“He’s bleeding like crazy; I’m in and out of consciousness and my husband is watching from above, not knowing if I’m dead or alive,” recalls
Gest, who suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg—and spent
days recovering in a Croatian hospital.
Lesson #1: Take advantage of opportunities—but be smart about it.
Lesson #2: Humor cures all. (This is the lesson she truly lives by.)
A battered and bruised Gest returned home in a wheelchair with her
leg held together with pins, rods and screws, while in a full cast up her
side. That’s when her then four-year-old son , Jake—who hadn’t seen her
since her fall—stared in disbelief at his mom. He looked at her broken leg,
then, with some confusion, looked at her still manicured finger nails.
“How come you broke your leg, but didn’t break your nails?” he asked.
Merit Gest has a chilling motivation that few NACS Show speakers can claim: She once came within one windswept whisker of death. Nearly a decade ago, an overzealous but under-experienced para- gliding guide coaxed her to join him on a risky jump off a moun-
taintop in Croatia. It was an exceptionally windy day, but the thrill seeker in her just
couldn’t say no. The guide quickly lost control of their shared glider in the heavy winds
and instead of landing in a soft field of grass, the two plummeted into a tree before
crashing to the ground.
NACS Show general session speaker Merit Gest uses
humor to teach business and life lessons. By Bruce Horovitz