The Growth of The IYCA
So I make the drive from my home in Schaumburg to Northbrook – about 20 minutes or so.
I’m meeting with two editors from Men’s Health to discuss a book deal as well as chat with a local school district about bringing our Fit Schools project to their respective PE programs.
Now, although I’ve talked on the phone with my two Men’s Health colleagues dozens of times, I’ve never met them face-to-face and certainly have no idea what they looked like.
When I stopped at a grocery store just before my meeting was about to start (I needed to pick up an apple…. I was starving!) I wasn’t taken back when a gentleman walked up to me and said “are you Brian?”.
“Yes” I answered, figuring I was meeting one of my Men’s Health partners for the first time.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Andrew. I’m a member of the IYCA“.
It took me a second to realize that ‘Andrew’ had nothing to do with Men’s Health.
“Wow” was about all I could muster…. I had never been ‘recognized’ in a grocery store before.
“Thanks for being involved” I finally managed to say. “Are you enjoying everything so far?”
“I’m loving it!” Andrew replied.
I was almost speechless.
That may sound odd to you.
I mean, I’m used to being ‘recognized’ at conferences.
I’m used to people chatting with me after I make a presentation.
But I have never been recognized in a random public setting like this before and was truly thrown off.
Andrew and I chatted briefly and then I was on my way.
But the incident has stayed with me all day long.
And as my fatigue has grown, the chance meeting with Andrew at 8:30 this morning has managed to ward off the usual ‘cloudy head syndrome’ I tend to get when I’ve been working this many hours.
I suppose it just feels good.
Feels good to know that I have created the IYCA and something of substance.
I’m used to taking shots.
People love to bash those of us who decide to stand for something and make that something known.
Heck, even a former employee of mine, someone I gave a job to and mentored for a year (who by the way is a member of the IYCA) has taken to making negative comments about me and the IYCA on his own personal blog.
That kind of stuff never bothers me.
It goes with the territory and I couldn’t care less.
But the reason I couldn’t care less is because of folks like Andrew and the rest of the IYCA members worldwide.
I receive emails, hand written letters and phone calls daily from people just wanting to express there thanks and appreciation to me for starting this movement.
And today, I got to experience my first ‘public recognition’ – I’ve been on cloud nine ever since.
In short, I suppose the easiest way for me to wrap this up is to offer these words….
More than you know, I appreciate every single phone call, email and letter.
The fact you would take the time to write to me, dial my number or stop me in a grocery store just to say “hi” means more than I could possibly express in words.
In your service…. It’s been more than an honor and a pleasure,
P.S. – During the meeting with that local school district I mentioned, one of the PE teachers had this to say to me after listening to my impassioned speech about how the IYCA is working to curb youth obesity nationwide –
“It is so nice and refreshing to see an organization actually doing something about this rather than talking about it”
I was at that meeting and got to hear those words firsthand.
But you were there with me.
That ‘organization’ this PE teacher was referring to has as much to do with you as it does with me.
Take a moment to be proud about that today.