he and Brad play pickleball with Jennifer (Steve has been out a lot lately with his dry-needling habit), they were chosen to be the presenters. The Trailheads who were not presenting asked, “Can’t you Zoom us in? Can we stand outside and watch through the window-- we're good at that. Maybe we could just FaceTime!” Ultimately, they put their confidence in Brad and Roy, although they worried that the glory hogs would take all the credit for everything. Their worries were well-founded. These two should not be trusted.
Brad and Roy met with Elvis and Nilla at Trailheads Worldwide Headquarters (Copeland Design) and began crafting their presentation. As expected, they took credit for pretty much everything in draft one. But by draft 20, they had spread most of the contributions to everyone. Although Brad still believes he writes every Trailheads’ blog and social media post. (Cut to Patrick wailing, throwing his hands up wildly, and watering the carpet.)
When the big day came, the boys had their Keynote presentation locked. They had tested the MacBook Pro/Roku connection, and successfully coordinated their outfits to have no duplicate Trailheads branded shirts or caps. The guys even had a large stack of our business cards/stickers to shower on the fans. But they couldn’t agree on who would be the charming one and who would be the funny one. It seems they both wanted to be both.
Things started great with Anne and Jennifer greeting the lads in their official Trailheads t-shirts –– Jennifer in her limited-edition Power of Pink shirt and Anne in her “Hike Your Best Life” shirt. Don't they look incredible? You would too if you shopped our online Swag Store.
The meeting was called to order, and Jennifer gave a glowing introduction (written by Roy with a heavy focus on Roy). And Trailheads began their spiel. The Garden Club was attentive, fun, and engaged, and we never saw anyone checking their phone or watch. It was better than any client presentation, especially since we never had to nudge anyone awake. We had fun. And hopefully, they also had fun.
Roy and Brad covered how we got started, what keeps us going, and how we developed our name, look, and tagline. Much of what the duo discussed revolved around the mental and physical benefits of the bond we’ve developed. The rituals of hiking, barbecue, poker, and holiday parties cemented the friendships already there. It also gave these type-A personalities a creative outlet they desperately needed. And keeps them out of their wives' hair.
Ultimately, we explained why our group is closed to others joining (we’re snotty). But we encouraged them to start something of their own. Patrick wrote a piece called “Trailheads University,” which can be found on our site here, and gives suggestions on how to start your social playtime group. You should do that.
The Garden Club donated to our current charity – the Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy (they’re so nice, thanks, ladies!), and we broke for lunch. And boy, did they put out a nice spread. Brad had to bounce, but Roy stuck around to take credit for the show and let everyone know how much he appreciated Brad carrying his computer. He's a good egg.
We are now looking at joining the Garden Club speaking circuit. Or, if you know Taylor Swift’s people, let her know we’d love to tour together sometime. She can even take top billing.
Elvis Loves Fio
North Georgia BBQ
Pierre de Coubertin Medal
Glacier National Park
Island Ford Trail
Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy