The annoying sound of my alarm rudely awakens me. It feels like I just fell asleep; not fair. I tossed and turned with excitement and anticipation the majority of the night. My first seminar was finally here! Finishing up the morning routine, I feel my nerves beginning to rise…or the coffee is kicking in.

We arrive at the front doors of the ‘Old School Camp’ seminar with over 50 other wide-eyed people. The place is enormous compared to our gym back home. Nervous energy began streaming through my body. I peered at the faces in the crowd and noticed several were not strangers–instantly, my nervousness diminished. Within minutes our pre-seminar friends and training buddies assembled around us; introducing others. We played a quick game of catch up, laughed together, and traveled to open areas for settling in and stretching.

It was a fast-paced, high-energy, fun-filled four hours crammed with information and topped with motivation. Completely exhausted, I wiped the sweat from my forehead and packed up my gear while thinking “Heck yeah! This is worth every penny and sore muscle. This is why I came.” My mind was blown, the notebook was filled with pages of chicken scratches (I hope to decipher later) and contact information of new friends.

When someone asks me “Do I have to go to seminars?” The quick answer is “YES! Definitely!” Let me pose a question to you, “Why not?” Seminars are gatherings where students are inspired, motivated, energized, and educated. They are put together for a purpose; to enrich. Easily put, seminars are vital for growth, sharpening attributes, and gaining priceless knowledge from the best of the best. Seminars have the ability to launch each student into a new realm of learning, understanding, and achieving. The only way the launching doesn’t happen–is if you don’t attend. What could possibly deter you from such an awesome experience? What are the reasons we turn our heads away from life changing situations?

  • Time. We make time for the things that are important to us, if you prioritize; there is always time.
  • Money. Seminars cost money, and finding extra seems impossible at times. If money is your only hang up—some seminars offer help or support for a lack of funds. Why? The organizers know how valuable these gatherings are. Also, like the time thing, we budget for what we believe is important.
  • Nerves. Plain and simple–we are scared of the unknown. It’s easier to have others attend and share their information, than to feel  uncomfortable ourselves. Sharing is actually supposed to be a two way street–like bartering; bring your worth.
  • Lack of Motivation/Passion. We all have good and bad days. Some of us have those is week or month long stretches. It makes us stale and stationary in our quests. Recognize your disposition, and take the steps to find what you have lost.
  • Intimidation Creeps In. There will always be different levels of expertise, lifestyles, and strengths in the students around us. Be grateful! Where else do we find so many teachers in one place? Learn from them and teach them. Use one another to make this adventure better. We are all in this together.
  • Fear of Failure. Too much information overloads our minds. Not just yours, but everyone’s. By bouncing off what you heard or learned on others will have them doing the same, and the end result will be win, win. Fearing failure is the biggest hindrance we face. However, it truly is a nonexistent manifestation. We fail when we don’t try. We succeed when we try.
  • Egos. We believe we have it all, and we see ourselves a certain way. The seminar may knock us down a couple of notches or show our flaws. If you let your ego dominate life choices, you’re in for a rough journey. Pack it away before it causes trouble and heartache.

The above list is comprised of excuses not reasons. These excuses are rooted out of preconceived notions, fear, lack of confidence, or a bad taste left in our mouths from a past experience or even just someone else’s story of one.

Don’t let the only person standing in your way be you. Change feels like an uncomfortable stare from a stranger, but that googly-eyed stranger will change your life for the better. Remember, we are all students here to learn. Know that we are sponges: dry and stationary we are unused. Soaking up information is imperative, but we can’t perform at our best until we wring out the excess water. No worries. If you can retain at least one or two pieces of the puzzle, you are doing great–collecting the other pieces (over time) is all part of the adventure.

– written by: Tina Marshall-Sparling