Let’s start at the end, where everything important always begins.
Let’s start below the EnergySolutions stage, in the dark, among the posts and supports, where Dr. Mehmet Oz — yes, that Dr. Oz — started his amazing appearance at #USANA12.
It’s exciting enough to have Dr. Oz help finish of our epic 20th birthday party. To have him rise from the stage — strapped up with a guitar, like a health rock star — is nearly beyond words, which is unfortunate, because I really rely on words.
After being properly introduced by USANA’s founder, Dr. Myron Wentz, the rest of Dr. Oz’s time onstage was equally as incredible. He told his story. About how he got to be Dr. Oz, and what he does. He showed how our bodies breakdown, driving home the importance of health, for everyone.
“Health feels the same everywhere,” he said, when talking about his worldwide audience, and the global crowd in attendance. His big five for health are optimal blood pressure, no cigarettes or toxins, exercise 30 minutes daily, healthy diet that is easy to love, and stress control.
Customized care was a phrase Dr. Oz used several times. Sounds like something we’ve been talking about this week, right? “You are in the vanguard of where we’re going to go,” he said about the new True Health Assessment, which he praised after taking it earlier in the week.
Obesity was also a main topic of discussion. Dr. Oz talked about the importance of minimizing belly fat. A big part of that is eating better. “Your brain is looking for nutrients, and you’re giving it calories,” he said.
Dr. Oz finished his time at #USANA12 talking about how it’s the mistakes and the flaws that make us beautiful, and the importance of letting us off the hook for them. He also said something that really resonated with the audience—we need to give our hearts a reason to keep beating, a purpose.
Powerful Stories, Powerful Moments
Collette Larsen, 10-Star Diamond Director, knows a little bit about purpose.
It’s always been about her family, and today, a very special member of her family joined Collette and Zak onstage — her daughter, Sharlie, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a baby, and received a successful double lung and heart transplant six months ago at 32 years old.
“I cannot explain how surreal it is to be here with my USANA family,” Sharlie said. She talked about never giving up hope, and about celebrating life. Collette talked about Sharlie blowing out her own birthday candles for the first time in her life.
Before bringing Sharlie onstage, Zak and Collette talked about their USANA family, and the vision that brings everyone together. They showed video of Zak from last year talking about how, for them, living is the dream. Collette tearfully relayed the experience of Sharlie waking from her transplant, and growing stronger and stronger.
“Please welcome to the stage, my hero, my sister, Sharlie,” Zak said.
It was such a powerful moment and a powerful story — the most powerful of a day full of amazing moments and stories. Throughout the final session, we also got the chance to hear inspiring, personal stories from many Associates.
We also got to meet 9-Star Diamond Director Jeremy Stansfield’s inspiration — his kids — and heard from three superstars from USANA’s fastest growing market, the Philippines. And we heard from Associates of all levels, from Erika Hilliard talking about being a military wife and dealing with an autoimmune disease to Martin Huynh, who spent a month on the streets before he found USANA. We heard stories of lives improved, stories of dreams realized, stories of you.
An Epic Party Comes to an End
Of course, it all ended as it always does, with confetti and the voice from the speakers telling us it was over. All that’s left to decide is what the proper adjective is for what happened here. All that remains is the question that always hangs over the end of a party — was it awesome or legendary?
And there’s only one way you can truly tell if you’ve been to a truly legendary party. It’s not the stories, because those are easily exaggerated or fabricated. It’s not the carnage created. It’s not the pictures taken — those can be faked, too. The only way to really, truly tell if you’ve been to a great party is to look at the faces of those around you when the lights are flipped on. They’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Look upon your fellow partygoers, really look hard, and if you see elation tempered by a touch of sadness, you’ll know. If you see tired eyes still wide and retaining a bit of a twinkle — like a dying sparkler lighting a fresh one — you’ll know. If you see a sly smile that’s mostly held in the cheeks and built on nostalgia for the very recent past and anticipation for the very near future, you’ll know.
All day I looked around at those I’ve had the pleasure of spending the last four days with, and I can confidently say, I know. Each face said it in a different, unique voice, but they all said basically the same thing. The excitement, sadness, twinkling eyes, and anticipation all said, “What an amazing party?! We’ve loved the last four days, and we’ve lived it to the fullest, but we’re ready for more.”
More is out there waiting. It’s different for everyone, of course. But after USANA12, you have the tools — an iPad, a new look and attitude, apps, and so much more — to find your more, to turn your anticipation into now, and to love your life and live it.
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