I would like to launch this week’s WOW by announcing my participation in Anthony Johnson’s 21 Convention coming up October 24-26th in Tampa, Florida.  I originally spoke at this conference in 2010 and did so with some trepidation, as my understanding of this conference was limited.  To my great pleasure, the young men at this conference were after much more than trying to learn how to pick up women.  Instead, I encountered a group of young people who were intensely focused on self-actualization.  The people that attended this conference were there to learn from the experience (and mistakes) made by others so that they could get a major leg-up in their journey through their one precious life on earth.  I recall that because of my intense work schedule at the time, I felt very poorly prepared for my talk.  I had planned a talk over several weeks and had spent most of my spare time rehearsing what I would say.  For whatever reason, I was very anxious about what I would say to my audience and I generally felt that my talk was going to fall flat.  The evening I was supposed to fly out of Asheville, NC my flight was cancelled.  I was put up in a really crappy hotel to spend the night so that I could get the first flight out at 5am the next morning. It was the only way I could make it in to Orlando by noon and give my speech right after lunch.  That night in the hotel room, I scrapped my entire speech.  I jotted some notes on index cards and rehearsed the talk in my head.  When I arrived in Orlando I took a cab to the conference hotel.  I watched the end of one speech just to get a feel for the room and then met up with Patrick Diver who took me to his studio for a workout.  I had planned to wear a suit, but at the last minute decided to stay in my jeans.  When I arrived back at the hotel, I was up to speak.  As they announced my name, I again scrapped my entire talk and decided to go off the cuff.  I thought it was the worst talk I had ever given, but it turned out to be the most well-recieved lecture I had ever given.  The youtube video of this lecture has registered close to half a million views for a lecture that lasted 1 hour and 38 minutes.

This is not at all what I expected.  I also did not expect to encounter so many exceptional people with an intense interest in self-actualization and the rarest of qualities these days…the willingness to work relentlessly to achieve it.  I again spoke in Austin in 2012.  This time I spoke on the current state of American medical care and how we got where we are today.  I really didn’t expect a bunch of men in their 20′s to even remotely care about this topic, but once again I was wrong in a big way.  I was flabbergasted about the rapt attention from this very young audience (especially since every other time I have tried to explain this situation, eyes begin to glaze over in the first 30 seconds).  Once again, the Youtube video took off and ultimate resulted in a book deal that may bring this perspective to a much broader audience.

This year I am not certain what I will talk about, but it will likely be a series of lessons that a life in the ER has taught me about acting in the face of uncertainty, intermingled with connections to fitness and health.  More important is the list of speakers, each of whom will speak for a full 60 minutes on their topic of choice.  Here is the current list of speakers:

1. Anthony Dream Johnson (unannounced) 2. Socrates – keynote speaker (relationships) 3. Brent Smith (dating/lifestyle) 4. Greg Swann (philosophy) 5. James Marshall (dating/lifestyle) 6. Steve Mayeda (dating/lifestyle) 7. Bill DeSimone (exercise) 8. Skyler Tanner (fatherhood) 9. Sasha Daygame (dating/lifestyle) 10. James Maclane (dating/lifestyle) 11. Nick Sparks (dating/lifestyle) 12. Dr. Doug McGuff M.D. (health/philosophy) 13. Drew Baye (exercise) 14. Don Watkins (philosophy) 15. James Steele II Ph.D. (exercise) 16. Dr. Eric Daniels Ph.D. (philosophy) 17. Ed Aiken (self defense) 18. Dr. Ellington Darden Ph.D. (exercise) 19. Edward Druce (career/entrepreneurship) 20. Dr. Paul Jaminet Ph.D. (health/nutrition) 21. Damien Diecke (dating/lifestyle) 22. Robbie Kramer (dating/lifestyle)

My major benefit in participating will be getting to hear many of these speakers and to interact with them personally.  I originally thought that as an old married guy, the dating/lifestyle lectures would not apply to me.  What I came to realize is that if you are not dating and courting your wife, then you are not doing all you can to have a great marriage.  You really must win your wife anew every day.  No one (including your spouse) cares what you did…they care what you do.  The names related to exercise and diet will be recognized by all and represent (IMO) some of the best minds in the field.  The speakers on philosophy represent some my personal heroes that I probably could never hope to meet under normal circumstances.  I am really looking forward to this event, and would encourage any who are able to go as well.

Here is a video trailer for the conference:  : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmVjI172B08&feature=youtu.be

Speaking of unexpected:  My WOW this week was conducted in my garage.  I could not get to UE on Sunday due to a very tough shift that kept me a couple of hours late, and no open appointments at UE on a busy Monday.  Using free weights: Military Press, DB rear fly (jrep halves), EZ bar biceps curls, EZ bar lying triceps extension into close grip floor press, EZ bar reverse curl, SuperSlow close grip pushup, Barbell Squat.

Post your WOW’s and your thoughts.