Hi, it’s Bonnie, back from another AYP Adventure!
This trip took me to for the North Central Regional AYP Conference, in The Dells, WI, a beautiful part of the country, where I had a pretty interesting and humbling experience which reminded me that we always need to keep our minds open and our dreams big.
Our goal at these shows is to expose Y professionals to the type of programming Total Gym offers with GRAVITY Inside and the Elevate Line, but I always end up learning something valuable as well. This time was no different.
While everyone, including me, was setting up our booths, a very nondescript, chatty man in workout clothes was walking through the show. He came up to the Total Gym booth, where we had a Total Gym GTS and a Total Gym® Core Trainer™, and asked in a loud, booming voice, “You got any freebies?? I’m looking for freebies!” I thought, ‘I’m going to make him WORK for it.’ So I tell him, “Sure, I got freebies! But only if you do a few exercises with me.” He took me up on the challenge.
We started with the Core Trainer, doing some basic SCRUNCH exercises. I then upgraded him to knee tucks, then to pikes and eventually had him doing dynamic planks and side rotations. At this point, he’s sweating – but we’re not done. I move him onto the GTS, and start him off with bicep curls, rows and tricep kickbacks — now he’s really sweating. However, he’s got more in him – I just know it. So we keep going! On to torso rotations, shoulder presses and extensions! Finally, after about 20 minutes, I feel like he’s earned his freebie – a simple drawstring backpack! I give it to him, and he goes on his merry way.
Later, that evening I go to see the keynote speaker and who should get up on stage? It’s the same guy I made sweat for his shwag! That’s when I realize, it’s not just any random person, it’s Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who inspired the famous “Rudy” movie. I felt so embarrassed! I couldn’t believe I made this inspirational, successful, legendary person sweat through a grueling demo for a measly (albeit useful) drawstring bag! Then again- this is a man who has always worked for what he wants – even if it is just a drawstring bag – which is a lesson in-and-of-itself.
As he spoke to us about visualizing your dream, making the commitment to your dream, and stopping at nothing until you realize it, I couldn’t help thinking of my own dreams… some personal, some professional and some that didn’t necessarily start out as my dream, but I have become passionate about — like Total Gym’s dream: Helping millions of people get healthier! This has become an enormous part of my job, and I get to see it in action almost every day through clients like the YMCA. At the Saratoga Regional YMCA, the Total Gym GTS is part of the Livestrong cancer program. At the Coal Creek YMCA, the GRAVITY-TRX classes are part of a youth fitness effort to curb childhood obesity. Our dream is to help people get healthier through activity; our equipment is simply the vehicle. It’s our customers and everyone who uses our equipment that makes that dream a reality. And the best part about our dream – it’s never too late to get healthy. As Rudy said, “Begin at the beginning again. Dream like you did when you were a kid.” That’s why I am so proud of what we do as a company – our equipment lets people of all ages, sizes and abilities reach their fitness goals and beyond!
Later in the day, I walked back up to Rudy and introduced myself again. I apologized for making him endure the workout, but instead, he complimented me on the thorough demo and said the workout was much harder than he anticipated – this coming from the man who defied expectations to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.