My Trip to the BIG APPLE

I am currently on a flight heading back to Phoenix after an amazing weekend in NYC. As a fitness professional it is very important for me to continue my education so my clients will continue to benefit from the knowledge I gain inside and outside of the gym. I just attended my friend and mentor, Dr Jack Barnathan’s Lifestyle Design Conference. What an amazing weekend and it is always so nice to network and friendwork with like minded and motivated individuals.

I checked into my hotel, The Omni in mid-town Manhattan on Friday evening and was dying of hunger so I headed to the nearest steak restaurant. The concierge recommended Maloney’s at the gorgeous New York Palace Hotel. I headed out of my hotel and hit the streets to make my way over to dinner. I am not going to lie, it is bit intimidating stepping out into those busy New York streets by yourself but as soon as you make the move and feel the energy the worry goes away. I walked a couple of blocks and made my way into the restaurant. I like sitting at the bar because I love meeting new folks. I had to laugh because the 2 bartenders were both from Ireland, we immediately became friends when I told them my last name is Mullarkey. I had a steak cooked to perfection along with a salad and a glass of Fog Dog pinot noir…… was just what the doctor ordered.

I spent the next couple of hours decompressing from my long travel day and chatting with the Irishmen and the gentleman (Daniel) sitting next to me. Daniel and I got into a conversation about work and I explained to him what I do for a living. He then told me that he worked for a software company and they just told him he HAD to work Sunday. I could see the frustration on his face and so I asked him if he had ever thought about starting his own business because he was obviously knowledgeable in his field. He said he was thinking about it but wasn’t sure about having to leave the City that Never Sleeps to begin his start up. I told him the benefits of being your own boss and how much passion I have for fitness. You could see the wheels spinning in his head, it was almost like a lightbulb went off in his head and he started thinking about What If! I gave him my card and told him he can email me to yell at me because he took the plunge and was having regrets or so he could send me a check because he was killing it on his own. We both laughed!

Meanwhile the Irishmen kept filling my glass. I finally had to tell them to stop because I had to be up early to go to the conference. Gareth, who was trying to get me drunk (lol!) told me that he was involved in fitness and was curious about what I do. I gave him my card and explained about fitness, consulting and my online business. He told me that he would check out my website when he got off work.

It was starting to get late and my wine glass never seemed to empty so I paid my bill and made my way back to the hotel. What a great walk I had site seeing along the way. St. Patricks cathedral was absolutely stunning even though it was under renovations. When I got back to my hotel I checked my email and Gareth had inquired about my online nutrition program. It looks like he and I will be working together for the next 6 weeks. It just goes to show that if you are going to be in business for yourself you better get out there and network. What a great 1st evening I had in NYC and I knew the city was going to be full of surprises as the weekend unfolded.


The next morning I woke early after a crappy nights sleep (thanks to the all night construction across the street) and got ready to attend the conference at 3 in the morning Phoenix time. I knew it was going to be a long day so room service and coffee was a must! I made my way down to the conference and was thrilled to see folks I had met from the previous year. It was also so cool to finally meet some of my Facebook friends in person. It’s funny how you feel like you know someone due to social media, but have never met them in person.

After meeting and greeting with everyone I settled in my seat for a long but motivating day full of talks. Dr Jack didn’t hold back on this conference, it is truly amazing to watch him speak……what a motivator. It really is an art to watch a talented public speaker. Not only did I get to listen to his story and to get more educated in the field of fitness but I also got to hear the stories from the other speakers. London Rosiere gave a heartfelt talk on recently losing her mother and how her career and purpose just unfolded because of having to cope with losing her mother. The talented Cassandra spoke with us in regards to her music and songwriting career and how yoga has helped her deal with the stresses of the industry. It was neat to see someone so young and talented who is currently working with Billy Joel on a project. I hope I get the opportunity to work with her virtually.

The conference ended for a break and after dinner we were moving locations to the New York Palace Hotel where Dr Jack was nice enough to rent the Penthouse for the remainder of the seminars. He did that to show his clients how much he appreciated us flying out from all over the world and to also give us one hell of a view of NYC. We definitely could see and feel the Higher Ground. What an inspiring view to see the skyscrapers and the Atlantic Ocean.

We listened to more talks in a much more relaxed atmosphere and also got to spend more time with our friends. It was so good catching up with everyone and sharing stories. There is no better way to build your business than by learning from others experiences. After a very long day it was time to wrap up and head back to my hotel for a quick bite and much needed sleep.

I made my way into the Omni and went to sit at the bar and found 2 classmates in there, Eileen Downs and Jeana Moriarty. I knew these gals from Facebook but had never had the opportunity to get to know them. We sat enjoying some much needed food and got to know one another. I had to laugh because Jeana is from Tennessee, so our accents were getting thicker the more we talked. I told Eiiiiiiii-lean that with her name she should have a southern accent not a strong Bronx accent. We laughed and I made 2 more friends in this awesome industry of fitness. I couldn’t believe that it was 1 in the morning……..def time for me to hit the hay!

Day 3

Again, we had more meetings in the morning and I must say this was the best day of the trip. I made the trip back to The New York Palace hotel for our final sessions. What was really cool about this day is that the former NYC sports commissioner was speaking, Ken Podziba. You talk about an interesting background and what an inspirational story. To think that some who had worked his way up through the city from a city planner to sports commissioner under Mayor Rudy Gulianie to now the CEO and President of Bike New York.

This was a guy who was bullied as a child, told he was stupid and still managed to brush it all off and work his way up the totem pole. Along his path he has stuck his neck out for numerous individuals and fought for what he felt was right even if he did have the City of New York battling with him on some issues. I had the pleasure of shaking his hand and told him that his story hit home to me because when I was a child I had aspirations to model. I told my aunt of these goals because she was a successful model in Louisville, KY and her response was……”your kind of goofy looking”. I will never forget those words as I have made my way through my career in fitness. I then told Ken that I was going to be on my 4th cover in November. It just goes to show that these negative comments we get growing up empower us to be successful.

Once he finished, Dr Jack finished our discussion on building a career not only in fitness, but also becoming a consultant in lifestyle design. To look at the bigger picture and how the sky is the limit. We then ended with questions and comments. It was great sharing our experiences in the industry and the route we have taken to build our careers. I am so thrilled to be in a field where I not only get to do my passion for a living but I also get to change lives for the better. We said our goodbye’s to our NYStrength family and off I went to run through Central Park.

One of my buddies from the class, Leslie Farfaj was nice enough to join me on my run and to give me a tour of central park since she resides in the city. What a great run we had and the scenery was splendid. The diversity of the culture of the city energizes you, I certainly didn’t feel like we ran 5 miles. I couldn’t believe how big the park was and the number of people using it, it was truly a run that will never be forgotten. Taking fitness into the New York City streets was a highlight of the trip.

Lastly, I had made dinner plans with a virtual client Naomi Kent. Naomi and I have been working together for the past 7 months and I had yet to meet her in person. She originally contacted me to help her with a lifting and nutrition plan to help her prep for her very first full Ironman in Lake Placid. I put her on a high calorie meal plan and strength training plan to help her with her training and to increase her endurance. Naomi completed her Ironman and felt amazing during the race. I give her so much credit for not only completing the race, but for having the discipline to go through all that training while working full time. Her training alone was a full time job.

We decided to meet at an Italian restaurant for a much earned cheat meal. I arrived at Gemma first and grabbed a table. Naomi showed up about 10 minutes later. It is so neat working with and getting to know someone and then finally meeting them in person. I love the power of the internet and I am so excited to see the growth of my online business over the next few years. Not only am I allowed to touch peoples lives in Scottsdale, AZ but I can now reach folks all over the globe. I intend to do this with my video based ebooks, which will be launched in December and with my custom virtual consulting and programs.

Naomi gave me great feedback on my training and it was such a pleasure meeting such a neat woman in person. Since all of our communication was email based, I had no idea that she had an English accent. We laughed because she also had no idea that I had a southern accent. We finished our awesome Italian dinner and she dropped me at my hotel. It was time to get a good nights sleep in the city that never sleeps because I had a long day of travel ahead of me.

Thank you to all the folks I came in contact with over the weekend for keeping me inspired and driven to take “No Mullarkey” to the next level. YEEHAW BABY