You Are A Goddamn Triumph

I just got back from a week with a small group of professional women speakers, strategizing our careers on a beach in Mexico. (Um, just be clear, we weren’t strategizing that we’d have careers on a beach, although we did contemplate it…) And let me first say that beaches and giant Post-it flip charts do not go hand in hand. Shocking, I know. Chasing handwritten charts of Actionable Items down the beach and losing perfectly good markers to sand and sea, were the first casualties of the retreat. But we bravely soldiered on. And the mojitos didn’t hurt. Ideas were shared, roadblocks unblocked and perspective gained. A brilliant week all in all.

Over dinner one night, (confession: I had octopus ceviche 4 nights in a row….it’s called “self-care,” people), we started talking about how many speakers out there speak on the topic of Triumph. Triumph over cancer, over war, over abuse, neglect, pain and suffering. And how we, the women speakers I was with, didn’t have that message of how we had suffered. It wasn’t what we talked about. Should we? Could our audiences learn from a non-triumphant and basically normal life? In fact could they learn better? Because most lives are mostly normal and so would just trying to slog your way through normal problems that life has to offer really be more of a useful guide?

But after four days and many personal stories later, it hit us. Holy crap. We ALL had some crazy times. By your 40’s it’s pretty impossible to get out scott free. We’d had relatives go through terrible diseases or deaths, had kids with all the goodies that come with that particular shit show, we’d lost jobs, been sexually harassed at work, changed relationships, changed courses, watched the election ruin our country…. Who’s life ISN’T a triumph???

So our slogan for the week became this:

“I am a Goddamn Triumph!”

Because we ALL are. I mean, right??

Let’s write that on a note and put it somewhere we’ll see it this week as we come into the New Year.

Cuz, we are, damnit.

Originally published at


  • Katie Goodman is an award-winning musical comedian, author, speaker, and life-coach. She is a nationally touring keynote speaker on the topic of using the tools of improv comedy in everyday life. Her musical comedy show, “Broad Comedy,” runs Off-Broadway and tours across the country. She has been seen on Showtime’s The Green Room With Paul Provenza, on Current TV, and on TruTV. Her comedy videos, having amassed 3 million views, can be viewed online. She received a Time Out New York Critic’s Pick for Best Cabaret, and is signed with Comedy Dynamics, North America’s largest independent record label. Her album “Halfway Closer To Dead” is available on iTunes. Katie holds a philosophy degree form the University of Pennsylvania. As a keynote speaker, workshop leader and trainer, Katie has taught over 10,000 people the art of improvisational comedy. She has written for O, The Oprah Magazine and is the author of Improvisation For The Spirit: Living A More Creative, Spontaneous and Courageous Life Using The Tools of Improv Comedy. Katie was nominated for the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant for her unique work in theatre.