Do you believe that you currently posses everything you need to succeed?
I love reminding myself that I am exactly where I need to be with the true story “Acre of Diamonds.” This story is about a farmer who lived in Africa and through a visitor became extremely intrigued in seeking out diamonds in Africa to make the big bucks. He chose to sell his house and travel the land. The farmer continued traveling, becoming discouraged as he was not coming across any diamonds. Tragically, the farmer’s funds ran out and he threw himself into a river and drowned.
Meanwhile, the new homeowner of his property discovered an odd looking rock about the size of an egg and displayed it on his mantle. A visitor stopping by was stunned and wide-eyed as he gazed at the odd rock, a world phenomenon, the largest diamond ever found!!! Hmmm….the property was full of them.
This farm became known as the Kimberly Diamond Mine, the RICHEST the world has ever known. The previous farmer was literally standing on his very own “acre of diamonds” until he sold his land to seek elsewhere.
What an amazing story. What treasures am I not looking at in the right light? The moral of this story has been present for me this week as I firmly believe that I am exactly where I need to be and have unique, personalized tools for success. Over my volleyball career, numerous game changing moments occurred when we were out of subs and without being able to change any players we could change the game plan. Changing the plan, not the players is precisely what I need to do in my life as well. After all, diamonds certainly have an odd look in their raw form.
Game changing plan:
1. SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE: I live in LAS VEGAS, how cool!!!! Born and raised in Colorado, it is so easy for me to talk about all that Denver has to offer, the community, the beautiful nature, etc. While Denver still holds a beloved place in my heart, each day I choose to celebrate this new journey with my most loving husband here in Vegas, connecting with genuine people, enjoying the desert playground and exposing myself in new ways…people don’t know what I’ve done or what I’m capable of until I show them!
2. CHOOSE TO SUPPORT MY BODY: Having health and energy is the foundation in accomplishing any goal. I am so blessed to be in my body and have the knowledge of knowing what foods best support me in feeling energized. My body is my player, on my team…forever…I want to plan to feel my best all the time! The more in touch I become with my body, the better I can plan ahead, from my workout level each day to food choices I make. Example: cereal does nothing good for me. It leaves me lethargic and craving more sweets. Plan ahead, have an alternative snack prepared for when that craving hits or get the cereal out of the cupboard completely.
3. I KNOW ENOUGH: Get over the fear of not knowing enough…IF someone else can do it, why can’t I? I don’t know what I don’t know until I seek, learn and discover that the odd rock actually is a diamond waiting to be discovered! Change the plan: set goals, write them in the affirmative each day, and share only with those I know will support me!
Will a refreshingly new level of diamond be exposed if you set your alarm just 5 minutes earlier each week to create more time in the mornings for a workout, journal time, or a sit down breakfast with family?
Experience discomfort, try new things and look at that odd rock with a new perspective. You ARE exactly where you need to be, equipped with the most uniquely fitted passions and tools to unravel something great. BELIEVE THAT : )
You can listen to the full story here:
When I graduated high school, believe it or not, I was Valedictorian… I know, I know, SUPER GEEK!
Along with my geek crown, came that graduation speech I had to give. The theme of graduation centered around “famous heroes”, I chose specifically to talk about Helen Keller. Helen Keller was a hero to many and paved the way for individuals with disabilities who were blind, deaf, and both. Helen Keller was blind AND deaf!
What makes Helen a hero in my eyes is that despite her inability to see, or hear, she still learned to communicate, AND was the first deaf/blind person to get her Bachelor of Arts degree. Helen showed us that what most of us believe is vital to communicate MAY NOT be so vital.
Helen used her sense of touch to learn braille, which is almost unfathomable, considering she got no verbal affirmation of what she was even learning! Then to speak back, she learned sign language, by again using her sense of touch to feel the gestures of someone else’s hands without seeing what they were doing. To most, and it did to me, this task that Helen embarked on seemed impossible… But then I took a step back and realized that Helen wasn’t lacking anything at all, in fact because she was stripped of our basic everyday inputs, she was capable of being more aware of what we subconsciously take for granted.
Helen communicated from the energy, and the vibrations in the room. The vibrations and their strengths, pitches, and even tempos helped her to learn a sixth sense that most of us never encounter. She could feel someone else’s emotions and energy just by feeling heart rates, tempo of steps in and out of a room, a brush of air around her, a cease of movement, the strength of light and the shadows and shapes she could barely make out. Helen brought to the table something we neglect every single day, but can give us the most telling and honest information about another human being, our sixth sense.
I believe our sixth sense is… NO, not seeing dead people, I believe our sixth sense is EMPATHY! Empathy to its greatest power is being so in tune with the people around us, that we forgo the burgeoning bias that eyes give us, the distracting sounds and words that pull us away from what we should really be hearing. Empathy, as our sixth sense, is a way of connecting with someone on the deepest level, where the very rhythm in which they communicate to us is met through the rhythm at which we listen. Empathy can allow someone to match another heart beat for heart beat, blink of an eye to blink of eye, breath for breath, and movement for movement. It is this symbiotic sense that creates relationships and builds on our ability to accomplish tasks, just as Helen Keller overcame the impossible. She conquered because she didn’t have to go through all of the distracting filters we clutter our communication with every single day.
So, here’s my challenge to you… Let go of one of your filters, and learn to listen on a whole new level, using your sixth sense. You might be surprised at not only what your neighbor is saying, or what your environment is saying, BUT what your own body is saying. Be empathetic towards yourself, and listen to what your body is trying to subconsciously tell you, and the power you will hold will be insurmountable! Remember it is not just listening, or just feeling, but it’s… what are you experiencing? Empathy holds the key to unlock many of life’s mysteries.
I was 14 years old, within my first months of ever picking up a volleyball and my coach asked me to think of a word that would define how I wanted to play. Through my mind ran words that I had seen on the shoes of the 18 year old girls. For example, looking down at the shoes of a player of whom I really looked up to with amazement, had the word “unstoppable” written across the toe box of her shoes. It seemed as though rich possibilities outgrew my mind and I toyed with a few words and soon enough, one stuck.
without fear; bold or brave; intrepid.
To me, this word triggered an invincible feeling. It enabled me to play within my skill level while aggressively attacking the blockers on the other side of the net…even if they were 5 inches taller than me. The word fearless surfaced confidence in me as I told my setter, “give me this ball, I’ll put it away.” I taped my wrist before each game and wrote the word fearless on it, always reminding me of what kind of player I wanted to be.
Fearless, believe, great, beautiful, curious, cheerful, courageous, ALIVE!, excited.
How do you feel after reading these words? I love how words can trigger different emotions and actions from people. What word or phrase empowers you to be great everyday? What words support your goals and promote you to live large? What do you believe of yourself, your body, your capabilities when working out? Do you set goals with your trainer or talk about your “power” words to drive success? The saying is true, we are what we think about! Building on that idea, get a bit more depth from a very effective goal coach, Brian Tracy.
Today, I have a piece of art that I can always see, featuring the word fearless, as it continues to trigger emotions and actions for me!
I want to give a little shout out to my pops for his consistent love, leadership, playful spirit and letting me think I’m pretty rad when it comes to the outdoors. I mean, I feel like a bad ass when I get to tell people I go backpacking every summer, have hiked many 14ers, and started skiing when I was 3. Then, I remember two things: one, I grew up in Colorado and look like a novice compared to the masses and two, all props go to my Dad for instilling an adventurous, healthy lifestyle in me from the get go.
Here are 10 memories of connecting with my Dad through movement and how he led by example as my young, impressionable eyes watched him each day.
10. When my brother, sister and I were little, our parents would make a blanket bed in a wheelbarrow and as we all laid in it and gazed at the stars, they would take us on a walk. (Great full body workout for all you dad’s and mom’s out there)
9. Screaming with excitement and thrill as my wide eyes watched trees fly by in the birdie-light attached behind my Dad’s mountain bike. (It’s hard to beat a good bike ride when it comes to a cardio and leg workout)
8. Taking our dogs on morning walks together before heading to the bus stop. (getting your body moving first thing in the morning boosts your metabolism and mood for the day)
7. Sharing his daily jogging journal with me…way before I had any interest. (setting goals and keeping track of them is essential to any program, especially a health and fitness program)
6. Having a stretching poster hung up in their room I would sneak in and imitate the pictures. (daily visual and mental reminders can help keep you on track)
5. Spending hours with me at rhythmic gymnastics, encouraging me and giving me tips with his little knowledge of the sport. “That looked good, do that again!” (having a health coach or person who can encourage you and help you along your journey is a must)
4. Starting the tradition of annual backpacking trips, completing sections on the Colorado Trail each summer! (getting outdoors, getting physical and out of your comfort zone is a great way to change up your daily routine)
3. Taking me on mountain bike rides, without any mental prep of the challenging terrain I was about to encounter. (trying new things and being open to new experiences and new opportunities is key to life and certainly has applications to a healthy lifestyle)
2. For his diligence and dedication to walking. He keeps a pedometer and hits 100,000 steps each week! (setting achievable yet challenging goals will help keep you engaged in exercise and in life)
1. He accepts when I challenge him to a running race…even when he knows I’m gonna beat him ;) (spice it up with a little competition)
As I reminisce on the many memories and on-going adventures that are inspired by my Dad, I am so very thankful. With fitness in mind, doing this exercise made me realize that movement, the great outdoors and a sense of exploration has been instilled in me from a young age. Looking over this list, I love the theme of movement without structure. He loves these activities and wanted to enjoy them with his kids because it was playing, sparking curiosity, connection and laughter.
Now, I still search for the bigger feelings beyond getting sweaty. This comes in all forms from the rush of a bike ride, working out in a group setting or with a friend where I can connect and have the accountability of someone else there with me, playing with a new piece of equipment, learning a new exercise, or preparing for an upcoming race or competition.
I challenge you to think of someone who inspires you to get active. Take five minutes to make a list and feel the motivation as you physically write down the ways you are grateful and enjoy moving your body! A, this is brilliant as your mind can only hold one thought at a time, make it a positive one. B, it will give you ideas of how you can inspire others to get active as well! Just this morning a best friend and I wanted to meet for coffee…we put a physical twist on it, we chose to walk at the park with our warm beverages and chatter.
I offer my thanks to all those fathers and men who have given their time and devotion to help bring this gift of movement to life. Personal thanks to my daddy for your living example of health and active play. I so look forward to our upcoming backpacking trip!
How many of us think of vulnerability and weakness synonymously?
I will be so bold to say, that I believe that vulnerability is not weakness!
To describe it further, vulnerability is emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty, and it fuels our daily lives. Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage. To be seen, to be honest, to take a risk is courageous. It is vulnerability that allows us to face our greatest fears, to ask ourselves to be better. When we are vulnerable we are willing to fail, we are willing to make mistakes, and we are willing to accept who we are.
But in order to be vulnerable we have to talk about shame. Shame is the evil enemy, that can thwart us in our quest to stay vulnerable. Shame is a belief that “I am bad.” Shame gets in the way of meeting our highest level of self-efficacy. It is self-efficacy and self-acceptance that is needed to remain vulnerable and continue to face fears without being afraid to fail.
Why do I bring this up? Simple… what I do for a living is labeled by most as a ‘personal trainer.’ What I like to call myself is a ‘behavioral change specialist’. I believe that my career is based around me helping others create new behaviors that allow them to succeed and face their greatest fears. Unfortunately that equation requires me to encourage someone to face their fears and be completely vulnerable.
Vulnerability is that powerful because it is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. To create is to make something that has never existed before. To change is to adapt, and adaptation requires failure. Failure is sometimes one of the biggest fears we must overcome when seeking a fitness goal.
So, what I will leave you to ponder is: Are you willing to be vulnerable? Because vulnerability will take you more places, and allow you to accomplish more things for yourself, than pride and resources ever will.
One of my Favorite Videos and Shame Researcher, Brene Brown, uncovers what vulnerability and shame is all about in this TED Talk.
The one thing I have noticed throughout my career as a personal trainer, fitness professional, and educator/presenter, is how the public, and even worse my peers pass judgment so arrogantly quick and with reckless ignorance. This is something that I am genuinely concerned about, because it effects my profession, and it’s growth or lack thereof. I will also ask you the reader to see if you can find similarities in our society, but more importantly, do you see it in yourself?
Training at health club again has exposed my peers and members to my training style using science, systems, and tools that I have learned and accumulated through the years. For me it has been a process and evolution through countless hours of self discovery mixed with continuing education, seminars, workshops, etc. Never settling for what I know as good enough, I’ve been able to see, do, teach, and learn things that I wish everyone knew. The flip side of this is that this has lead to members and peers judging and ridiculing what I do and with what I do it with. It’s as if they feel that my choice of movement and tools is a personal attack on them and their loved ones. Never, have they considered coming up to me and asking, hey Arthur, I saw you doing this with that, why? I would’ve loved to talk about my passion and I would’ve been appreciative of their curiosity. Another part of me is also thinking, how can my peers not breakdown what I’m doing and see the science and benefits behind it. And if they did, they could educate their clients, and an agent of change is born.
I’ll admit I’m guilty of this as well, albeit a long time ago. It took someone to judge me the first time I did something different. I can remember the first time I started movement preps in 2004, the first time I wore Vibrams into the gym, the first time I did an out of the box exercise. The way it made me feel was awful. It spawned me to think differently. With some words of wisdom I’ve been able to rise above, here’s some examples;
“Logic will get you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere”
Never limit yourself because of others limited imagination. Never limit others because of your limited imagination”
“Great minds will always be violently opposed by mediocre thinkers”
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
It is because of my personal experiences and quotes like these, that allow me to take a different approach from what I initially wanted to do, which would make me come off as unprofessional, as well as make them more steadfast in their philosophy, and more resistant to change.
I believe that their mindset and quickness to judge is a combination of fear with lack of education. Because if “knowledge is power” than lack of knowledge is weakness that causes fear in those in the presence of power (knowledge). Side note: that is complete bullshit in my eyes. Knowledge should lead to humility in the sense that it shows how much; a) you don’t know and b) how much there really is left to learn. Failure to grasp this is an excuse. Therefore failures make excuses as to why they can’t, and can’t never accomplished anything.
I always sincerely thank those who take the time out of their lives to educate me. I let them know that their efforts are not wasted as it provokes my curiosity to learn more. The best part is that my profession allows me the platform to share what I have had the privilege to learn to both my peers and my clients.
The moral of this post is don’t judge, instead try to understand. There’s less prejudice and more education involved. If you can’t figure it out then ask, the worst that can happen is you learned something, good or indifferent. Can you imagine a world that’s not quick to judge, but eager to learn? It all starts with you!
In my latest search of something good to read, I decided to take up a book recommendation by a colleague. The book is, “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. Profound in its title, and inspiring in its message, I thought I would share some it’s great little nuggets with you all.
“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us.”
You may think of someone in your life who you believe is a true leader, and you also may distinguish them with a certain set of characteristics. These characteristics are very unique, and most of the time stand a part from anyone else you may know. If we dive a little deeper, we could say that they are great leaders simply because they inspire people to act.
Think about that for a minute… when someone ACTS, they have to overcome a whole lot of obstacles to accomplish what it is they are inspired to do. But in that true moment of inspiration, where we are eager to face anything that comes our way, no matter how challenging it is; more often than not it is because our sense of purpose or belonging or similar beliefs are matched with what is inspiring. “For those who are inspired, the motivation to act is deeply personal.”
Here we meet a true leader’s bottom line… they start with the WHY!
When we start with the why of what or how we would do anything, we have a purpose. When we have a purpose it is deeply rooted and individual. An underlying recipe for a great leader is one who knows how to recognize their why. The next step to leadership is matching your actions and words with your WHY. And for those who seek to be inspired by true leaders, they are not drawn by the gold medals, or large bank accounts, or a powerful position; instead they are inspired by the fact that someone overcame obstacles with the same set of beliefs as their own.
In those rare moments in life when we are inspired by someone, we act. Sometimes we act to belong, or to share, or to overcome, or even to make a difference; but no matter what OUR actions that occur as a result of someone’s leadership, often times will lead others too.
So, I ask you, what is your WHY? And how can we match our (ATP’s) WHY with you? Because ultimately, when we share similar beliefs in one another we are inspired to act. Whether it be to act through sharing time for movement, or maybe just to listen to others needs, or even create an opportunity to have fun while getting movement… WE want to lead you to a healthy lifestyle simply based on YOUR OWN WHY!
Take a look at Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on “Starting With Why.”
I am going to break away from my usual educational blog, and write about what’s been going on the past two months. Since March 6th. 2012 I have been working at Lifetime Athletics in Summerlin. I am still a part of ATP with Hayley, the only difference is, I train clients in a new location and I no longer teach the weekend boot camp classes. It’s been a lot of fun training out of LTA (Lifetime Athletics), as I work with a great bunch in the Personal training Dept. The freedom to train according to my philosophies, and using systems, sciences, and tools that I feel benefit my clients and I the most has been a major part of my professional happiness that hasn’t been there for quite some time ;)
Lifetime is very supportive and well ahead of the curve in terms of allowing their trainers to explore the many, many systems, sciences, and tools that are out there in the fitness industry. I feel that I can still grow and learn in this environment and that in of itself is why I enjoy working there. Since my time at LVAC, I have learned a great deal, and to be able to showcase what I have been privileged to learn with new members, clients, and most importantly my fellow peers (trainers) has been very exciting. I get to see what other trainers are into, what their philosophies, and training styles are like. I get to see what members and clients like to do, what drives them, what their perception of our industry as a whole is, and most importantly where they think fitness is and should be going.
If you are a personal trainer, I feel you have to love what you do, and love where you do it. Your environment should make you want to wake up a go do your thing, whatever and wherever that may be. It should motivate you to improve yourself everyday and people should feel your passion, and positive vibe near and from afar. Most importantly, you should be happy. Because if you not in a good place, then you can’t help anyone get there either.
Want to get M.E.L.T.ed?
I know, I know you might be asking… What does M.E.L.T. mean?
I thought the same thing when I first heard about it two years ago. I had the opportunity to take a M.E.L.T. class from the creator Sue Hitzmann at IDEA World in 2010 and was blown away at how amazing and refreshed I felt afterwards. M.E.L.T. stands for Myofascial Energetic Length Technique. I know, I know… a lot of BIG words!
Let me explain what the BIG words mean. Do you every wake up in the morning and have aches and pains? Do you ever reach your arm up high in the air and feel the rest of your body talking to you, specifically from the rib cage down? When you set your feet down on the floor in the morning after getting out of bed, do your feet ache? Or maybe you just have this nagging pain, that no amount of stretching can take care of? What most likely is speaking to you is your connective tissue.
Your connective tissue is the glue that holds the whole body together. It’s interwoven into all of the layers in our body. It attaches our muscles to our bones, distributes forces, resists forces, and has nine times more nerve endings that our muscles. Our connective tissue makes us into the shapes that we are, establishes our posture, and communicates between all the systems of the body. OUR CONNECTIVE TISSUE IS AWESOME AND IT NEEDS OUR ATTENTION.
The M.E.L.T. Method is a way to self-treat and bring our connective tissue the attention it needs. Through a series of specific techniques we can awaken our gunked up connective tissue, rehydrate it through certain movements and massage techniques, allowing us to redistribute fluid flow and keep our systems running at full speed.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the M.E.L.T. Hand and Foot Instructor Training with the creator Sue Hitzmann, and I am excited to share this new way to rejuvenate the body and gear us up to participate more whole-heartedly in the movements we love without missing a beat.
If you would like to join me for the very first FREE M.E.L.T. Class it will be held on Friday April 20th, 2012 at 5:30pm. The class is limited to 10 participants, and is on a first come first serve basis. To reserve your spot, please contact me via phone/text 702-285-4549. Allow me to show you how to use the M.E.L.T. method to make you feel better, move better, and decrease stress?
To see the M.E.L.T Method in action check out this video:
This week one of my clients told me something that brought tears to my eyes and made me feel the most accomplished I have ever felt in my short lived career.
It was something so simple, but made me realize my deepest desire in what I do for living had been met.
You see last year, I hit several remarkable milestones in my career…
- I became a published author for one of the most renowned online fitness resources, PtontheNet; not just once, but two times over.
- I presented at IDEA World fitness conference alongside some of the industry’s best on an international stage.
- I was promoted to Master Trainer for TRX and became responsible for developing future instructors in the industry.
- I had the honor of teaching 4 mentorships to a private career college to new trainers coming into the industry.
I recall feeling proud in each of those moments and recognizing their significance in my journey, but still they didn’t surmount to the moment that happened this week.
My client, who was home for spring break from college, told me she had a project in her class where she had to give a speech on someone who inspired her. She said that it was one of the easiest speeches she ever had to give, and wanted to thank me for everything I had taught her. She felt confident that she could be healthy and live her life in the best way possible because of how I had trained her. She concluded by saying: “You inspire me.”
I was overwhelmed by the feelings that came after she told me.
I got into training, because someone INSPIRED me too! Someone taught me what exercise and living a healthy lifestyle could do. I got into training because I wanted to inspire others. It really all boils down to that. So when she said I inspired her, I FELT COMPLETE.
I believe that to be inspired, we must not only be influenced to do something, but we must feel that in our pursuit those that grace our path in hopes of helping; listen to our needs physically, emotionally, and mentally. Stimulating us in every aspect of our being, and showing us that we are capable of accomplishing whatever we set our mind, body, and soul to. Inspiration comes when someone believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. The moment when that belief from someone becomes a reality in proof of what our own actions accomplish is when we are inspired.
Many of you have entrusted me in helping you in your pursuit of health and fitness. I do not take it lightly that you have given me that responsibility. I only hope that in your journey towards reaching your goals you can be inspired too.
Inspiration requires two things… An obstacle to overcome, and a belief that we can overcome it.
So my challenge to any trainer in the industry is to supply a belief in your clients. And my challenge to any client seeking health and fitness goals is to find someone who believes in your ability to reach those goals. But most importantly, trainers should ask this KEY question when interviewing clients: “In what ways to you believe I can help you?”
“When we find the why, we find the way.” (Paul Taylor) And when we are on the way, it is the ‘belief’ that we can that allows us to figure out the HOW.
(For more info on building inspiration from the first encounter with a client visit http://www.ptaglobal.com and look into the Program Design Questionairre)