What I Learned at Summer Strong XI
Most of the general population have no idea what Sorinex is or what they represent. By looking at the name, you see the word and have an inclination that it has to deal with exercise, but they are much more than that. This conference was more about an experience. A group of strength and conditioning individuals from all over the US, all there to help each other. What I learned wasn't too much in the words that were said, but more of a feeling or connection to an industry that has changed my life. I was a negative Nancy before this industry perked my interest 15 years ago.
Jackie, Rachel (friend in the industry) and I attended the Summer Strong XI conference two weeks ago in South Carolina. It was held at Sorinex Headquarters in Lexington (pretty cool town). Sorinex makes THE BEST strength and conditioning equipment. If you walk into an NFL/NCAA/NBA weight room, you will more than likely see Sorinex squat racks and equipment. They truly make some of the best stuff around. Reason why I am writing this is, I have had numerous people ask me where I was and what I learned. Figured this was the perfect opportunity to talk about conferences and why I love to go to them.
Sorinex Deadlift Party above and Sandbag Atlas Stone variation tackled below!
First, not only did I hit a PR in my deadlift (toot my own horn)at the event and lift a heavy sandbag (310 pounds), but I also got to meet some extremely cool people in the fitness industry. I had an idea of what to expect about the conference from the previous years photos and videos that were posted all over social media. The energy seemed something I would want to latch on to. We were able to listen to 20 leaders in the industry and only a few of them actually talked about exercise. A large part of the conference was about being a better human. Being more in touch with what we do as coaches and continually living the lifestyle of a different mold, compared to the way the average person lives today. The speakers included individuals that the general population probably has never heard of. Speakers ranged from the one time strongest man (Bill Kazmaier), to a Biggest Loser trainer (Jen Widerstrom), and a contestant on Naked and Afraid (Laura Zerra).
Second, I learned that you can't be afraid to be inspired (Jim Kiritsy). I am in a constant state of wanting to help others and sometimes you lose your focus and get complacent. Jim's energy and enthusiasm is not common. He will get anyone, anytime jacked up and ready to go. Loved to see him push the envelope and develop a solid program. I try to bring my knowledge and energy to every session and am inspired to change lives, living the Coachman Training brand and mission, similar to Jim's mission with collegiate athletes at Kennesaw State. My friends would tell you that I was never an inspired individual growing up and I can say that as I have become older, my motivation to be a better person has grown!
Third, I was able to hear Bert Sorin (CEO of Sorinex) talk about becoming legendary. He laid out 10 steps to be remembered by everyone you came into contact with. He chatted about being present at all times. That is something I struggle with at times, as I get consumed by wanting to constantly improve in all facets of my life. He also mentioned being prepared in life. He said not to grind and making sure you are set up for success. If things are laid out, success should come a lot easier, right?
Lastly, Brandon Lilly, Jay Ferruggia and Derek Woodske all talked about your legacy and dealing with people the right way. Derek said to lean in, on everything you do! One step in front of the other and just do it! Do things half ass and you'll get half ass results. Jay said to track your PR's, even if it was something as small as how many people you made smile in a day?! Realizing that you can help just about everybody with something, but you have to talk to them! Brandon mentioned your dreams and whether you are achieving your dreams already and aren't realizing it. I know I am living my dreams running a training company and helping individuals I never thought I would have a chance to help, but I never actually sat down and thought about it. Truly am blessed and am glad Brandon mentioned this.
In close, I have attended around 15 conferences since I started in the fitness industry. I can say that this was by far my favorite. The other conferences were there to teach me how to become a better coach, increasing my knowledge of movement, but this one was meant to teach me better life skills. How to be a better human to those around me. Might sound lame to some of you, but how can I help you get better? How can I make your life more enjoyable and how can I impact your life? These individuals helped me in the two days I spent with them. Hopefully Coachman Training Systems can be a change for you!