In Like A Lion

In like a lion and out like a lamb.” That’s March for you. Or at least it was  typically like that in March growing up in New Jersey. Here in southern California, March doesn’t pack quite the same punch in the weather department, but it is a crazy busy time at Fitness Quest 10, my athletic performance facility in San Diego. Off-season training for my NFL clients is in full swing. My team and I are working with focused, committed people every day – regular Jane’s and Joe’s, along with the pros. These are men and women who are dedicated to health and fitness on a daily basis. They are dedicated to getting 1% better each day. Dedicated to the IMPACT philosophy: Train hard, eat right, recover smart and live inspired. In other words – striving for excellence and creating IMPACT.

My first book, The IMPACT Body Plan, was published just six months ago this month. IMPACT is a way of living. It’s a credo. A mantra. In the simplest terms – it’s the message at the heart of all my activities. No matter what I’m busy with – training, coaching, speaking, teaching… My goal is to build and lead a community of IMPACT.

Are you a leader? Do you have a team you’re developing? Large or small, maybe your team is in the workplace. Or, maybe they are young athletes or students. Maybe they’re your own children… No matter how your team is comprised, they look to you for leadership and a clear and compelling message. A message you model for them – in words and actions. Because effective leaders are master communicators who know how to manage their message. They know how to keep their team together on the same page.  They know how to move people toward a better tomorrow… Better for the individual. Better for the team. Better for the community.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I manage and communicate my message of IMPACT.  And I keep coming back to one of my all-time favorite sayings… A leader of one, a leader of many; if you can’t lead one, you can’t lead any. I’m thinking about this right now because March is personally one of my busiest months. You know what it’s like… A time when the calendar is so full you can barely navigate week to week. A time when it’s easy to forget the “why” because you’re so busy with the “what.” A time when you must re-double your commitment to personal health and wellness. A time when you need to remember there’s a “me” in message.

How do YOU manage your busiest season? Do you get so bogged down in work you forget to take care of yourself? Do you find yourself saying, “as soon as I make it through this week… or month or… ??? THEN, I’ll get back to my old routine.” My friend, it is time to get out of the business of old routines. You need a now routine. Now is the time to make a commitment to yourself to put on your oxygen mask first. Only then can you get back to the business of others. Only then can you get back to your team and your message.

It doesn’t matter if you struggle with busy days, a busy season or a busy life. Here’s a short list of suggestions that are sure to energize your mind and body and make the “me” in your message a lot healthier and happier.

First, find balance. You’ve got to achieve a balance between meeting your own needs and the needs of others. Most of us don’t want to hear this because we’re inspired to serve others and find it hard to focus on ourselves. But you’ve got to do it. You have to get ahead of the curve and stay ahead. When you’re strong and healthy, you bring energy and vitality to your work. When you aren’t, you don’t put your best foot forward because you can’t. It’s that simple.

Educate yourself about recovery and regeneration. This is the opposite of the weekend warrior. Yes, first you must exercise. But, I’m talking about what you do after the workouts – sleep, massage, breath work, etc. These recovery techniques help you to relax and improve your body. Regeneration occurs when you restore the quality of your soft tissue – your fascia, muscles, ligaments and joints.  So, get your seven hours of sleep a night. Get a massage. Get a foam roller. Now. Today. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Don’t wait to take control. This is a key message in my book. Prevent stress from overwhelming your system. “We’re so busy sprinting, that we don’t stop until our bodies shut down and force us to take notice of the damage we’ve done.” Start today with just one of the many techniques I discuss in Chapter 9 of The IMPACT Body Plan that will help put you in control again. Meditate daily, start a journal, start or get back to your favorite yoga or Pilates class. Pick one – because even one will create noticeable change.

Set aside a few minutes a day for YOU. You may hear this message all the time, but when will you hear it enough to change your behavior? You can make a difference with just a few minutes a day, even if it’s only 10 minutes to start. You get to pick the activity: a power nap, a walk around the block, a chance to stretch, to meditate, to breathe, or to write. And call it what you will – personal time, me-time, quiet time, etc. I challenge you to start today and I promise you will remember the “why” in addition to the “what” of your busy life, you will restore perspective, and you will renew energy and purpose.

Friends, don’t let the madness of any month weaken you or your message. You CAN tame the lion into a lamb.  And when you do, you will be stronger than ever and able to get back to the business of leading. Sometimes you have to focus on yourself in order to focus on others. Just like, sometimes you have to go slow to go fast. This may be one of those times for you. Take 10 minutes for yourself TODAY and discover the IMPACT!!!

Peace and love,


Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes, including 2011 Super Bowl XLIII Champion Aaron Rodgers & 2010 Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP Drew Brees.  He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council, serves as a consultant to Gatorade, and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit.  He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE).  Additionally, Todd provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide.

Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US for the 2nd year in a row.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

His book, The IMPACT! Body Plan, is a 10 Week program designed to create world-class fitness and life performance.  You can sign up for Todd’s FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the TD TIMES, at or




About kylesands
Director of Marketing at Fitness Quest 10

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