In April at the Toronto Strength and Conditioning Summit hosted at the University of Toronto, I met Cassandra Forsythe and learned about the Women’s Fitness Summit in Kansas City. The rest is history.
This past weekend was the weekend I had been waiting for, and let me tell you, I was certainly not disappointed one bit. In fact I am feeling more inspired than I could have ever imagined upon returning to Toronto. Many eye-opening experiences took place, forcing me to think deeper and truly allow myself to open up to each experience. Below I have put together a small list of some lessons learned this weekend. I learned a whole lot, so condensing it down is definitely not easy but here goes nothing.
- Learning is a risk. It is alright to ask, look stupid, and make mistakes. All too often we hesitate and have reservations because we are afraid of being wrong. But, that’s just what learning is all about-learning from mistakes and growing into stronger people because of it. If we never take the risk to learn, we will always be stuck in the same place.
- Ask yourself the 5 ‘Whys’. Challenge yourself to get to the deeper why in all that you do. Keep asking why to every answer you give until you discover the underlying reasons for doing something or being somewhere. For example, we took a moment to ask ourselves why we were in Kansas City. Then whatever our answer was we asked why again, until we got to the deeper why.
- Focus on only what you can control. I can honestly say I am certainly not the greatest at this, so this is a very strong reminder for me. There are things we have total control over, some control over, and no control over. Therefore, we focus only on what we can control and forget about what we can’t. When we allow our time and energy to go into those things that are uncontrollable, it is only a recipe for added stress.
- The 90/10 rule. We need to strengthen our strengths 90% of the time and neutralize our weaknesses 10% of the time. Most people focus on their weaknesses and can only see the negative. Instead, shift your focus into a more positive state and from there try to neutralize the weaknesses you may see in yourself.
- Do NOT waste time on fixing yourself. You are not broken. Again, self-love and confidence within our own selves is key. We all have things to work on but no one needs to be fixed.
- Find the intersection within your own life between aesthetics (looking good), lifestyle (feeling good), health (being healthy), and performance (being strong). It is okay to shift your focus to one of these four categories but remember how to find your way back to a healthy balance when the time comes.
- Is it going to matter in 1 year from now? Again, not my strong suit. We often can get caught up in the little things in life that certainly are not significant in the long run. If it will matter 365 days from now, go ahead and worry about it. If not, it is probably not even worth spending a few minutes on worrying about.
- Love your body now for what it is, not when you get ‘there’. No matter where you go, or how far you run, yourself is still going to be there. If you didn’t love yourself before, your thoughts probably will not have changed once you arrive at your desired destination.
- Everything is a choice. You choose your thoughts, ideas, and mantras. Choose positive, self-loving words to lift yourself up rather than belittling yourself.
- As a trainer, coach, friend, or family member, never let a woman think you agree with what she says about herself. We are always trying to pick out the imperfections within ourselves. It is our duty as the other person hearing this to not agree but to challenge those thoughts and ultimately change them.
- Never go on a diet. Never restrict food. This will only lead to unrealistic expectations and a desire to want all of those foods we vowed not to eat, EVER again.
- Get to the root behaviour. There is always more going on than the initial cause we think of first.
- We are not failing when we choose to quit. In fact, it is quite empowering to be able to recognize the unhappiness, or whatever it is within the situation and create new and better opportunities for yourself.
- The stress life balance doesn’t always exist. There will be times that life is overwhelming and stressful and that’s normal. We must go through those bad times to get to the awesome times.
- Promote what we love instead of bashing what we hate. The stuff we hate is not going to make us better so stop worrying about it.
- NEVER worry about what someone thinks of you. Yes, I know, easier said than done but whatever is said about you is an issue that person has within themselves, not with you. Often times others lash out or comment because they have insecurities. Do not let this get to you.
And as always, be fierce. Be strong. Be vibrant.
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