5:30am...it was another early one in the Parker household. My wife was sleeping comfortably next to me, but I had to get up to get this day started. I knew it was going to be a full day, but I had no idea it was going to be a full day of goodness and gratitude. I rushed to get my daughter ready as we had to get out the door by 6:15am so that I could drop her off at day care at 6:30am so I could make my 6:45am training appointment for my early morning client. As usual, it was a fun and productive training session, but once I left my client's house my mind was centered on the 2013 IHRSA show at Mandalay Bay here in Las Vegas.
It is not often that you get a chance to have a large audience of your peers in one place so I was excited about the opportunity. As a Vegas local I crave meeting my fitness industry colleagues and I was not disappointed with my first day at IHRSA. Goodness and gratitude were prevalent in my connections with so many people today. I met with an old colleague of mine, Chip Huss, who is a personal training program director for a career college in Colorado. We talked about the state of the industry and how we are proud that more personal training students are taking the profession more seriously. Chip invited me to work with some athletes he has in Colorado and Vegas. Goodness was bubbling.
And if that was the bubble then the explosion was the Keynote Speaker for IHRSA, Bert Jacobs, one of the co-founders of and Chief Executive Optimist of the Life is Good Company. He brought the house down with his laid back, honest, humorous and refreshing look at doing business in today's world. You know a presentation is going to be awesome when the presenter throws frisbees for attendees to catch. His whole presentation was centered on one common theme...optimism is the most powerful tool for success in life. He mentioned several times how choosing good things leads to growth in more good things. My favorite thing he said however, was how people always say "I should do this or that, but people should say I GET TO do this or that." The message? Be glad in the things you get to do like taking care of your family, having a job, raising your kids, etc. Seems like in life that we feel this obligation to "HAVE TO" do things, but in reality we GET To do so many wonderful things. No need to complain and as Bert said in another brilliant statement, "Don't knock something. Build it!"
I left Bert's presentation feeling like goodness was pouring out of me and it was a great feeling. That feeling kept flowing as I met immediately with Alison Hager. Alison is a personal trainer from Wichita, Kansas who I met on Twitter a few weeks back. Per my nightly ritual, I try to reach out to fitness professionals all over the country via twitter. I came across Allison and her story of passion for the fitness industry was inspiring. I asked if we could meet in a few weeks at IHRSA and she was excited to do so. I told her I would tweet her after the Optimism lecture to see if we could meet up. Alison tweeted me before I could get the chance and we met right near pre-registration. I was so impressed with her connection to fitness and her "can do" attitude. It made me want to help her in the future which I plan on doing. Funny...I messaged so many people to chat at IHRSA, but Alison was the one who wholeheartedly took me up on the offer. Goodness is coming her way!!
As I was about to enter the last session I was attending for the day, I was stopped by a gentleman near the door of the session. He said and I quote "man, I see you everywhere here at the convention! You are talking to everyone so I just wanted to reach out to you." I thought it was interesting that this guy noticed that. We ended up chatting about our favorite sport, football, and he told me he was from Wisconsin. So, of course his favorite team is the Green Bay Packers. I told him my wife loves the Packers and he said you and your wife come to Green Bay and we'll go to a Packers game together. Did I mention all of this happened in the span of 10 minutes? Goodness was now just covering the planet in my view!
The last session I attended was on Remaining Relevant in Today's Tech Savvy World. While I tweeted quite a bit about this, I noticed that not much action was happening on retweets and replies. And it really just confirmed something to me. We are moving into an age where happiness, goodness and kindness grow brands much better than numbers do. While social media and reports have their place, nothing is as powerful as spreading goodness to others. And to quote Bert Jacobs, "if you want to build your brand you have to build it with your community. Let your consumers build your brand, not you."
I had to leave the presentation a bit early as I needed to drive 20 minutes back up the road to check in on a new employee to make sure she was feeling comfortable as one of my new trainers. In the course of chatting with her I found out that her husband is familiar with my brother, who is prominent indie hip hop artist, Wordsmith. Her husband is a DJ in Vegas, but he knows my brother's music which is coming straight out of Baltimore, MD. Goodness everywhere!
Finally, I "got to" train my long term client at 5pm today who is not only a client, but a good friend. I always workout with him during the session and he loves it. We push each other so hard. We sweat and we laugh. Isn't that a great combination? Then I "got to" pick up my daughter from day care and give her a big kiss and a hug. We got home and I feed her dinner and put her to sleep and now I am recapping my goodness filled day. Just feels so good!
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post about my day and my IHRSA experience. I am back for my IHRSA presentations and networking March 20th and 21st. I can't wait to share more insights and good vibes. All the best!
Dr. Darian Parker