Independence from Mediocrity

After a pretty gloomy July 4th here in San Diego (which I was fine with, actually), the show of all shows -- the one we've been working on all year with much determination and thrill -- opened its doors wide for the preconference and expo preview.

I have to tell you; it's already rocking here. The vibe is incredible. Thirty years of health and fitness education, camaraderie and lasting friendships have culminated in an event that is sure to create real fireworks, which is more than the city of San Diego can say for its lackluster fireworks display last night (Google it).

Okay, so, yeah, I am paid to be excited about the IDEA World Fitness Convention. I am staff. Even if I wasn't on the payroll I'd be out in the Gaslamp here in downtown San Diego trying to recruit people. The energy here is that addictive. Happy people breed happiness.

What am I happy about? I have a lot to choose from, but let's focus on the preconference experiences. I happily got wrapped up in the Inspirational Leadership track for personal training and group fitness managers and directors. I am so glad this track is back! It's quite easy for managers and directors to get sucked into a wormhole of mediocrity. Afternoon investments like this one kick you out of your "okay" zone right into independence from all the cliche policies and procedures that just don't work.

Here are some highlights:

* Helen Vanderburg talked about what it means to be an extraordinary person, which translates to an extraordinary manager. It was an inspirational pep rally that set up the rest of the afternoon. She shared a great quote from her swimming coach, Debbie Muir: "By mastering the power of thought, you have a greater chance to access your full potential." Sounds like a no-brainer? Keep track of your thoughts and then tell me you have it all mastered.

* Shannon Fable absolutely owned her time slot with uber practical tips on how to create group fitness MVPs. She offered more helpful tips than I can note here, but suffice to say she advocates going above and beyond what you've been doing to not only streamline your program, but elevate it.

* Vito Lafata shared his passion: upgrading the status of the personal trainer from fitness professional to health professional. He showed us the hard numbers involved in shifting from a one-on-one training focus to a semi-private and small group business model. It didn't take too many slides to become a convert.

As we roll into the best fitness convention we've ever produced, I am looking forward to meeting you (you are here, right?) and learning more about how to create a better experience for you as an IDEA member (you are a member, right?).