Laval will not use his endurance, physical fitness or ability to suffer at high altitudes as a way to teach or motivate you to perform a better hip replacement, sell more cars, build a better marriage, or develop a six pack, but he will make you laugh, give you goosebumps, impress you, entertain you, perhaps make you uncomfortable and inspire you when speaking to your group.
Laval’s own words: “Just because I’ve climbed Everest without oxygen does not de facto make me an expert on anything or worse yet a motivational speaker. With bottled oxygen, fixed ropes, sherpas and guides, Everest has now been reduced to a tough two month outing, not a grand feat. What climbing Everest without oxygen does mean is that I am very fit, only because I train hard, very confident, very careful and that I have the physiology to survive at extreme altitudes, hardly handy when selling widgits or cars…unless of course the showroom is at over 8000m. Climbing to nearly 9000m without oxygen made me rely simply on me, my team and my equipment.
I can’t help anyone make more money or drive a nicer car, but perhaps I can breathe life into, ignite, or touch just one person in an audience in a way that stimulates energy, emotion or a realization that they are worthy or capable of bigger things. Failing all of this, I want people to go away entertained. I did not need a motivation to do what I do, I was lucky enough to have inspiration in the pages of a book, a magazine and most importantly my own imagination.”
A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
Antoine de saint Exupery.