This past weekend was CanFitPro's 20th anniversary conference.And I have to say, it was my favourite one so far. I've been attending this conference almost every year for the past eleven years.
The very first year I went as a volunteer and tried to hustle my way into sessions when I could.
This past weekend, my arms were prickling and my serotonin soaring as if it were my very first time - except, with the added richness of so much more knowledge and a feeling of groundedness in my field. My business is my blood. It is the essential inner workings of my life - it is my purpose. And this weekend my blood was pumping like mad (in more ways than one).
I'd like to share with you the things learned, heard and seen that had me feeling so inspired and passionate about what we set out to do.
Now, I can't share every detail otherwise this fun blog read would be not-so-fun and tremendously long. But I will share the highlights. In every single industry, there are experts who live and breathe what they do, and they do it from the most compassionate and sincere standpoint. There are also a ton of so-called experts who are really just trying to get by and make a buck. I was smart, this year, in my selection of speakers - and very lucky that they even exceeded my expectations in terms of their genuineness. Three people in particular highlighted my experience this weekend: Brendan Brazier (founder of Vega), Tosca Reno (authour of the Eat Clean Diet) and Peter Twist (founder of Twist Conditioning).
Brendan Brazier is a vegan triathlete (who only now competes occasionally for fun in various races, but focuses most of his time and energy into formulating sound nutrition for optimal chemistry / better energy and experience - luckily for the rest of us! He began with discussing how lower nutrition leads to a higher hunger. I think I've mentioned "nutritional density" and "bang for buck" about a million times in this blog. If you are not eating nutritionally dense foods, you will want MORE FOOD (and likely the things that satisfy in the short-term, and are addictive). So, he quietly and calmly shared his expertise in the world of nutrition. How nutrition has the power to propel us forward, to balance our hormones and stress levels, to lead to proper sleep which helps us to heal and live more energetically and happily. It is all interconnected, and he very successfully (and passionately) discussed how vital its prioritization is.
Tosca Reno - oh how she gave me goosebumps. She was a better speaker than I expected. She mentioned the concept of an "obesigenic" society - one that is so incredibly conducive toward obesity. All of the nutritionally void, high-sugar treats around every checkout, happy meals, movie theatres, fast food spots, the ease of slurping highly toxic fake foods into our bodies - what repercussions these have on our society. Everybody is sick, tired, pain-stakingingly lazy, feeling incompetent (and impotent!), disconnected and hungry for things. And guess what is at the source of all of these things? Being undernourished. Yes, you can be overfed and undernourished. But when "shit gets rough", you're not going to be able to handle it because when you are not treating your body well with healthy foods and exercise, you crumple. In life, we will always, always face hard times and problems. And they are only negatives if we let them beat us down. When we are physically and mentally strong (to be mentally strong one must have adequate nutrition and exercise), the hiccups and hurdles drive us FORWARD. They make us live BETTER. They actually steam clean our lives and change us in a positive way. She expressed this with such authority and expertise. They are all thoughts I've had - but her positioning really pricked the hairs up on my arms (and legs! Leg goosebumps are the best kind). A moment I really loved was her ranting about all of the despair in the sexless, loveless, passionate-less lives of so many who are suffering through their discomfort and unhappiness, coming to a close with the sentence: "But then, there's nutrition." She said this with such a confident smile. Nutrition, friends, changes everything. It changes the bad to good in every single category. It creates life optimization, and resilience.
And so, her discussion of resiliency and its immediate tie to the investment we make with nutrition, struck a massive, celestial chord with me. AMEN.
Peter Twist really pulled things together in my last session of the conference. Satch, my training partner (who shares the soul of PT2) and I got our asses whooped in this workshop that used sports specific functional training to engage every single inch of the body in the most efficient way. We braced ourselves on Bosus being pulled and prodded in many directions, building a better PHYSICAL resilience. When you are bracing in a plank or bridge on a Bosu and being pulled suddenly, or slowly and gradually, in different directions and often by surprise, let me tell you - if you are teetering on the edge of a boat one day, your body is going to know what to do to keep you strong and alive. I really get off on training from the inside out - it creates permanent change in the physicality (AND in the mind/body connection) - and this workshop really satisfied that angle of training for me. Satch and I are really on the right track with our functional training and our passion is accurately placed in terms of what the population needs out of its workouts - and we absolutely can't wait to show you how damn good the workouts feel, and how dramatic the results are. My favourite Peter Twist quotations: "Everybody is so worried about an obese society, but it is nothing compared to a BUTT-less society." (This man shares my adoration for glute training!) "Stay on your path. Your path might not always be right, it won't be perfect, but it is your path. Be 100% authentic and unique."
Well, in twelve years I've never compromised my instincts toward nutrition and training, with all of the absorption of information and misinformation. And after the conference this past weekend, my path is certainly glowing. I love this career more now than ever - and I'm so excited to see where it goes next! Thank you to my fellow pros in the industry for really lighting my fire this past weekend - and, again, in the words of Peter Twist, we'll keep passing the baton through our communities in this relay race of transforming the world and its participants.