Where do I even begin?
For those of you keeping up, I had a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas for the Beachbody Coaching Summit this past weekend. I was invited to tell my story to 500 other coaches, inspiring them that working out isn’t just about looking good naked: it’s about being strong when the unthinkable happens.
I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and had lunch with some friends who were also attending the conference. We ran around getting our tags and our tickets and our wrist bands and all the things that go along with a conference fit for 9,000 people. I spent most of that evening with my leg up, exhausted from the trip.
Speaking of the trip, ever had to travel through an airport using the assistance of Skycaps? It’s embarrassing. I felt horrible for the people tasked with pushing me around, asking if I had to go to the bathroom, if I needed to eat…they were all so lovely and I felt completely inadequate handing them a $5 tip after all they did for me. Also, if you see someone in a wheelchair at an airport, don’t trip over their feet. Don’t drag your bag across their feet. Don’t fall onto their feet because you didn’t think you needed to hold on when the tram started moving you effing idiot. I’M IN A WHEELCHAIR.
Anywho, I was speaking at 11:00am Vegas time Thursday, but I had to arrive with my lovely friends who were charged with my care (including carrying my bags, crutches, and pushing my wheelchair)…their call was 7:00. So I was up…early.
I repeated my speech over and over again in my head while they set up the stage. I paced on crutches speaking out loud but to myself as the crowd began taking their seats. It was a looooot of people. I was a theatre major, but I was still completely intimidated and nervous.
A little background: I’ve been using Beachbody products for 6 years, so I know most of the trainers in the videos we sell. I’ve been working out with them day in and day since I first decided going to the gym sucks. So when I noticed that my name was between “Tony” and “Autumn” on the line-up schedule, I nearly peed my pants when I realized that meant Tony Horton (P90-X) and Autumn Calabrese (The 21 Day Fix). Now add Chalene Johnson (Turbo Fire) and Sagi Kalev (Body Beast) to the list and I was almost hyperventilating. These people are like royalty to me.
When my dear friend Jimmy introduced me to the audience, I hobbled up on stage. As I began my story, I lifted a hand to make a point and quickly realized it was shaking.
Hand back down at my side…check.
After a while I got into a flow, a rhythm, and I could tell the audience didn’t hate me so I wasn’t afraid to finish strong. In the end, I explained that telling my story was far more valuable to people than trying to sell Beachbody products. And, I’ve actually sold more since telling my story than I ever did before. It was meant to be a story of inspiration followed by a useful business tip. I had a good deal of poise and even confidence by the time we were wrapping up. I did good.
The trouble is that as I finished, Jimmy said, “Since it was The 21 Day Fix you were doing just before the accident, I think it’s only right…”
This is when I gasped, hand over mouth, and bent over at the waist like an ostrich who thought maybe no one would see me. I knew I was going to get to shake Autumn Calabrese’s hand, but I did NOT think she would come on stage with me. But there she was. And there I was, a blithering idiot, unable to make a sentence or even coherent facial expression. She was already crying, which made me want to cry but I was so surprised and unnerved that I lost the ability to produce tears.
Maybe if I cover my eyes she wont see me…
Ill just bend over. That makes sense.
Nope. Didnt work. She found me.
Aaaaand I hugged her for way past what was comfortable for anybody. But seriously, thats her real butt. I know.
She explained to the audience that all those nights she had to work while her son was playing at her feet or the times she was grumpy with him or absent when she didn’t want to be…she said stories like mine were what reminded her why she does what she does.
I believe I stood listening to her eloquent words while drooling down my chin and scratching the inner part of my left knee.
Needless to say, I finished strong.
She went on to tell the rest of her story while I hobbled back to my seat. I believe I sweat through my shirt, through the chair, and onto the rug as adrenaline poured into my body by the liter. It was not was I was expecting at all. It was so much better.
So, long story longer, it was one of the best mornings of my entire life. People stopped me asking to take pictures with me, talking to me about my story, stopping to give me a high five in my wheelchair. I’ve never felt like such a big deal, like such a worthy participant of life outside of giving birth to my son. You just never know what is going to happen in life if you let go and allow the universe to show you what’s next instead of trying to control it all.
The best part, for me, is that I now feel a passion sparked within me to help people get healthy. I love Beachbody products, but I also love cooking and sharing my recipes. I love talking to people about easy ways to get healthy and stay that way. And I love supporting people as they embark on a journey of wellness, inside and out. I’ve started doing just that this month with a private Facebook group and I spent the rest of my time at The Summit in Vegas planning how I could continue doing just that. I’ve got some great ideas to share, so keep on eye on the website and my Facebook/Instagram pages!
Who knows? Maybe breaking my leg is what helped open my eyes to my passion: helping others get healthy. Life is kinda funny.