Last week I allowed my life to be consumed by a ridiculous little (but huge) phenomenon known as GISHWHES. If you haven’t heard of it, (that is, if you didn’t see any of my Facebook activity last week) let me enlighten you.gishwhes2014-full-logo

GISHWHES (pronounced GishWhiz or GishWish, or any other pronunciation you can manages to spit out) is an acronym for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.  It was created by Misha Collins, one of the stars of the CW’s popular series Super Natural. This was the 4th annual hunt, which benefits RandomActs.org and which, among other more ridiculous stunts, inspires random acts of kindness.

I had observed my friend Kelly Zega’s antics as she and her daughter participated in GISHWHES last year. So when she put out an open invitation on Facebook to join her team this year, I asked Ethan if he was game and we signed on to be members of Team Dionysus.team Dionysus

On a Saturday at 1 p.m. the list of 185 GISHWHES Challenges went live on their website (which, of course, immediately crashed).  A quick reboot later, Ethan and sat and read aloud each of the 185 challenges.  Things like:

VIDEO (20 seconds). The NSA is watching us. They’re reading our texts and emails and listening to our phone calls. The post office is just another branch of the government, so we can’t trust them either. There is really only one truly secure way to send messages these days… carrier pigeon. Using a carrier pigeon, send a GISHWHES shopping list with your team name on it from one location to another. We must see the pigeon arriving at its destination with the shopping list and see the list unfurled.114 Points

and

VIDEO (time-lapse up to 20 seconds). Watch grass grow as you work on GISHWHES items on your lawn. We want to see it in time-lapse: grass must visibly grow. Hint: make sure your camera is positioned in exactly the same place over time and that we can see both you working on the item and the grass, otherwise this won’t work. If we don’t see the grass getting longer you’ll get no points.89

After trudging through the list, I thought to myself, “We can probably do 5 or 6 of these.”

I spent all day on social media on Saturday reaching out to friends and acquaintances, lining up the various props necessary and shamelessly asking for their help.  Surprisingly, no one really gave me the “have you lost your mind?” look. In fact, each of them were eager to help in whatever way they could.

By Thursday, as we were planning a large scale water balloon fight in a public park with all participants wearing business suits (which would be videotaped, then edited in slo-mo and set to opera music), I had a revelation.  This particular challenge was approximately the 70th challenge our team of 15 had accomplished. 70th.  Remember I thought we might be able to pull of 5 or 7???

Here is my profound revelation:

We are/I am going through life thinking TOO SMALL.

I’m placing limitations on myself. I’m the one making excuses and saying “It can’t be done.”
Clearly, it can be done.  If I can convince an accomplished professor of music at our state’s flagship university to play “Carry on My Wayward Son” on a pipe organ while wearing a sock monkey hat – I should be able to do just about anything else that I DECIDE I WANT to do.

Here’s what GISHWHES taught me:

  • Share my vision.
  • Step out of my comfort zone.
  • Ask for help.
  • Keep asking.
  • People WANT to help! Let them.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Celebrate success.
  • Have fun!

So now…. here’s what I know you really want to see! I proudly present some of Team Dionysus’ Greatest Hits of #GISHEWHES 2014


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