Living Beyond Limits

Amy Purdy

Amy Purdy

Closing General Session: Amy Purdy

During today’s Closing General Session, Amy Purdy will discuss “Living Beyond Limits” — a concept with which she’s very familiar. After losing both her legs to meningococcal meningitis at age 19, Purdy, now 36, went on to a career as a model, actress, and Paralympic snowboarding champion. She previewed her session with PCMA’s Convene magazine.

Q: What will you be talking about at Convening Leaders?

Purdy: I’ll be sharing me! I’ll be sharing my story, and the things from which I drew inspiration to continue living when it appeared I had drawn my last breath. I’ve come to find that inspiration is contagious, so I hope to spread a bit of it.

Q: What is one takeaway you would like your audience to leave with?

Purdy: Their perception of obstacles. Are they roadblocks or steppingstones?

Q: One of your messages as a speaker and author is about writing — or rewriting — our own stories. Why is that so important?

Purdy: Because I believe passionate vision, vision that is so real you can feel it, is a huge driving force in our lives. I believe we should each write, and follow, our own storyline guided by whatever we’re most passionate about.

Q: Your audience will be made up of people who plan meetings, conferences, and other live events as a career. Is there something in your message about stories they might apply to that job?

Purdy: Definitely. This audience is made up of people whose job it is to create events that impact other people’s lives. There’s a giant ripple effect from the work of people who plan events to the people who attend those events, and then on to the people those people will impact when they return to their respective companies. In those terms, that’s a lot of power to influence. I said before that inspiration is contagious, and I truly believe that. Attendees have the opportunity to spread inspiration through the quality of speakers they work with and events they help create.

Q: You spent several months on the road with Oprah. As a speaker, what did you learn from that experience?

Purdy: Oprah has an amazing way of putting everyone at ease, because she allows herself to be vulnerable and she shares her challenges and mistakes, which I think most people relate to since we all have our own challenges and mistakes to overcome. She’s confident in who she is and owns her challenges, because she knows she grows from them. Working with her really has inspired me to allow my vulnerabilities to come through.