The Ultimate Warrior

When I got back from New Jersey, a little over a week ago (really? it’s only been a week?) one of the first things I told people was, “I met the Ultimate Warrior.” “Good for you.  What’s his name?” “No, you don’t understand, not an ultimate warrior, THE Ultimate Warrior.  You know the wrestler?  WWF?”  And this is where I’d lose them.  Which is a shame, really. Birmingham has it’s own snobbery.  Seeing as it’s the biggest city in an otherwise rural state and that it lives in the shadow of both Atlanta and Nashville, professional wrestling is, well, beneath… Read More »

Paul Reddick

Over the past few years of following Zach’s emails and blogs I would occasionally hear or see the name Paul Reddick.  I had no real idea who he was.  (That sound you just heard was the collective gasp of the greater north-east.  Any gym owner or trainer in the New England area with a blog or a keyboard knows Paul in some capacity it seems.)  I did know Zach respected him and considered him a good friend but I had never pursued Paul myself and was therefore ignorant to just how influential he is. Turns out Paul’s a pretty cool… Read More »

Rick Daman

Rick Daman has the piercing stare of a hawk. I’d been watching him for a while, trying to figure out who he was and where he fit in the conference (attendee?  presenter?) and then it was his turn to speak.  (Ah, presenter.) Zach introduced him as an early attendee at one of his Underground Strength Coach certifications and a member of Paul Reddick’s mastermind group.  On his return from the Underground Strength Coach cert Rick felt the distinct and undeniable pull of opening his own gym.  If you’ve ever had it, that tug, that says, “You can do this,” that… Read More »

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 »