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Samoa #1 – Finding Our Mission

Samoa #1 was about finding our mission.

“Find a problem you can love solving and spend your life solving in until a better problem comes along.”

Having lived in Outback Indigenous Australia and having done development work through Latin America I know that the process of community potentiation is not simple.

Turning up with a concrete plan of what you will do to/for people rarely works.
Change must be a choice from the person changing.

I’ve been to over 40 countries around the world but my only experience in the Pacific Islands was in Hawaii where I recently attended Bob Proctor’s 1% Club event.

We left Australia at 9pm after a 4-day intensive at world-leading facility, Clean Shred – Sydney and didn’t get too much sleep on the flight between the kids and the confined space of airplane seats. We arrived in Samoa with family and RealMOVEMENT coaches Ezra Taylor and Anthony Iosefo at 5am, tired but excited.

And so the exploration of new territory began.

First Impressions:

It’s beautiful.

Water, coconut trees, lots of lakes and not much rubbish.

We stayed with Anthony’s family who are amazingly warm and welcoming people. The kids broke the ice with them and it soon became a new family and home away from home.

Over the 4 days we met with:

  • Government – health, planning, tourism
  • Whole Foods – café (nourish) and Chef John
  • Movement – Mai Gym and CrossFit Fatatoa
  • Eco Tourism – Vai Village and Tim’s
  • Athletes – Quade Cooper and Scott , Lyon Top 14 player.
  • Corporate – ANZ Bank Apia

We saw massive abundance:

  • Pristine spring water
  • Oceans teeming with fish
  • Self seeding food overgrowing a nation – some of which is appreciated less than the imported or preserved alternatives.

In the people we saw:

  • Amazing warmth and kindness
  • Local teens performing traditional dances and singing
  • Community volleyball and a people with athletic potential.

As we moved around the country, met it’s people and absorbed it’s energy a MOVEMENT PROJECT began to emerge.

 

We saw suffering:

On one of the first days the guys saw an ambulance in the street we were staying in. On day 3 we returned home and saw our hosts neighbour there. He was grieving the death of his wife. The ambulance was for her, she’d suffered a heart attack hurrying to catch the bus to see “Independence Day” celebrations.

  • Men living marginalised in the streets.
  • People with limb amputation from diabetes which is rampant and causing over 200  amputations per year at the moment in a population of 200, 000.
  • Wasted labour
  • Obesity and malnutrition.

An audit of the supermarkets:

  • Cheap sugar and vegetables oils
  • Bags of flour
  • Abundance of sugary drinks
  • No fresh food in one, a little in the other.
  • Canned meats
  • Cereals
  • Crap

From seeing the supermarkets it’s clear that people are eating in a way that is decreasing their ability to live. Shit food causing health conditions they shouldn’t have to deal with.

Bottom line

The trip was an awakening. After years traveling the globe to find a way to make an impact and live a good life I found a path in Strength and Conditioning. I followed the path through 2 massive years in France and 2 winning years with the Sydney Roosters. That led to RealMOVEMENT Project which has gone way beyond what I could have imagined for while I was working full-time in performance in the NRL.

Samoa reconnected me with the impact that RealMOVEMENT can and must have. I’m confident this project and the clarity that comes with it will explode the growth of RealMOVEMENT and help us accelerate impact we want to have around the world.

We’ll be going back to Samoa soon with reinforcements, gym gear, more strength and sharing our version of #BETTER.

 

“Find a project worth building and invest your life in building it.”

 

About Keegan Smith

Keegan Smith (Coach KEEGAN), founder of RealMOVEMENT Project and author of Performance Coach Success Blueprint, is a performance coach educator who's worked with Premiership winning Sydney Roosters.

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