Right now, we are on another airplane on our way to another conference. All events are special and memorable but last weekend was especially so; Bruce and I won the Lifetime Achievement Award at one of the largest fitness conferences in the world, CanFitPro.
Bruce was not scheduled to speak at this conference, plus, we had scheduled his latest biopsy at UCLA the day before the conference began, so he wasn’t planning on attending so that he could have a weekend at home to recuperate. At the IDEA conference in Las Vegas, Bruce ran into Mo Hagen, one of the leaders of CanFitPro, and in passing, he mentioned that he wouldn’t see her at the conference. Lucky for Bruce, Mo ordered him to attend, since we were both receiving this monumental award.
I was teaching during this conversation so I didn’t find out until that evening. Bruce was able to keep the surprise from me for about…30 seconds. We decided then that we would fly all three of our sons to Canada; Drew was coming in from LA, Chris from NYC, Casey from Hawaii and Bruce and I from Santa Cruz.
Last Thursday, we all met in Toronto. We decided that fruit and veggie T’s were the style of the day – Drew in Lemon, Chris in Artichoke, Casey in Carrot, and Bruce in Avocado. I had a surprise up my dress – literally – but that comes later. Sleep Thursday night eluded me as my mind was racing on what I would say, of course.
Friday morning, we could barely sit in our seats during the opening ceremonies. As Mo Hagen announced the Lifetime Achievement Award, she began with how prestigious it is to be honored, and how important this award it is. Then she spoke of my accomplishments, then Bruce’s, and ended with our contributions to the industry. I was completely blown away by Mo’s speech and I was (me, mind you) speechless. Plus, everything that I had practiced to say went right out the window.
So lucky for me, Bruce spoke first. He was brilliant, and he ended with “We have only just begun” at which time, I lost it again. Okay, my turn to speak. I joked a little, thanked a lot, and then did something I had almost chickened out of doing. But, my sons reminded me of who I am and how this act was perfect for me. So I did it! What, you ask?
Under my simple black dress, I was wearing a pair of short shorts with two very large strawberries, one on each cheek. Oh yes, I did. I lifted up my skirt and showed my strawberries. The crowd roared and cheered. I guess I made their day.
When Bruce told me that we had won this award, I started questioning. Why me? Why us? What do we have that sets us apart from all the other very deserving, hard working, talented pros? I settled upon these three traits:
1.Couragious: We have never been afraid to try, to fail, and to learn. Bruce and I stand for what is good and what is right. We are an open book with our highs and lows, and we work hard every day to earn a spot at the table. We are grateful for all that comes our way and will continue to forge a path forward as leaders so that we can help as many people as possible find their path
2. Commitment: We are the little engine that could. Never fancy, never boastful, just us. Working hard every day in a humble way and thankful for every opportunity.
3. Just a little bit CRAZY: Early in my career, I learned that in order to have an impact, I would need to take chances and not to be afraid that 1 in 100 would think my style over the top. Two years ago, Bruce and I started a clothing line of fruit and veggie T’s. As branding is everything, the little black dress alone on stage accepting the greatest award of my life just wouldn’t cut it. So out they came my little shorts and strawberries.
And in doing so I made my mark, and perhaps the audience will forget our words but they won’t forget the strawberries.