Inspirations from IDEA World Fitness Convention 2017

One of the events I always look forward to attending each year is the IDEA World Fitness Convention, also known as the Super Bowl for Fitness Professionals. I attended my first IDEA convention over 20 years ago and I still get so much out of it every time I have the opportunity to learn from industry’s best.

When I first started going to IDEA, I would sign up for all the “workout” sessions to get new choreography and music ideas and I would physically participate in each and every single session. After all, it is a “Fitness” convention and I didn’t come here to sit around. In fact, I used to roll my eyes when I saw some attendees chill by the side to observe and take notes. Twenty plus years later, I now have a lot more appreciation for what they were doing. We are here to listen, learn and not just to sweat and get sore for days! Yes, I live and learn.

That said, this year I intentionally told myself to sign up for more lectures and seminars and fewer workouts. I am happy to report that this was a great decision and I came back filled with ideas and inspiration. I want to share with you a few golden nuggets that can certainly be applied towards our health or fitness goals but they can be equally beneficial to other areas in our lives.

First lesson that came to mind was from Darren Hardy, the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. He is a success mentor to many CEOs and high performance achievers and wrote a book titled The Compound Effect. One of the concepts that stood out to me is that our life’s outcomes are most often determined not by one great decision or one really bad one, but a number of seemingly insignificant choices. For instance, choosing to eat a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting once will not lead us to obesity but choosing to do so five nights a week over several months might. Here’s a more extreme example; if I were to ask you “Would you rather have a penny doubled every day for 30 days or a million dollars?” Which would you choose? If you actually do the math, you’ll see that a penny doubled every day for 30 days will net you over $10 million! What a great example of the concept of compound effect! The take away for me here is don’t dwell on one good decision or one bad mistake we make as it probably doesn’t have the kind of impact we think it does. Instead, be mindful of every single little or seemingly insignificant choice we make as these choices are what will ultimately guide us down our chosen path or lead us astray.

Another enlightening lesson I learned was from Shannon Fable, a much respected veteran in the fitness industry. In her session titled “Get Out Of Your Own Way,” she shared her own experience and path she took in life and in her career. One of the memorable quotes she used was “Fake it till you become it.” What it meant was sometimes in life we are fortunate enough to be offered opportunities that we may not even think we are ready for, we need to cease the opportunity and just go for it. This doesn’t mean we are being irresponsible or try to be an imposter; we simply put our best foot forward and develop skills and experience along the way so eventually we BECOME the confident and capable self for the role. We have to trust that the person who offered us the opportunity see a potential in us that we may not even realize we have at the moment. This reminds me of when I sometimes show my clients or my students a new exercise and I get this look from them that says “You’ve got to be out of your mind! What makes you think I can do this?” But then, they proceeded to try the exercise and eventually realize they underestimated their own abilities. These are the moments I treasure.

Lastly, I want to share an image that was also used in Shannon’s session – Path to Success. As you can see, it’s quite self explanatory and simple but it makes so much sense. In a world of social media saturation, we are bombarded by “Success Stories” and “Before-After Photos.” It’s easy to forget that none of these people achieve their success overnight. We are only privy to the highlights of their journeys – when they hit rock bottom, what got them inspired and voilà they are transformed! What’s often missing from these stories are their moments of self-doubt, when they temporary relapsed into their old habits, when they hit a plateau and want to give up etc.. But anyone who has pursued a challenging and worthy goal know that it is not a linear path, but a journey full of mistakes, learnings and iterations. So, next time you see one of these success stories, think about the less glamorous part of how they got there and give yourself a break when you slip up from time to time. Most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP!

Alright, I’ll get off my soap box now. I hope you share the same excitement as I do over these incredible reminders of how to live a more successful and fulfilling life that positively impacts others. <3

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