Doubled Over Laughing

I had dinner last night with a friend who told me about a speech she heard recently.

The speech was actually a toast, given by Denver Nugget’s coach George Karl at his 60th birthday celebration. Karl was diagnosed with throat cancer last February, and has since rallied a team of healers, doctors, coaches and guides to support he and his family with his fight.

What struck my friend about Karl’s toast, was how genuinely he shared his life-priorities.  Things like meditating and working in the garden were among the top four things one should do every day. This from a professional coach who could have easily made metaphorical references to commitment, persistence, team-work and never giving up.

Rather, he shared that in his home they have a rule that everyone must laugh a minimum of three times a day. Bellyaching, side-cramping, cheek-hurting laughter. If he comes home from work, and his daughter didn’t get in her three laughs, he’ll wake her up and tickle her so that she can meet her quota.

Indeed, he’s doing something right since he’s now in remission.

It made me think…how often do I laugh so hard it hurts? Once a day? Once a week? Is it even once a month? Gosh, I’m not sure.

Did you know that the physical effects of laughter on the body include increased breathing, increased oxygen use and short-term changes in hormones and certain neurotransmitters? Many hospitals and cancer centers have special rooms with humorous materials for the purpose of making people laugh, such as movies, audio recordings, books and games. Pretty cool.

So here’s our challenge.  Let’s take on Karl’s philosophy, and find ways to laugh more often, with more fervor, and with more people.

I have a favorite YouTube video that will get you started. This makes me crack up!

And, if you really want to laugh out loud, then please join me for a fabulous speaker coming to Denver on August 8th.  His name is Dave O’Brien, and at 56 yrs. old, he is the oldest male competitor to run the “4Deserts” series in a single year! In 2010, Dave completed all four of the 155-mile endurance races that comprise Racing the Planet’s “4Deserts” series (
Not only is Dave brilliant and inspiring, he is hilarious and I guarantee you’ll be doubled over laughing.

You can learn more about Dave’s Denver and Boulder events HERE.

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