Vic Pemberton, LT 29, March E News Guest Editor

WOW – it is hard to believe that LT was…8 years ago? LT29 – still the best SIMSOC group + class ever!
I have been blessed over the years to participate in many leadership organizations and classes throughout South Georgia and South Alabama. LT 29 was SPECIAL! The time spent exploring Tallahassee and Leon County with some great people was memorable and still relevant today. Can never forget the experience we had in Jacksonville doing SIMSOC, going to dinner and seeing how different people ate – from Steak and Lobster to the loaf of bread – on the floor. Sharing our “box dinner”, plastic ware and whatever with the RED team, I can still see it in my mind. The privilege walk asking “have you ever?” – take one step forward or one step back if you have ever. Experiences that change the way you view others and help you realize, no matter what age, ethnicity, or gender – it is amazing how much we have in common with each other!
Life is a journey, and there is no elevator or escalator to success…you have to take the stairs. One of those stair like experiences was to hike the Grand Canyon – Rim to Rim – with a buddy of mine. I am not a hiker, have never been on a hike, and have no idea why I agreed to do it. At any rate, since I haven’t been training for over a year, only 4 weeks until canyon day, and travel dominating my weeks, you could find me in the stair wells of hotels I was staying in – emergency exits – going from the bottom of the hotel to the top over and over. From 5 stories to 15, add a 25 backpack and do it long enough and it will wear you out. Not to mention the curious looks you got from other guests. Still nothing compared to this hike, nothing! 12 hours of hiking down and then 10 hiking out, I tested and went beyond what I was physically able to do. Then the mental kicked in, the kind and gentle voice of one of our hikers saying what “great steps up” I was making, and then the other mental voice of…I am going to KILL my friend when I get out here. The prayers for God to go ahead with the rapture. A helicopter, but it was too late for that, I was only 3 miles from the rim – nowhere to land and pick me up. A mule? Those things are scary and walk too close to the edge for me. Its 100 degrees in the middle of the day…kind of like the day we tried to put out a burning car with the fire hose and all the gear on… Really could have used an escalator or elevator right about now. By now physical and mental is gone…leadership training? Exhausted somewhere back when the brain said it didn’t want any part of what I was doing. Emotion, there you go – you CAN DO IT! NEVER NEVER QUIT! Through LT experiences like SIMSOC, you had to push through, even when it felt like it tried to keep us down! SUCCESS, the end of the “stairs”! I bowed down…maybe laid down, and kissed the ground and thanked the good Lord up above for his wonderful creation! And asked forgiveness for all the other things I said on this wonderful journey.
My hope and prayer is that your stairs are leading you to a better place as you share your light and a little bit of salt with those you meet on your journey. And a special shout out to LT29 – Thank YOU!
Vic currently lives in Panama City Beach, as the CEO of PEPI Coffee Company and an Executive Coach, WITY (What Is Important To You) which has a national reach helping executive teams for company’s find their purpose, peace and prosperity. He serves on the Board National Automatic Merchandizing Association for convenient service.

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