Another Asia Fitness Conference (AFC) is complete. On the plane ride home, I have been contemplating, reminiscing, and pondering my experiences from the past five days. I want to describe to you my admiration for this event and its people but, I don’t know if I can put it into words. Every year, I make sure reserve the AFC date so that I don’t double book with anything else. This weekend every year is my AFC weekend. So what is it about this convention that is so special?
Now, I have to step back and say that every convention is special. I hold a soft spot in my heart for each one. However, being in Bangkok while experiencing the cultures of so many countries represented is really what steals the show. There are representatives from India, Pakistan, Singapore, China, Taiwan, The Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and the list goes on.
Perhaps to best explain this experience, I should break my thoughts down into groups.
The Attendees – Oh how I love the attendees! Anything I ask of them, they will try. They are playful, warm-hearted, open, giving and just plain fun. They will sing my silly jingles in bootcamp class. They will moan and grown in my strength class. They will create teams that are fiercely competitive, yet equally as supportive. Everyone wants pictures at the end of each session to commemorate the experience, and everyone is very good at the “selfie.” The love and light are palitable. My heart beats just a little deeper everytime I teach here.
The Presenters – I see this crazy traveling road show of presenters all over the world almost every weekend. But somehow Bangkok brings out the best in us all. The commoraderie that connects us here is very special. There is a supportive air and a jovial banter that is one notch higher here than other conventions. I also have the pleasure of meeting new pros from around the world who I haven’t met before. New friendships are forged and old ones are rekindled. I got to spend time this trip hanging out with one of my best buds who I admire above and beyond just about anyone – Helen Vanderberg. She is such a smart, savvy, uber talented, strong business women and I am so lucky to call her friend.
The Organizers – What can I say about this band of 3 radiant women who are tough as nails, yet kind as puppies. They run a tight ship and are always there for any want or wish. For better or for worse, Suzanne Hosley, the leader of the event, is my soul sister. Her dear husband Cameron was diagnosed with cancer the same time my dear Bruce was. We lost Cameron 2 years ago. She lives in my heart everyday. Everytime our eyes meet there is an unspoken “I know and I am here” from both sides. I cannot tell you what this means to me and how that creates this invisable bond between us. I wish I lived closer to Suzanne so we could truly be friends – the every day seeing each other kind of friends.
So why is AFC so special? It is the people, presenters, and organizers. I come back every year for the warmth, light, and love of its people. And for the unspoken bond between friends.