Quatro Duece

Quatro Duece, probably the coolest name I have ever heard–well, Dax Moy is a pretty solid contender, but more about Dax later.  This one is about Quatro. Quatro was the next speaker to come up after Brendan Gilliam at the Underground Strength Conference.  Zach’s intro was ebullient and the level of respect he expressed for Quatro was immeasurable. “Quatro is a bad mofo.” Quatro really is a bad mofo.  He’s a Navy SEAL who works part time.  They can do that?  If you’re Quatro you can, and you can negotiate a higher salary than when you worked full time.  That… Read More »

Brendan Gilliam

Greetings Friends and Neighbors, I want to continue my series on the Underground Strength Conference and the lessons I’ve taken home.  More than just bragging about all the cool people I met, (and I met some very cool people) I want to share their messages.  Maybe there’s something here that you’ve been waiting to hear; it’s my honor to be able to share. The next speaker to come up was Brendan Gilliam.  I’d heard some buzz from some of the other attendees, references to Crossfit, Greg Glassman, and Brendan having been one of the original trainers at first Crossfit in… Read More »

Jason C. Brown

Greetings friends and neighbors, Today I want, with great enthusiasm, to announce that Agoge Fitness Systems will be hosting Chip Conrad, of the Bodytribe in Sacramento, California, for a two day workshop, July 28 and 29th, at the gym here in Birmingham, Alabama.  You may remember me referencing Chip from an earlier blog post on play.  As a result of that post Chip and I got connected and the idea of having him come to Birmingham came to be. I’m very excited about this opportunity as Bodytribe embodies everything I want AFS to be when it “grows up.”  You can… Read More »

Zach Even-Esh

Wow, I’m really excited about the response I’ve gotten from yesterday’s email/post.  It’s really driven home the importance of one of the big lessons from the conference.  In one way or another each one of the presenters taught us that you can’t let fear get in the way of expressing your true self.  Your success demands that you be nothing more than yourself. It was a big risk for me to stop taking advantage of having your email and just sending you stuff and to ask you to choose me.  You could have said, “No.”  You could have decided that… Read More »

Good Morning

It’s raining here in Birmingham.  One of those deep, cleansing rains that washes everything away and leaves the world new, exposed and fresh–kinda like I’m feeling this morning. My good buddy, Zach Marcy, emailed yesterday after my last two emails and asked me a very important question. Here is a question, what are you implementing, if just one thing from each person, into your life from what you learned from each person? Zach is one of my teachers, and I have many–if you’re on this list that means you’re one of them.  His question brings up exactly what I wanted… Read More »

Underground Strength Conference: Part 2

  I am so incredibly blessed. It’s 11:30 on a Saturday night and I just got back from a late night training session at Zach’s gym.  It could not have been a more perfect ending to an indescribable day (but I am going to try). The conference began with a talk by the Ultimate Warrior.  Most of you might not know who he is, but Warrior (that’s his legal name) was a pro wrestler from the days of the WWF.  He fought guys like Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.  Today Warrior is a man of passion who uses his… Read More »

Underground Strength Conference: Part 1

Wow. What an incredible day. For those of you who don’t know, I’m in Edison, New Jersey at the first ever Underground Strength Conference 2012. Today was an amazing day. Zach Even-Esh gave us a history of his career that began with training clients for $5 an hour in his parents’s basement and has led him to a place of prominence in the fitness industry. Jason C Brown spoke of his new project the PathFinder Method and the importance of play in our lives. Brendan Gilliiam shared a very personal story of his up and downs in the fitness business,… Read More »

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The bottom line is: I screwed up. I completely underestimated how long it would take to get through the security line at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on a Thursday morning at 5:30 am. As I made my way from the check-in kiosk at the Southwest Airlines counter I was confronted with a line of people extending far beyond the switch back of the cattle lanes and out of my line of sight. Crap. I made my way to the end of the line and began to study my watch. Five-thirty for a six am flight was clearly not early enough. Miraculously,… Read More »

Fighting the Air

I met a fighter this past weekend in St. Pete.  A real fighter.  Michael De La Pava, Miami Mike we called him.  That was so we could separate him from Tight Mike, who was from Queens, a boxer himself, who but for age and experience might just as well be the subject of this essay. I’ve never seen Mike fight, but I know he can bang.  How? His whole bearing speaks of it.  Early Saturday morning, as we made our introductions he said he was a Muay Thai instructor and mentioned he had a few fights under his belt.  He… Read More »

Strengthcamp, May 2012

“FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU!  I HATE YOU!  FUCK YOU!” I am screaming at the top of my lungs.  With every shout I am hitting a padded massage table with a tennis racket, as hard as I can. After several minutes of doing ungodly violence to the table with the racket I switch to pumping my elbows behind me, with force and velocity.  A violent shrugging meant to do harm, “GET OFF MY BACK!  FUCK YOU!  GET OFF MY BACK!”  Again this goes on for an uncomfortably long time.  Part of me wonders what the guys deadlifting in the other room… Read More »

Harold Terry Hall November 28, 1948-April 27, 2011

Today marks the one year anniversary of my father’s death. One year ago today, while the rest of the state was reeling from the first of two of the worst tornadoes we have seen in years, I was sitting in a nursing home in Forestdale holding my father’s hand as he slipped away. If you’re friends with me on Facebook you may have noticed my profile picture going through a series of changes.  Over the past week I’ve treated my face like a Wooly Willy toy, slowly whittling my beard down to it’s present state. Back in March I decided… Read More »

Muscle Memory

**This is a guest post from my dear friend and writing coach, Glenny Brock.** Pain is a signal. If ever knew that, I’d forgotten. What I remembered was Brush-Knee-Push-Step, Repulse the Monkey and Wave Hands Like Clouds — three of the 24 moves in the Yang Short-Form Tai Chi. Last Saturday morning, for the first time in about 10 years, I found myself standing behind Dave Hall, doing my damnedest to mimic and mirror him as we went through the form. I marveled that I remembered the slow dance of it all — when to “empty” my legs and feet,… Read More »