by Mark Allen
We just closed out the first year of our book at the annual Fit Soul, Fit Body weekend retreat in our home area of Santa Cruz. And what an amazing year it has been! Our official kickoff was another local event at a health club in our area that was started by one of Jack LaLanne’s training buddies from the early ‘60’s. We shared an evening with a packed house that was treated to the unveiling of our six-year journey through the world of publishing. Although Brant and I have presented the Fit Soul, Fit Body workshops for over ten years, the book gave us the chance to put some context and detail in our stories and advice that can only be done with the written word, in a way that provides a vehicle to reflect, reread and absorb the keys one morsel at a time. This has become a wonderful addition to the hands-on experience people receive in the workshops, where some of the related tools that are best conveyed in person are taught.
The book’s debut was perfect timing. Our nation was in transition from a period of seeming plenty to a clear tightening of the belt. Jobs were lost, houses repossessed, and optimism had dwindled. The beginning of 2009 was a moment in time where many people were searching for deeper answers to what is truly important in life, and most craved tools for bringing about positive feelings in life that are more enduring than those that only exist by favor of a good economy. Our answer to all this in the book is the same as it has always been… live Fit Soul, Fit Body. Taking some simple wisdom like connecting with nature, a person can always find solace by walking on the earth, consciously breathing the air, watching a sunset or just sitting under a tree, all of which are ways to rid us of frustration or doubt, and bring back hope and a simpler sense that if we are alive we still have one thing to be thankful for.
Our readers have shared a wide spectrum of precious moments, where they used something they read in the book to help them through life’s challenges, from athletic events to weathering financial storms, to simply regaining a simpler focus that works well in a time with scarcity. We had one of the oldest competitors in the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon (a gentleman in his mid-seventies) attribute his ability to overcome the challenge of the day come from using our key of Quieting the Mind. He said it carried him through the moments when he wanted to talk himself out of continuing, that he just kept telling himself to quiet his mind, quiet his mind. And he indeed did finish that amazing race.
Another reader called just recently, excited to tell us that he had been struggling through a very tough time in his life, where he had been extremely stressed and realized that he was just down on life. He said his family had suffered, his health had suffered, and more importantly his outlook (which is usually very positive) had taken a nosedive. He picked up our book and started reading it. Not yet all the way through it, the biggest thing that stood out right away for him was to connect with nature to help reset one’s outlook on life. He then spent one afternoon hiking with his two small children in a park and the next on a lake near his home for a few hours just watching the ducks and a blue heron that was carrying on with life completely oblivious to his challenges. He said it was life transforming. All his worries seemed to just slip away, and he felt back on track with his normal trust in life and focused on what is really important.
The stories go on. If you have a personal experience using our keys that you would like to share, email us. We love to hear how you have felt the impact from our book, and are always grateful when we receive them.
Brant and I journeyed to many corners of our country with Fit Soul, Fit Body this past year from Seattle to Boulder, from Cleveland to New York and many other incredible places along the way, bringing our book to people from all walks of life. This as well as our community on Facebook has given us a window into each of you. And one thing that seems to be a common thread is that you all embrace change and the chance to move one step closer to indeed being healthier and happier. We commend every single one of you for your efforts and the changes you are making and thank you for your support of our book and our seminars this year. We send our good thoughts that the changes you are working toward come to be.
We look forward to what lies ahead in 2010. New cities will be on our Fit Soul, Fit Body tour for the year, as well as some of the places we visited in 2009. Keep tuned in for announcements about those.