July 14, 2016
Vol.14, Issue 6
“Oh boy, we’re going to exercise!” No kidding: that’s what I heard a little boy — about 4 years old — say enthusiastically to his pal and to the adult who was holding both their hands. Bella and I, out for our daily dog walk, were headed toward the same park.
Now, mind you, there’s a playground right next to that grouping of exercise equipment in this park, but these kids were headed for the workout machines! I thought, wow, we sure could use more of that enthusiasm for exercise in a world where the most exercise lots of kids get is fingers flying over their electronic devices.
And, that, of course goes for adults as well. If you’re looking for someone to put some pep in your step, and those you aspire to motivate, I’ve got your woman — Melanie Carvell, exercise queen from North Dakota. She’s got the magic when it comes to getting women up and moving.
Making Wellness Fit
Melanie Carvell is an accomplished triathlete and a six-time All American. Besides that, she is a wife, mother, grandmother, physical therapist, and Director of the Sanford Women’s Health Center in Bismarck, ND. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and I’m sharing that just so you know that she is qualified. 🙂
Her real magic shows up in the way she delivers a message about exercise and truly plants seeds that motivate people to move in everyday ways . . .
“If I can do these things, so can you because I am just an average woman from an average place with no inherent physical gifts (in fact, a congenital back issue), and what I have achieved has come from love of physical activity and sheer hard work,” she says.
“Don’t admire me. Admire the person you can be by listening to my story and my advice.” The magical effect is that everyone believes it because Melanie is a woman who exudes authenticity and truthfulness.
I learned about Melanie from my long-time client, Reach Partners, Inc., the meeting planners for the annual Women’s Health Conferences in Bismarck and Fargo, ND. Melanie has been a perennial favorite there, first as a breakout speaker, and then a keynoter. At their Fargo conference in May, both she and Zonya Foco were keynoters for the Monday conference. And, as a bonus opportunity on Sunday afternoon, two-hour workshops with Melanie and Zonya were offered. Most attendees opted for both — Melanie’s focused on running, and Zonya’s featured ideas for dealing with stress.
The surprise was the response I heard from Zonya — who, as well as being a nutrition expert, is a Certified Health and Fitness Instructor (CHFI), and huge proponent for exercise.
“I have never wanted to run in my whole life,” she told me. “I originally had no intent to attend Melanie’s Sunday workshop. But, I was told that she was really, really good. As a speaker, I like to see really, really good speakers, so I showed up.”
“The two hours flew by. I was totally mesmerized. She was riveting. I could not wait to go for a run,” she reported.
I asked her what the difference was —
“I never thought you needed to know how to run,” she said. “How difficult could it be? You put one foot in front of the other.
“Melanie gave us things to think about while running. I could not wait to go out and do it and think about those things.”
And running she is — Zonya is doing the 4-mile run in a Triathlon this month.
And it’s not all about running. Melanie is about getting people moving in whatever way works for them. That was a primary message in her keynote, titled Grace, Gratitude and Grit; Making Wellness Fit.
Rachel Asleson, Reach Partners meeting planner, told me that Melanie is all about getting you moving, as a gift to yourself, rather than as a chore. “She’s very engaging. Even though she’s a world class athlete, it feels like she’s talking just to you, like you’re on totally equal footing.
“She comes from a place of being grateful for your body — be grateful you can move, even if you’re in a wheelchair. And be very mindful of what your body is capable of — she’s had back surgery that put her out of commission for awhile. It takes dedication and motivation to come back from that, and she has, setting a great example for the rest of us.
“Melanie made it clear that regardless of your fitness level, there are ways to get started, and she gets people feeling like they want to make that change. She emphasized the importance of starting with the right ‘why’.”
“Don’t focus on weight loss,” Melanie said. “It’s not an inspiring place to start. You want to start exercising for the right reasons — for the joy, stress management, connecting with others. We need to start with something that is going to keep us motivated, so it’s about sustainability. Starting is easy, but benefits down the road don’t keep us motivated, and get us out of bed today.”
With grace and grit, Melanie will motivate your audience with great tips, simple and effective exercises, and compelling information. She’ll inspire you to take charge of your health, reintegrating your body and spirit to a happier, healthier life. To see her video, go to our website, and give me a call to check her availability for your women’s conference or association meeting.
Summertime, Weather, and Life
Happy summer to you! Ahh…the joys of outdoor patio eating and activities of all sorts, as long as it’s not too hot! So far, so good, here in Oregon, other than a very hot weekend in early June. That was the weekend everyone was here visiting from places afar for granddaughter Emma’s high school graduation. We adjusted, of course, and still managed to pull off an after ceremony pizza and champagne party (indoors) Friday night, and a Saturday morning brunch on the deck (shaded) featuring blueberry pancakes.
Of course, the best part of family and friends coming together to celebrate one of our own, can’t be thwarted by the weather. At the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s been cool here this week, and on Sunday, we walked along the Willamette River by an outdoor wedding venue — shielded from the obviously impending weather threat by a huge tent. That’s probably not what they envisioned for a Sunday in July, but it was beautifully laid out (I should have taken a picture, but I did not realize I would write about it). I’m sure that regardless of how the weather turned out, it was a joyous event because all the love and care put into the planning was obvious.
Until next time, regardless of the weather, I hope you get to enJOY summertime gathering with family and friends. Take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.
For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!
The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they know how to connect with women and give them life-changing information served on a silver platter of joy, camaraderie, with a side of sauce (spicy, of course).
Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me endless joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.