Last week I had the incredible opportunity of getting to fly to Kansas City (Missouri, not that Kansas-y one) to attend The Fitness Summit. In short, The Fitness Summit was a weekend of awesome, buttered with some learning and slow roasted in holy-crap-John-“Roman”-Romaniello-is-sharing-my-french-fries. (Cue schoolgirl squeal). In hindsight, I should have ordered a shake…with two straws.
To be more specific, I got to spend the weekend listening to presentations from the top minds in the field, hanging out with said presenters as well as other big-time fitness peeps, and meet a ton of other fitness professionals and enthusiasts. All in all, I made some great connections and friendships.
Aside from total nutritional debauchery (Kansas City BBQ, a hamburger stuffed with onions and prime rib and Gouda and bacon smothered cheese fries, just for starters) last weekend was something I definitely needed. I was finding myself in a bit of rut both professionally and personally with training, and was looking forward to getting a much needed jolt of enthusiasm and creativity from being immersed in training talk as well as being around some of the smartest and most successful trainers in the world.
While I learned a great deal this weekend, there are a few moments that hit me like a ton of bricks and brought about either a fresh perspective or served as a slap upside the head.
Here they are in no particular order:
IF YOU WANT IT (REALLY WANT IT), YOU’LL DO IT
In a late night discussion with Roman, we were discussing how he has risen to such a great level of success, especially as a writer. It’s no mystery that I love to write (hence the blog and the articles), and would love to make a living doing both training and writing for magazines, websites, etc. In short, Roman told me that if I want to write, then write…a lot. Stay up late and write. Give up anything else I do that wastes time and write. If you want something bad enough, you’ll do it. I realized that while I would love to be able to help pay the bills with my writing, I’m doing very little of it. And, if I really want to be considered a legitimate writer, I’ll write a lot more than I currently am.
INTEGRITY IS KING
I got to spend several hours with Bret Contreras. I was a fan of his before this weekend, but after getting to hang out with him for a while, I have to say, this guy is legit. A champion for “the best” in everything, Bret pours over research, does his own EMG tests and is a master critical thinker, simply out of an effort to discover the best exercises, training modalities and approaches for every possible goal in the gym. What stood out the most to me about him was that he wasn’t dogmatic in what he believed. He doesn’t try to prove what he believes through research, rather he looks at what science has shown and makes determinations from there. Beyond that, he holds to those beliefs loosely and is willing to be proven wrong and adapt accordingly. He is honestly in a pursuit of scientific truth and is willing to abandon what he has championed if he is proven wrong. If only we were all so interested in seeking truth and not in projecting our own personal biases.
Like I said, Bret is legit and full of humility and integrity.
IF IT WORKS, IT WORKS
Nick Tumminello is probably one of the most unique trainers I’ve ever come across. He doesn’t prescribe to one certain modality or pigeonhole himself. He takes bits and pieces from everything and has created his own massive arsenal of training approaches that would be near impossible to replicate. The thing I loved most about Nick was his confidence in what he has experienced. In short, over a plate of BBQ and coleslaw, Nick told me something along the lines of, “I don’t put too much stock in science. I keep up on it because it’s important to know if there are more effective ways to train people, but at the same time if something works in the gym, I don’t need a study to prove it to me.” Or in other words, if it works, it works.
I was incredibly excited to get to meet several of the people who were both presenting and attending the seminar. I was hoping to have the opportunity to be able to say hi briefly and let them know that they’ve made a huge impact on me, both personally and professionally. While that alone was awesome, I was overwhelmed by the humility and generosity all of them exhibited. These are busy people who have built incredible names and reputations for themselves. These guys know they’re big deals. People pay them money just to hear them drop some knowledge. However, they all took time to sit down to dinner with the attendees, ride with us in the vans from the hotel, hang out till 4am in the lobby, walk to get lunch with us, and on and on.
And as big of a fan as I was before last weekend, due to their generosity, I’m even more of a believer. It’s amazing what simply being generous with your time can do.
Like I said, this past weekend was incredible. And I will definitely be attending next year. Who knows, give it 5 or so years, and maybe I’ll be presenting. 😉