When was the last time you watched someone in total awe? I had the pleasure of attending the concert of Evgeny Kissin, a pianist, at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on the weekend and it was a magical event. Mr. Kissin’s hands seemed to float effortlessly across the keyboard and the music wafting from his fingers was magnificent! I remember piano lessons as a child and struggling with chords, scales and coordinating the pedals along with the tune. It wasn’t pretty and I’m sure my dad’s early hearing loss was caused in part by enduring my daily piano practice. You cannot teach someone to be a musical genius. They either have the ability or they don’t! Another genius is Annika Vrklan although she is an athlete, not a musician. I met Annika and her family online less than 2 years ago (when Annika was 6 years old) and I was instantly in awe of her talent as a skateboarder and her genuine likeability. Annika is already a Guinness World Record holder and she competes in skateboarding competitions across the US. Annika has also been a guest on several television shows, including the Nate Berkus Show (syndicated TV in the US), and she appeared alongside Shaun White (Olympic Gold Medalist Snowboarder) during several sporting competitions. On June 8th, Annika will be one of the performers at Le Petit Cirque in California that showcases child prodigies. Annika’s mom is an amazing parent who shares my passion for promoting helmet safety. Other parents will often ask Annika’s mom what she has done to enable Annika to become such an accomplished athlete at such a young age and she is quick to point out that Annika’s ability is inherent. One day I will travel to California to meet this wonderful family in person. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the photos and videos of Annika and her siblings. Although the majority of us are not prodigies, we all have a set of natural gifts and the secret to success is discovering those talents and enjoying them to the fullest. What’s your special talent? What gives you the most pleasure and joy?
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