Wrapping It Up
As the thousands of fitness and wellness professionals who’ve been gathered in San Diego gradually begin to slow down and head home—many of them to places as far away as China, Italy and Kazakhstan—they are overflowing with technical knowledge and felt experiences that are sure to enrich their careers and inspire their clients. What attendees might not realize is what a wealth of memories they leave in the hearts and minds of others, not least the IDEA staff.For my part, I think of the sheer exuberance of Alejandro and Alberto from Venezuela; of the warmth of Mariana from Mexico City, who left her 1-year-old son for the first time to come to this event (“All day I think of what he’s doing now. I’m homesick, but I’m happy!”); and of a young delegate from Japan whose English stretched just far enough to tell me, “Everybody good!” (Her eyes said the rest.) I also think of my lucky meeting with Kelly from Modesto, California, as she sat snacking on a muffin on the convention steps. Kelly told me she’s been training for triathlons—little ones, because this is new for her (“I couldn’t swim”)—and she’s had to persevere through discouraging times. She keeps going, though, reminding herself, “What do I tell my clients?” While Kelly is hoping to progress to a half Ironman, for now she’s happy with the sprint events: “I need to get used to the funny hat and the goggles,” she confided with a smile. The King of Mitochondria Len Kravitz is mad—I mean, hopping mad! And you’ll never guess what’s got his goat. “I’ll tell you,” he says to his assembled students, almost apoplectic. “There is only one organelle in the human body that burns fat.” That is not fair, says the self-anointed King of Mitochondria. With carbohydrates, all sorts of helpers burn the calories, but fat depends solely on the lonely mitochondrion. This gets Len so worked up that his students are used to hearing all about it. So much so, in fact, that in his Sunday morning session-- Everything You Want to Know About Fat, AND MORE!--Len told us a secret. “I love mitochondria so much,” he said, “that one year, one of my students came back from Spring Break and told me she had something to show me. She pulled up her pant leg”—too late to stop now!—“and there on her leg was a mitochondria tattoo!” It’s a true story, Len swears, and I believe him. All joking aside, the session was superb, with exceptional visuals and a host of information delivered with Len’s inimitable passion and comic relief. Lower-Body Assessment Let’s give the last word to Chuck Wolf, whose 4-hour InTensive on Functional Assessment, Strategies and Program Design for the Foot, Lower Extremity and Hip kept students engaged throughout. This format allows the presenter and students to explore a topic very thoroughly, with plenty of hands-on involvement and lots of opportunity for probing questions, deeper analysis and lighthearted camaraderie. I took my shoes off and joined in—it was a great group—and I was sorry to leave. Till next year, then—stay well, be curious, and inspire those around you. Take good care.