Strengthology 101: Part IV

Often when someone returns from a trip abroad or somewhere significant we want to know things like, “What was your most memorable moment?” or “What was the coolest thing you saw?” I think a better question is, “How have you changed?” or “What’s different now that you’re back?” It’s cool to go away and see stuff we’ve never seen before, go places we’ve never been but the experience itself is fleeting.  Once it’s gone it’s gone, no matter how many pictures you take.  So the real take away from travel or any other similar experience is how that experience has … Read More »

Strengthology 101: Part III

It’s Thursday morning after the cert and my forearms are healing. It kinda makes me sad. Stone loading does quite a number of the soft (virginal, in my case) skin of your forearms. I came home with two three inch long scrapes, badges of honor, that everyone wanted to know about. “What did you do to your arms?” I felt like Caine from Kung Fu after he moves the brazier to leave the temple, a dragon and a tiger permanently branded into his forearms. I had a mark that set me apart and spoke of my accomplishments. Oh well, that’s … Read More »

Strengthology 101: Part II

This is the second time I’ve been in St. Petersburg. Both times I’ve been struck by the people I met and the relationships I’ve built. As a trainer and a massage therapist I’ve attended several certs and workshops hosted by a variety of experts, each with a substantial following. Never do I see the excitement and connection that takes place with Elliott’s followers. It’s not just that we’re all in the same field and have similar interests. I have that with other trainers and therapists. At those certs we enjoy each other’s company but once the cert is over it’s … Read More »

Strengthology 101: Part I

The soreness is starting to settle in and with it a profound sense of accomplishment. I spent this past weekend with my mentor, Elliott Hulse, at his gym in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was a wild ride of knowledge, lifting, brotherhood, alpha males and Ireland. The reason I was in St. Petersburg was Elliott’s Strengthology 101 certification. This is the first of several posts about this weekend. I’m eager to get this out so I will just let it flow, stream of consciousness style, and as such I have no idea how many parts this will have. I’ll let you … Read More »

Tai Chi’s Back

First, an announcement. Beginning this Saturday, February 11, 2012, I am starting up a new Tai Chi Chuan (taijiquan) class. Many of you may know that I’ve taught tai chi for many years and those of you who know me better will know that it was tai chi that started my fitness and personal growth career. It is only in the last year that I’ve not taught a class of some kind. I stopped last year when my father was sick, as I needed more time to devote to him and his care. Since his death it has taken me … Read More »

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

“Just who do you think you are?” My mother asked me this many times growing up. Usually it was in the context of giving me a dressing down. Basically jumping my shit for something I had done that she didn’t like. The appropriate answer, of course, was, “Nothing.” “Nobody.” “A worm.” The whole point was to break me down, to make me feel bad about what I’d done and to recognize that she was bigger, badder and meaner than me.  And above all else below her. It’s this and other things that explain why we don’t talk anymore. But it’s … Read More »

Accountability

Accountability. It’s not really something I had considered until recently. I had always assumed that because I showed up, was consistent with my workouts and was perceived as a role model by others I was doing everything “right.” Beginning with my trip to St. Petersburg, Florida last fall, I started taking greater involvement in the apparatus my mentor, Elliott Hulse, has set up. I took advantage of the forum he and Mike Westerdal established with their Lean Hybrid Muscle-Reloaded product. At first I just started by posting my workouts. That generated some traffic from friends on the site and their … Read More »

Customer Service

Earlier today I was ramping up to write a vicious editorial on customer service. I was all set to lament its demise and to render to ashes by my verbal scathing a certain company from whom I felt the concept was sorely lacking. But not so, gentle reader. It took a little effort on my part but in the end I can say customer service is not entirely dead and there are some who do see the benefits of treating people decently and putting long term service over short term profit. Please understand, I, too, am a businessman. I’m all … Read More »

Busy vs Productive

One of the things that I’m working on this year is learning the difference between being busy and being productive. When I was in high school I had a job as an office intern. Being a teenager there really wasn’t much they could give me to do outside of what I felt was “busywork.” I hated it. I saw no point in doing work just for the sake of work and really wanted to get my hands into something that mattered. Now that I’m “all growed up” and working for myself, I find that I still have this same problem. … Read More »

Agoge Defined

So what does Agoge mean? How the heck do you say it and why on earth did I pick such an unusual name for my business? Second things first. Agoge is pronounced ə-ˈgō-gē (ah-go-ghee). And first it was the name that Spartan Greeks gave to the school or camp young boys joined in their sixth or seventh year. Spartan society was, well, spartan. There was only one career track for a citizen and that was soldier. If you weren’t a citizen then you were a slave and responsible for meeting all the necessary requirements of civilization. Citizens voted, trained and … Read More »