Posted by Tim Adams
On the first day of March with another polar vortex on its way to remind us it may be March, but it is also still Michigan. Kevin Schumacher implored our table to start a standing ovation for John Dale Smith doing his usual superb job on the piano, but President Fliehman was too quick ringing the Rotary bell off we went into this week’s meeting. Stan Samuel gave our invocation and the club sang our National Anthem.
Lisa Smith in her attempt to stay fit in keeping with this month’s Rotary Club theme, moved quickly about the room delivering the microphone for introduction of our many guests. We had sisters, brother in laws, sons, HR staffing company owners and more attorneys that were introduced. Chris Holman brought a whole contingent of guests from the Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission and their honored guest Roger-Mark De Souza, Sister Cities International President & CEO, who presented President Fliehman with their clubs Dwight D. Eisenhower coin. Chris’s wallet was surly lighter after springing for all of those lunches.
Diane Sanborn announced our club’s health to be A Ok, with no objections from the members it’s was deemed official, we are in good health. President Fliehman proceeded to award a new member red badge to Josh Holliday.
Julie Pingston took pleasure to introduce today’s special music the group Political Lizard out of Rockford, Michigan featuring her niece Jenna Olson. The group on young talented musicians entertained with two original songs “I Found You” and “Separate Minds”.
Rocco Rucinski had the honor of introducing us to our speaker, Andre Hutson, Founder and CEO of Conquest Fitness. Rocco met Mr. Hutson in 1997 when he was a freshman at MSU playing and having too much fun during the “Flintstone” era of Tom Izzo’s tenure. After winning a national championship with the Spartans in 2000 he went on to play professionally in Europe for nine years. After a moment raising the microphone about six inches higher, he began his presentation on the training demands of an athlete.
As an athlete the demands that are placed upon them for training and practice are extreme compared to others, but the lessons of discipline and commitment to fitness can be applied to anyone wanting to be in better shape through exercise. If you set goals and are willing to work toward achieving those goals, anyone will improve over time.
Going from high school to college was eye opening. While at MSU, Mr. Hutson learned what it really meant to be challenged and committed to be a better athlete. Off season required 6 am workouts to start a day of 4 to 6 hours of training and skills practice, in addition any free time outside of that there was an expectation that you need to work on your own on being in better shape and improve as an athlete.
As an athlete in college, there are coaches and trainers to put in place this commitment and discipline, but as Mr. Hutson moved into the professional arena these expectations are shifted to the individual athlete and accountability is self-imposed rather than imposed by others in the organization, just as many of us learned in our life progression. Mr. Hutson noted that this self-imposed discipline and work ethic is why many “can’t miss” college athletes do not reach their potential professionally.
In closing, Mr. Hutson noted that today his motivation is staying in shape to at least be able to compete and not lose to the sixth graders he coaches on his AAU basketball teams. In addition to this motivation, our own, Jeff Crippen and Andre's neighbor is a challenge to keep up with running through his neighborhood, so challenging in fact that Andre now hides when he sees Jeff running by his home or is ringing his doorbell to see if he wants to go for a "short" run.
After questions from the club, President Fliehman brought the meeting to a close until next Friday at the Country Club of Lansing.
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