Kono visits Bodytribe (again)
Again, I apologize for not posting workout ideas this week, but it has been one of my weirder weeks. Let’s work backwards in chronology to see what happened.
Last, I’m sitting in a hotel room writing this mere minutes away from the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, held at a tiny little unknown ski resort near the Tahoe Basin called Squaw Valley, which beat out Innsbruck, Austria, which the wise gambler would have chosen. I, earlier in the day, was playing music smack dab in the middle of what is known as Olympic Village, although this one is much newer than the one that was created 10 years before my birth. There’s a Funk Festival, or some such thing (I really am not sure what’s going on), this weekend and a project i work with from time to time was invited to play. Twice. Hence my current sleeping arrangements, as I will return Sunday to ground once tread upon by Penny Pitou and Jean Vuarnet, not to mention Walt Disney, who organized the 1960 Olympic ceremonies.
Meanwhile, I am planning on returning to Sherry, the mountaintop that started so many of my musings mentioned in a previous post. I’ll tell her you all said hi.
Backing up several hours from Squaw valley would find me at Bodytribe with what is quickly becoming our weightlifting team (Allyson, Ed, Deane, Sam and Tom) along with Don, who is getting suckered into coaching whether he likes it or not, Ed’s friend and DIY grip tool maker, Bruce (Shenendoah to his online community), and 3-time Olympian Tommy Kono (see, more Olympic theme in my week).
I stole this picture from here, and it was taken by a Sac Bee reporter who will be printing a story about Tommy (and his visit to Bodytribe?) tomorrow, so is the rumor. Thanks, Ed, for arranging his visit. For the record, he thought Allyson, who just began embarking on a road towards a Weightlifting comp in about 6 months, had wonderful form. Although she misses her jerk here, she does nail it on the next non-videotaped attempt:
Yesterday found me standing in front of about 40 people as the ‘keynote speaker’ for what I believe was called the Physical Activities Forum, put on by the Health Education Council.
I’m not exactly sure who all these people were. I was asked to speak just a few days before the forum, and, being the whore I am with enough material to talk for hours, I agreed. I built my powerpoint, wrote a small outline, and compiled a handful of the same crap I always seem to be talking about, enough to fill up a 15 minute speech about movement benefiting the Tribe.
So the Physical Activities Specialist for the Health Education Council met me at the Sierra Health Administrations building, where folks from: California Center for Physical Activity, Folsom Unified Youth Development Center, Generations Community Wellness Center, Walk Sacramento, Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) and the California Department of Health.
I had no idea what was going on. Shouldn’t the Health Education Council…
and the California Center for Physical Activity…
and the California Dept. of Health…
BE THE SAME THING?! And who are these Sierra Health Administration people? Their building, a beautifully created center right on the river, had no other indicator as to what went on there… no literature, no names on the doors, NOTHING.
Who are all you people?! I’ve been in the fitness/health industry for 13 years… AND I’VE NEVER HEARD OF MOST OF YOU!!
The predominately female audience was extremely friendly and willing to laugh at my stupid jokes, and they provided the absolute best water I’ve ever had (this stuff was liquid orgasm; just the right touch of citrus…and was that the gentle butterfly kiss of cucumber? … served at a temperature that I would call, in the greatest, most relaxing sense of the word, cool).
I finished my presentation, which was a little rushed towards the end, since the whole day started a bit late (not my fault, i might add), and they did the appropriate clapping. But something was amiss. Sure, I’m not a brilliant public speaker. Sure I squint too much and rub my hands sometimes obscenely. Sure I drool a little and emit odors polite society would call ‘earthy,’ but I’m used to the standard reactions to these ‘character embellishments’ of mine. No, this was different. Subtle. A bit creepy.
The other four panelists spoke, ranging from a beautiful young intern who presented info on National Walk To School Day (I think it was ‘national’) to the guy who you’d want as a neighbor because he compensates for being a little shy by being extremely passionate about his friendliness and community spirit (who spoke about the Walk Sacramento program) to the professional public-speaker-guy, with pronunciation and presentation abilities that made the rest of us look pretty amateur but more likable (who spoke even more about walking), to another pretty woman who reminded me of a younger Sally Field (with similar gidget-like energy) who was the only one not frothing from the mouth about walking (in fact, probably didn’t mention it at all).
For the most part, these folks had really great ideas about how to get people to walk. TO WALK!! And their fervor was not misplaced, since they helped me realize that what we do at Bodytribe, although great, is out of reach for a great deal of the population who can’t take the literal and figurative first step. There were 7 or 8 (if not more) councils and organizations represented there who were trying to network and brainstorm about the absolute fundamentals of physical movement and nutrition, and, it seems, rightfully so.
So there I was trouncing in with my ideas on tribal empowerment through personal strength, spewing my propaganda through a powerpoint filled with images of Bodytribe members flipping 400 pound tires and screaming through powerlifting competitions and throwing sandbags, etc., and this audience is still dealing with a population that can’t get off the couch to walk around the block. Granted, I had no idea what i was in for, but I felt not unlike a bit of a fool.
That’s what was wrong. When I think ‘health professionals,’ I think peers in the quest for self actualization through movement, although this is giving WAY too much credit for the majority of trainers out there.
But in this scenario, I wasn’t among peers. These were soldiers in a different war, a trench battle that involves underpaid workers and poorly funded programs trying to simply start people moving at all, often people who are even less paid and might be accepting handouts from even less funded programs.
Bodytribe and the fitness industry on a whole offers possibilities to people who have the luxury to make stupid choices, folks who have chosen their paths of self destruction. These organizations are often dealing with populations who might share a lack for such luxuries, or at least it might seem that way sometimes. Bodytribe might be the next step, or the 37th step in some cases, but the men and women at this forum were trying to figure out ways to increase the percentage of population who will make the FIRST step. Hence, my dog and pony show subtly screamed ‘elitist crap,’ but, thankfully, I’m sure they couldn’t, or at least wouldn’t, put it in such terms.
On a positive note, I did share some ideas with some of the organization representatives that only a business owner, even a bad one like me, could offer. The difference between business PR and non-profit or government-supported PR is often quite different, so somehow my ideas for promotion by including the private or corporate sector seemed new and fresh. So some of these folks might actually talk to me in the future, despite my out-of-place presentation.
Oh, there is so much more to talk about, my friends. But, alas, I must sleep.