It’s been a busy summer. GOOD busy, but nonetheless so busy that I’ve had moments this summer that I wished it was the summer of 1993 (the summer that I graduated high school, right before I went to college), when my biggest responsibility was showing up to a summer job at a gourmet food store in time for work to ring up fruit and cheese and that my biggest problem was that I careened over an island in the Stop and Shop parking lot with my Mitsubishi Montero while I was making a snack run with my friends because I didn’t have my headlights on.
Fortunately no one got hurt and I landed on all four wheels. On the inside I felt like a badass stuntwoman filming a hot action scene but I’m sure from the outside it looked like a complete disaster to anyone watching.
I do miss those days…
However, we all grow up, become adults, have more responsibility, and having a “Lazy Summer” no longer exists.
Since June 1 hit it’s been “GO GO GO TIME”…
ReebokONE Fitness Ambassador Summit
In June I attended my first ReebokONE Fitness Ambassador Summit at Reebok Headquarters in Canton, MA.
I finally had the opportunity to meet many of my fellow ReebokONE Ambassadors in person and reunite with an old friend and colleague of mine, Pete McCall, who I always joke that we’ve known each other since MC Hammer Pants were in style; which we did, because I took one of my first spin classes with him in Washington, DC in 1998.
It was an amazing week of learning and networking and I feel fortunate to have been able to share it with some of my fellow ReebokONE Fitness Ambassadors, a truly talented group of colleagues with diverse skills and backgrounds who share my mission, and passion with their motivation, positivity, and open mindedness.
We even had the opportunity to give back to the community and volunteer at the Brookview House in Dorchester, MA with Strength To Serve.
Iron Body Studios is becoming a Strength To Serve partner, so if you are local to Boston, MA then stay tuned for more community service events like these that you can put your physical strength to work to help organizations in need.
Iron Body Studios MOVED
When you own a business you are faced with a lot of tough decisions to make in order to ensure that your business continues to grow and be profitable. At Iron Body Studios we were faced with one of those decisions, which was to move our business to a facility that was in a better location than our previous location and to a facility that better matched our business model in terms of size and overhead costs.
This was a very quick decision that Eric and I made that had a turn around time of about 8 weeks from the time we made the decision and happened to find a facility that better fit our business needs to the actual move and set up of the new facility.
We sacrificed our summer vacation in order to transform our new facility from a retail space to a training gym.
Even though it was a very hectic 8 weeks leading up to the move and a week of really hard work setting up the new facility, it was worth it.
We went from a larger facility hidden in a corporate office park on a pass through street that had a ton of dead space that we were paying rent on and not using, to a smaller facility on a busy street corner in a small business friendly neighborhood, with fantastic visibility, great natural light, and a reasonable rent on space of which we are using every square inch.
The Perform Better Functional Training Summit
After the move I had about 10 days to finally think about the fact that I was going to be speaking at the Perform Better Functional Training Summit in Providence, Rhode Island on July 19, 2015.
I don’t think I slept for those 10 days.
I did finally sleep this past Sunday night however, after my talk, and it was GLORIOUS!
Most of you reading this already know this, but for those of you who do not, the Perform Better Summit is one of the largest fitness conferences in the industry. One of my friends and colleagues, Geoffrey Hemmingway, a strength coach from Mark Fisher Fitness, referred to it as Vegas. One day we were talking about how I was speaking at the Summit and he said, “That is awesome! It’s like VEGAS!”.
I thought it was a very fitting analogy.
Building up to this past weekend when I spoke I was both excited and nervous.
Maybe I should be writing that I was completely calm and not nervous, (no big deal, piece of cake, no problem!), but then I would be lying. It’s a big deal and I wanted to do really well.
Not just really well, I wanted to kill it.
Tidbits and Takeaways from The Perform Better Summit
I arrived at the Summit in the afternoon on Friday July 17 and I was scheduled to present on Sunday July 19.
It helped to attend the Summit, socialize with friends and colleagues, and listen to other presenters speak over the course of the weekend. It definitely calmed my nerves and helped me to get my thoughts together for my talk on Sunday.
Friday afternoon I attended Thomas Plummer’s lecture, “The System” and one of the questions that he asked the audience that I absolutely loved was, “Have you ever seen someone with a good butt who wasn’t fit??”
If you have a fit butt then you are overall fit.
Saturday I attended Charlie Weingroff and Dan John’s lectures in the morning and my friend and colleague Don Saladino’s lecture in the afternoon. Somewhere in between I reviewed and prepared my presentation to make sure that I was ready to go on Sunday morning.
One of the things that Dan John emphasized in his lecture, “Fitness For Everybody Else” was when training a client for fat loss you must have that client strength train. He mentioned how Josh Hillis has all of his female fat loss clients train strength train. They all dead-lift, they all do pull-ups.
This seems like a no-brainer but you would be surprised about not only the number of misinformed clients and consumers out there but also about the number of misinformed coaches.
Strength training = building muscle = lean body mass = burn more calories at rest and lean body mass takes up less space even if it the number on the scale may stay the same or go up.
That afternoon I listed to my friend, colleague, and mentor Don Saladino, Owner of Drive495 in New York City speak about “The Drive To Be The Best”. As a business owner who also left a commercial gym to start her own business I could relate to so much that Don talked about.
I left the commercial gym I worked at because I was bored to say the least; or rather I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted more and knew that working at that commercial gym was just the beginning and not the end of my career.
However, as Don mentioned, if you’re not happy you have to take risks in order to make a change and not everyone is willing to take those risks.
Taking the leap to start your own business is not a small feat and it takes guts and stamina to find solutions to get through the tough times.
One of my favorite parts of Don’s lecture was when he talked about the word “Fine.” Fine is not acceptable. He said, “Fine is the worst word in the dictionary. Don’t live a fine life, live a great life”.
I will never use the word “fine” again.
After all of the lectures on Saturday afternoon I sat on a panel with the other speakers for Q&A from Summit participants.
(Photo courtesy of a summit attendee, Rachel Jerozal)
It was a surreal and out of body experience to be sitting up there with some of the best minds in the industry and next to many of whom I have learned from over the years, Ed Thomas, Martin Rooney, Mike Boyle, and some who are my mentors, like Charlie Weingroff and Don Saladino. Gray Cook and Dan John should also be listed here, but they were unable to be present for the presenter Q&A.
One of the questions I answered was directed towards the two female presenters, myself and Emily Splichal and it was related to how to be a successful female in a male dominated industry.
In summary my response was, it’s not easy. In a male dominated industry, as women we are faced with a lot of challenging situations that we have to learn how to respond to in a tough, yet diplomatic and professional manner. In these situations, as a woman you need to learn how to stand up for yourself, appropriately.
Most of all, be a professional and conduct yourself in a way on and off the internet that demonstrates that you are a professional and that you want to be taken seriously.
Anyone can post 1,000 selfies and half naked pictures of themselves and build thousands of followers, but it takes a true professional to publish educated, thoughtful, and relevant content on a regular basis that helps people, and resonates with people. It also takes a professional to know how to appropriately show skin (because I know there are plenty pictures and videos of myself on the internet in a sports bra) in a tasteful way with a professional and educated message.
It really hit home for me when I was talking to Eric recently and he said to me, “You are a public figure and not only do people want to learn from you, but they are watching what you say, write, and post on the internet.”
Truth, I never really sat down and thought of myself as a public figure until I had that conversation with Eric a few weeks ago. People are watching, people are listening, to everything, therefore it’s important to have a filter and choose your battles, and how you conduct them, wisely.
If you want to be successful in this industry, that is a casual, male dominated industry, be a professional, portray yourself in a way that will help you to be respected and taken seriously. However at the same time be true to yourself, and show your humanity along with your professionalism.
If you are fake and try to be someone you are not, people will see right through it.
Also remember that people are watching, people are listening, to everything you write, say, post, etc. Think twice, even five times, before you post something on the internet, especially out of emotion or anger because it’s permanent even if you delete it.
Bottom line, read, write, and be a professional in every aspect of your business. Choose your company with colleagues who support you and align with your beliefs. Every male professional (and female for that matter) who I surround myself with in this industry supports me and encourages me and this past weekend was no exception. I choose my company.
Toning Is For Printers; I Lift.
I woke up on Sunday morning and it was time for my lecture.
Once I got up there and started speaking I don’t remember everything I said, and the 100 plus people sitting in the audience just blurred together as one blob of a crowd. Truth, I kept my eyes on Tony Gentilcore who was seated in the last row in an end seat, with the occasional glance over to Eric who was to my right in the front row. Two people who’s company I choose because they support me 110% and are always in my corner. That kept me focused, on task and helped me to nail my talk.
After my hands on I was relieved that everything went just as I wanted it to go, and in fact better than expected.
(Photos courtesy of a summit attendee, Rachel Jerozal)
It was better than fine, I OWNED IT and I had my Xena moment that day.
If you missed my lecture and hands on at the Perform Better Summit then I hope you will join me for one of my upcoming Lift workshops. I Am Not Afraid To Lift is now approved for .8 NASM CEUs! Upcoming 2015 schedule is listed below…
Next I Am Not Afraid To Lift workshops coming to:
- New York City, New York on September 12, 2015 at Drive495
- Dulles, Virginia on October 3, 2015 at BSPNOVA
- Needham, MA on November 7, 2015 at Iron Body Studios
Read more and register HERE.
Also join me for my half day workshop, Keep It Simple Nutrition & Conditioning coming to:
- New York City, New York on September 13, 2015 at Drive495
- Dulles, Virginia on October 4, 2015 at BSPNOVA
- Needham, MA on November 8, 2015 at Iron Body Studios
Read more and register HERE.