IDEA World Conference -

The Power of Kindness

In August, I was invited by IDEA Health & Fitness Association to present a workshop at their 2011 Fitness World Convention. In the fitness industry this is the equivalent of performing at the Oscars. IDEA has been around for 25 years, and is the leader in health and fitness. The association's mandate is to educate and inspire its 22,000 plus members beyond the status quo, and to enhance and elevate the health, fitness and wellness professions in general.

My session was called "Train Like An Ultimate MMA Fighter". It was the first time IDEA had explored MMA based conditioning at any of their conferences. 

My right hand man and marketing manager, Ron Weinberg, was with me and he put in a lot of hours on this project. There was much riding on this event for me personally and my business. It was a pilot workshop by IDEA to see if MMA related programming could appeal to the general fitness community. 

At 4:30 pm on August 14th over 100 trainers and group exercise instructors were present at my workshop held in the Los Angeles Convention Center. In addition, a production crew from IDEA was filming it for an upcoming educational DVD. 

Although I was anxious to get into the practical portion of the workshop, I felt it important to explain what MMA Conditioning was all about as there were many unique aspects to introduce. As I finished the last of my PowerPoint slides, I was more than ready to lead my carefully planned class upon attendees. 

Even though it was the end of the day, and many participants had attended hard charging workouts before mine, I knew that they loved to be challenged. Thus, I was determined to provide a level of energy, instruction and motivation that they would remember. As my session went on, I noticed more and more people coming in the room to watch. The energy was building throughout the space. It felt great!

Towards the last 45 minutes of the session, Douglas Brooks showed up. For those that are unfamiliar with Douglas, he is one of best known and highly regarded leaders in the fitness industry. Off to the side, he gave me a big thumbs up, which meant the world to me. I paused and introduced him to attendees and told the following quick story: 

Twenty years ago, I wrote 3 letters to the top trainers in the industry. Only one responded. Douglas not only called me, he spent 2 hours on the phone with me! When I was filming my first DVD, I consulted him and he helped me tremendously. Over the years, he has become a good friend and mentor to me.

With that one simple act of kindness 20 years ago, this man helped shape my career. As one of my favorite authors, Wayne Dyer, would say "never underestimate the power of kindness".

I have a challenge for you: The next time you are at a favorite coffee shop, buy the next person behind you their cup of coffee. Don't let the person know you did and just walk away. This act will do more than you think.