“Just Be You. Don’t try to be anyone else. Be authentic, and share what it is that only YOU can share. Be present. Do what you came to this earth to do.”
I’m coming home from a week of sensory overload. For six days I’ve been surrounded by loud music, bright colors, people with more brightness and energy than Times Square, and a whole lot of sweat.
The irony is, I’m coming home refreshed, invigorated, and completely peaceful. Why? I’ve just spent the week at IDEA World, the largest fitness convention in the universe. This year’s event was held in Los Angeles where 8000 of us laced up our sneakers, rolled out our yoga mats, and pulled on our brightest stretchy pants to experience a week of fun and fitness.
This year marks my 25th IDEA convention. I have been attending this crazy Sweatfest since 1987. I was there when Gin Miller first introduced Step Aerobics. I was there when Johnny G. rolled out this crazy thing called Spinning. And there to take on Jack LaLanne in a pushup contest (he won).
But this week was also a first for me. Today, I was there as an IDEA presenter. In my 30+ years in the fitness industry, nothing compares to the joy I felt when I saw my name on the sign outside the door of Gold 4 Ballroom in the JW Marriott. I got to stand this weekend, shoulder to shoulder with the people who have been my mentors and teachers throughout all of these years. Being in the lineup with people like Jay Blahnik, Julz Arney, Keli Roberts, Skip Jennings, Doris Thews, Amy Dixon, Jeffrey Scott, Robert Sherman, Linda McHugh, Michelle Damis (I could go on and on and on) was something I will never forget, or take for granted. And I feel that it’s only the beginning.
One of the coolest things about this experience, was the presenters who took the time to coach me. To lift me up. To make sure that I walked onto the stage with confidence and excitement instead of fear, competition, and self-doubt. They shared with me their stories and their cautions. The overriding theme of their collective advice was this; “Just Be You. Don’t try to be anyone else. Be authentic, and share what it is that only YOU can share. Be present. Do what you came to this earth to do.” Wow. If we could all live by that advice, on a daily basis, wouldn’t our world be a better place?
The theme of this years event was BE the Inspiration. Our mandate, to inspire the world to fitness. I feel like I have stepped into a new role. It’s a great honor to inspire the inspire-ors. To lift up the teachers and trainers who are out on the front lines every day, from 4am to 10pm, and in between they are writing workout plans, practicing choreography and trying to raise a family and squeeze in their own workouts. This is a hard working bunch, and together we are working to get the world moving.
I can’t even put into words the GRATITUDE I feel for the people who have helped me to take this step. So I will do the next best thing. I will do everything I can to lift up those around me. Whatever it is that you are dreaming of doing in this very short time on planet earth, consider these words, “Just Be You. Don’t try to be anyone else. Be authentic, and share what it is that only YOU can share. Be present. Do what you came to this earth to do.” I can’t wait to meet you , in a class or a training, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you as we inspire the world to fitness!