Last month’s conference was probably the 30th IDEA conference I have attended. I have lost count but it’s somewhere there in the neighborhood. As I reflect on the impact those conferences had on my growth as a trainer, their value cannot be overstated. There was much I saw and liked and some I saw and disliked. But the main point is that I was exposed to it and could form my own opinion.
I try to go to take other people's classes as often as I can. I also try to go to workshops. It is so important not just to have your own practice in yoga, but also to keep open to new ideas, and to learn from others. I also try to do one 'big' training a year. My current family obligations make it hard for me to do as much as I would like, in terms of time and cost, but I make an effort to keep up with training as well as reading.
I loved the last IDEA conference but getting there and back was a different story. I remember those days when I thought that traveling for business was so glamorous. Actually, I hardly remember it because it lost its glitz very soon while I was still working with IBM. And there I had the advantage of turning my expense sheet in and getting reimbursed. One of the joys of being self-employed: you pay for yourself. It being a business expense does not change that.
It’s been a little over a week since I returned from the IDEA World Fitness Convention in Los Angeles. Having successfully knocked out the cold which I promptly got on my return, I am now sorting through my sessions and think how to integrate them into my training. It was a grand event. 8000 participants from 57 countries! The expo hall was larger than ever with vendors displaying anything from Pilates reformers to a body-heat activated dog blanket made of bamboo fiber (yes, you are right, I got that for Mr. Darcy J).
I have been an IDEA member since 2005 and have been attending the yearly conventions there after. What amazes me the most, is that year after year, I count down the days to the convention, and get so bummed when the final day has come and gone.This year, we had over 8,000 attendees from all over the world and over 360 educational sessions. The greatest challenge for an attendee is what classes to choose because there are so many excellent presenters.My strategic planning is as follows:
The next IDEA World Fitness Convention is just around the corner. Flight and hotel are booked, sessions selected, a dog sitter hired. As I am contemplating the sessions that I will participate in, it struck me that I am no longer looking to experience the challenge of battling ropes and the latest agility drills. Why’s that? I am – by any standard – in great shape but, BUT in capital letters, I am not in the kind of shape that my body would need to be in for those styles of workouts.
Alexandria, VA, begins to grow on me, and the proximity to Raleigh has a lot to do with it. The much smaller size of the conference itself with only about 800 participants (as opposed to 5000 for the IDEA World event) makes it feel almost intimate. It’s funny to compare this conference to its big brother. The absence of group exercise instructors makes it a lot more low key, and the reduced noise level is most welcome to me.
I attended my first IDEA pti EAST Conference this past weekend and was thrilled to learn from and work out with industry leaders Todd Durkin, Rodney Corn, Pete Holman, Fraser Quelsh, Shannon Fable, Fabio Comana, Mitch Batkin, Len Kravitz, Hayley Hollander and Pete McCall. The lectures were chock full of new and exciting ideas, as well as tried and true methodology, and were beyond inspiring. Todd Durkin’s “Blueprint for Success” was inspirational and fun and the takeaway from that session was huge.
Believe or not, the last day of a conference is typically my favorite. Although mental and physical exhaustion has fully set in, there is often one more final ‘a-ha’ moment just waiting right around the corner. One that makes you glad you stayed all the way through that last session.