**Picking up where we left off a long long time ago recounting the Saturday night. I have been hesitant to write the Sunday recaps for several reasons –
1. Felt like if I finished them, then somehow that would make it "over" – but now that the RKC2 looms brightly on the horizon of next month that is no longer a concern at all!
2. It gets emotional and a little surreal towards the middle/end. Plus its come to my attention that a lot more people than I even knew about have been reading these recaps. With my ‘unusual’ sense of humor (fun fact: sometimes it’s a stress coping mechanism!) there’s potential for harsh criticism.
3. It’s going to force me to write about weaknesses and vulnerabilities. While I acknowledge and work on those in real life, putting them out on the internet is scary.
Even though we were able to sleep in a little bit (We just had to walk downstairs at 7:30AM instead of boarding the shuttle buses earlier to be ready to start at Disney’s Wide World of Sports at 7:30AM) I still woke up with the three different alarm clocks on Sunday morning. After trying to make myself presentable I grabbed the last of the leftover Wolfgang Puck pizza purchased on Friday night from the mini fridge and headed down to the lecture. We would be leaving straight from the lecture to the shuttle buses so the backpack was packed and ready to go for the day. By this point I had given up on my trusty Chuck Taylors and was wandering around in flip flops, having switched to training barefoot since Friday. Actually prefer training barefoot anyhow. My morning "eating and supplement routine" was also packed in the backpack along with plenty of "emergency need food now” items like Orgain RTD, the last of the homemade chocolatey pecan date coconut treats and a couple tubes of Zipfizz as backup. Even with being acclimated to higher temperatures than we were experiencing (I just start to wobble around 103 Degrees F), I needed to keep my electrolyte balance up and be ready for anything. As you will read later, I simply could not afford to fail. I trained for this weekend, this day, these tests, these moments for over a year in the hot Florida sun. This was in essence my "Olympics," and what I hoped would be the start of a new life*.
Arrived early of course, being the chronic over-achiever goody-two-shoes who likes to sit up front in class while taking too many notes. The extra time was also necessary to quickly scarf down the pizza… because the last thing any presenter wants to deal with first thing in the morning is the pungent smell of garlic wafting up to the podium. Certainly didn’t want to be the cause of that. The idea of a marketing lecture was intriguing, marketing just wasn’t my strong suit in any stretch of the imagination, and here was someone obviously making it work in a big big way. John DuCane began the lecture by telling us a good bit about himself, his education and vast array of experiences and adventures. We were also treated to the story of how Dragon Door came to be – as well as plenty of real world examples illustrating some seriously effective marketing techniques. I was all ears. Even right now, from reviewing my handwritten notes to write this article, I’ve already gotten even MORE marketing ideas to try out. Interestingly, when looking over the things I wrote down on the worksheet for "RKC Marketing Ideas" at the back of the printed lecture handout, I see that I’ve implemented some of them already, as recently as just this past week.
This lecture was the first in a series of "wake up calls" that have caused bigger thinking, less cynicism and the desire to move beyond a survival mindset toward a larger vision. Needless to say I was particularly annoyed when "nature called" and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs demanded that I miss a few minutes of the lecture. Literally sprinted down the hall and back. The ideas about cultivating your personality, telling your story and the success stories of people who have worked with you was a huge take-away as well. John DuCane illustrated that people like to train and purchase from other real people who they can relate to and like. Not everyone will like you (I know that for a good solid rock hard fact), but those that do will be some of your best and most successful training clients and "customers".
This was good news to hear for someone who’s a little "different". Seems like there’s a big gap in the fitness world – not everyone is comfortable talking to someone who seems like a competitive athlete – some of us were in drama club, marching band, or the chess team. (Fun Fact: I was voted “most unusual” of my high school’s senior class) When I first started training with different coaches around town, I often had to go home and look up some of the sports terminology online.
In P.E. class I had been the "odd but pretty good at tennis" kid Coach picked on in gym class for wearing black socks. (You can wear any color of clothes or socks around me as long as they’re clean and I promise not to pick on you. But if you whine about the workout, watch out!). Those coaches would be so amused to find out what I do now…
What John DuCane kept coming back to with the lecture was that having enthusiasm and a passionate belief in what you are doing is absolutely required. Constant research, living it and being a good visible example in your community combined with your belief in and delivery of a quality product. I took a lot away from the lecture and look forward to one day attending the Mastermind Intensive, considering what I have used from this 2 hour lecture at the RKC, it would be totally worth it.
Brains on fire, we all loaded into the shuttle buses and headed to the final and ever so crucial day of the RKC workshop. The bus ride seemed to take forever as I tried to keep scribbling in the notes section from the lecture while we bounded (uuuffff my stomach!) down the road. After finally getting everything written down, I made sure to see how the nearby RKC candidates were doing, and if their families were enjoying Disney (I joke that as a citizen of Orlando, I’m required to ask this or risk being kicked out of town). Many people were nervous about today – and how it would go – we were all tired too. There was no stopping now… no way. I’d waited and trained for this day for over a year, a lot at stake, more than I care to admit right now.* Having arrived we lumbered down the somewhat long walk to the pavilion, Tim Shuman saw me walking, somewhat burdened by all the stuff I had packed for the day (all of it would be consumed by the end of the day) and took one of my bags. Thanks, Coach. It was one of those sports-movie moments that I hadn’t understood until then.
*More on this later as courage returns.