What does your dash represent?

Monday August 9, 2010

I just returned from the IDEA World Fitness Convention and here I am, back in the grind.  As I entered work I was greeted with an angry member whose trainer did not show up for their first workout, complaints that our ab roller is missing, 27 voice-mails and over 250 e-mails. On top of that, I had 3 meetings today and two of them had absolutely nothing to do with my department or me. My high from this weekend has started to fade.

This weekend brought back feelings I haven’t felt in a long time.  For the first time in over two years, I was surrounded by people just like me.  Everyone was enthusiastic and passionate about the fitness industry. In that environment I felt like myself again.  These past two years I have been engulfed in a different world, although I still work in the fitness industry, teaching people about health and fitness is not the main priority in my position. I spend my days following UC guidelines and adapting our program to match the medical center. This is not what I signed up for, and after this weekend I realize that things need to change.

All of the presenters and the people I met were incredible. Everyone truly loves what they do. I was particularly inspired by Todd Durkin’s, “Growing your Business Despite a Challenging Economy”.  Going into it I thought I would find ways to “fix” the issues we have been having at UCSF, but instead I learned the importance of following your dreams, living the life you have always envisioned, and being the best ME that I could be. That session made me feel like I could accomplish anything.

After this weekend I am making a promise to myself, as of July 1, 2011, I will no longer be the Fitness Manager at UCSF and I will be running my own Health and Wellness business.

It’s 11pm on April 15th, 2011… 

I am lying in the emergency room of Sharp Memorial Hospital waiting to be taken to the operating room.  I am suffering from severe bleeding due to complications from a previous surgery, and after the doctors in the ER tried two different procedures to stop the bleeding, they deemed surgery necessary.  Now, by no means do I think I am dying, however lying in the ER in the middle of the night, 500 miles away from home and my doctor, I can’t help but think about what my life has become and where I want it to go. I keep thinking about the poem Todd Durkin read to us yesterday, “The Dash”.

The dash refers to the line that appears between the years of your first year on earth and the last year on earth.  It is not where you begin or end that is important, it is what you do in between that time. I began to think about my life, what I wanted to get out of it, what my purpose here on earth is. Was I living the way I wanted to live? Do I wake up each morning and live life to the fullest? If my life were to end today, would I be happy with my dash?

It has been almost a year since I attended the IDEA conference and made a vow to myself that I was going to change my life. I realized that there is no time like the present because you never know what could happen tomorrow.

I encourage you to take a good look at you life and ask yourself what you would like your dash to represent.  Take time to think about the people you surround yourself with, do they make you a better person, or do they suck the energy out of you?  Are you working towards your life long goals? I also encourage you to seek out people that are successful in your field or that live a life that you admire. Ask them how they got there, what makes them tick, the lessons they learned along the way. You may be surprised by the support you receive from them. They, much like you, looked up to someone as well and they would be happy to return the favor.

As the mentorship weekend wrapped up, Todd looked at all of us and said one thing. “Go out there and make me proud.” That is what I intend to do.  On Tuesday, April 26th I told my boss that I will be stepping down from my management position as of July 1st.  That was just step one. I can’t wait until I see Todd and the rest of the Fitness Quest 10 crew at IDEA this year and I share with them all that I have accomplished since leaving them in April.