And I’m Talking On Reducing Stress???

With all the hundreds of details I checked and double-checked for my talk in Saginaw, MI, the morning of my flight out of Tampa could NOT have been more stressful!

Startling to me because it started off so smoothly.  Rolled rested out of bed at 5:30 to catch an 8:40 flight.  Coffee brewing, fed the cats and as clearly as I can recollect, I went right upstairs to start applying my professional makeup face.  Granted, I knew it would take a little longer but by the time I carefully applied the concealer, plucked a few strays and corrected some hideous smears from my new liquid eyeliner, it was 6:30 and I wasn’t even dressed yet!  I had planned on leaving at 6:30, you see, so the feeling of urgency was immediately in place.

OK, on the road, making (up) good time.  SCREECH.  Traffic jam near the airport.  Really really really?  Just keep it inching along, just like the excellent crowd control in Disney World, keep it moving, keep breathing deep breaths.

Long Term Parking.  That’s never sounded so far away from the terminal before.  Walkway or monorail…monorail.  Why don’t the elevator doors open??  Oh, there’s the button.  Get on monorail.  All monorails lead to the terminal, right?  I’m the only one on and it’s heading, stop by stop, to all the other parking lot stops.  Breath.  People!  HI!  When do we get off??  I love this old couple who knows everything!  Thanks for holding my hand and wiping the tears from my heavily made up eyes!

Check bag of nuts.  I mean, literally, a 40 pound suitcase of nuts, for the convention attendees.  What a dumb idea.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I look up to see my flight has the flashing “Boarding” status.  Oops!  Too late to check luggage.  “Just take it to the gate and they’ll check it in there”, she says.

Run to the escalator at roller-luggage speed, only to maneuver onto those SLOWER THAN SNAIL PACE stairs!!!!

Gates 62-75 to the left.  RUN!  Boarding pass, check, ID, check.  Big 2nd bag?  “I’m sorry, we can’t allow anybody past this point with 2 bags.  Policy.”  WHAT!!!  Even though the lady on the 2nd floor said…oh, never mind!

Run back to escalator, the slower one I think, down 1 floor too many!  Elevator up one floor.  TEAR around other luggage-toting travellers (I now have a reinjured hamstring pull) and back to the same luggage check-in employee.

Too late.  We can’t.  Can I leave the damn thing here?  No lockers.  I’ll just leave it here for 300 TPA employees to have Bad Girl Healthy Snack Attack –friggin’ Packs!

Out of chaos came the soothing voice of Debby G.  “I can get you on a later flight that would put you in Saginaw only 1 hour later.”  The clouds parted, the sun shone through my chaos, I didn’t know this airport had sweet singing birds!

So here I sit.  1 seat away from check in at gate 65, sipping on a Latte (non-fat of course) with 1 hour to while away and dump my story on this page.

Thank you Debby G. you stress melter, you.   I love you.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there.

Arrive in lovely Saginaw to my awaiting chariot…wait, where’s my chariot??  Oh, my, I guess the shuttle (chariot) driver didn’t get my message about the later arrival time.  Oh my, he must be a little peeved.   Ooops.  I feel really bad about inconveniencing him and tell him so when he arrives, again, and shuttles me to the hotel.  “Oh, really?  It’s your day off?”  “Did I say how sorry I am?”

And then it hit me:  I left my suitcase full of seeds back at the airport.  You read it right, I left the friggin’ suitcase full of seeds back at the Saginaw airport!!!!  I have to say something. I can’t say it.  Yes, you HAVE to!  Well, as it turned out, he received the news with a shrug because he had a scheduled pick up at the bus station and couldn’t save me a 3rd time.

Swirling head, check in, disbelief, hunger.  I’ve come all this way and gone to so much effort to get these 300 dispensed, bagged, labeled, packed, travelled  snack packs all this way that I have to make one last effort to get them by my side for handing out to the 300 women who probably don’t even like sunflower seeds!!!

The taxi dispatch connected me to a driver who informed me he was, in fact, at the airport as we spoke.  “Maybe they’ll give me your bag while I’m here.”  Well, I can’t imagine that they would, they certainly shouldn’t, but I really, really hoped they would.  I gave him my name, the description of the bag and a final  plea:  “Listen, if they give you any hesitation just open the thing and show them that it’s stuffed to the brim with seeds!!”  Good luck James. (or was that the Mission Impossible sign off, can’t remember).

As I sat in the hotel lobby trying to go over my presentation notes, seeing if anything would stick, my phone rang.  “I’ve got it” he said.  The clouds parted… (see above).

11 miles, 20 minutes and $35 later, ladies and gentlemen, I got my seeds.

The Bad Girls Healthy Snack Attack Packs were distributed to 300 blissfully unaware and thrilled attendees who will never leave home without them again.

It was worth it.

From your much wiser motivational speaker who will always leave home much earlier than planned.






Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at

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  1. Bravo Polly! Bravo! Thank you for letting us see into that wickedly funny brilliant wit of yours! I’m going to share this right now!!!! A must-read for all travelers! 

  2. Thanks Kelly!  I still have a tupperware full of seeds I can send you if you’re out:)

  3. Polly, this cracked me up. How nuts of a trip! This motivational speaker can so relate as I was off to teach Stress Less, Laugh More in NC on Thursday and had to use every tip I was about to deliver to stop myself from choking the long-term parking shuttle driver. Only 20 ft. away he must not have seen me running frantically toward him yelling at the top of my lungs which is challenging at 4:30 am with two bags in toe. Waiting another 20 min. for the next shuttle caused airport timing stress. Security took 45 min. which didn’t include the baggage check in (love/hate relationship with my props — aka your nuts!). You get the drill. So after waking up at 3 am to even begin this adventure, I was worn out by the time the doors closed at 6 am to start the first of my two-legged journey. All the while saying to myself, “I’m too blessed to be stressed!” Loved your humor.

  4. Oh, man, Colette!  It’s awful, isn’t it?  I know if I were 5 years old again my reaction would be to stomp my feet, cross my arms and say, “NO! I don’t want to play anymore!”  But as an “adult” you just have to deal with it and keep going knowing some resolution will surface.  Hmmm, maybe we should follow the advice of our 5 year old selves once in a while!

  5. First of all:  FALL OUT OF MY CHAIR FUNNY! Secondly: I have GREAT news for you, Polly!  Whether you are a brand new motivational speaker, or a relatively old one like me (that doesn’t sound right, does it?) – these types of things will not go away.  Oh they will be fewer and further apart (see Colette’s story) – but they will NEVER go away.  You’ll just get a little wiser and smarter each time.  And here’s your first tip from the old-timer.  NEVER park in long-term parking. NEVER. Even if you have time.  You DON’T need the stress.  It’s what – $5 more per day? Number ONE – your client should pay for your parking (and they DON’T want a stressed out speaker, right?) and number TWO – if even they DON’T pay for it, it’s just one little thing you can do for yourself to make your job a little tiny bit easier.   
    AGAIN – seriously funny piece!!! Thank you for making me laugh! 

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