Zach Even-Esh

Today I’m bringing you another episode of War Stories: Tales from the Front. I especially excited about this interview for two reasons. The first is that this time my interview is with Zach Even-Esh. Zach has been a huge influence in my life as a trainer, a businessman and a man. Zach is all heart and his passion for training and his athletes is palpable. In addition he is dedicated to helping those who are willing to help themselves. Without always knowing it, Zach has provided much of the encouragement and inspiration that has kept me plugging away at this… Read More »

Lies, Lies, Lies….

“Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth.” — Franklin Roosevelt When I was five years old I knocked over a lamp and broke it. No was around to see it, but I knew, when I was found out, that I’d be punished. That I would lie was a foregone conclusion. No one could convince me that the punishment for telling the truth would be any lighter than one for lying and there was always the outside chance that I might just get away. I began repeating to myself, over and over, “I didn’t do it. I didn’t do… Read More »

The Four Sides of You, Part 2

We all have four sides. We are our happiest when we have fulfilled the needs of those four sides in a harmonious balance. The two sides we covered yesterday were the physical and mental. Today I want to address the emotional and spiritual. Emotional. Emotional needs are largely met through social interaction. Humans are social animals and a healthy human has a variety of friends and associates with whom he can interact and engage. The key is to find a balance that is best for you. The greater the variety, however, the better. In my opinion, a ton of surface… Read More »

The Four Sides of You

Yesterday I mentioned that “sharpening your saw,” i.e. restorative practices, is an essential component of maintaining a strong and healthy lifestyle. Today I want to expound on that. When looking at your life as a whole there are four main components to consider; the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual. All four areas come together to create a complete, balanced human being. It’s not uncommon for many of us to have areas we like best, but too much imbalance, favoring one to the neglect of others, can be problematic and impair our ability to enjoy the best life… Read More »

Sharpen Your Saw

Here’s a fable for you: A old man went for a walk in the woods. After a mile or so he began to hear the sounds of another man working. As he approached he saw a younger man laboring furiously at sawing down a tree. “Whacha doin’ there, sonny?” the old man asked with a grin. “I’m trying to cut down this tree,” the younger man said with as much patience as he could muster. “Well, it looks like your trying very hard. How long have you been at it?” “Five hours, so far. I’m about half way through.” “Wow,… Read More »

Frank DiMeo

It’s Wednesday and that means another installment of War Stories: Tales from the Front. This week’s interview is from Frank DiMeo. Frank is an inspiration. He’s a fellow Underground Strength Coach and runs one of the earliest established CrossFit boxes in the world, located in Sarasota, Florida. Not only was he certified in Santa Cruz, California at the original CrossFit, under Greg Glassman himself, Frank did it when he was 55 years old. Now at 62 Frank is an elder statesman of fitness, but he’s far from retirement and, like Leonidas stands, and trains, on the very front lines on… Read More »


I want to thank everyone who gave me feedback on yesterday’s post. Gary Larrison, a fellow Underground Strength Coach said this, I believe that it is up to the grass root movement which I believe to be growing and spreading more quickly and readily than we know. It will take time, but we did not wind up in this “mess” over night, so we do our best, let that stand for what is truthful as we know it and keep on marching. Gary is a fellow physical culturalist, it’s clear from his email that he supports movement and exploration as… Read More »

First, Seek to Understand…

“First. seek to understand, then to be understood.” Oh, this is a good one. I spent Saturday and Sunday in Tennessee with family. My cousin-in-law, Gary, had suffered a brain hemorrhage from an aneurysm several weeks ago. On Saturday friends and family got together to host a spaghetti supper to raise money for my cousin and help mitigate some of the financial costs of this hardship. As you can imagine, I had my issues with the whole idea of a spaghetti supper. The concept of a carb laden sugar fest whose primary purpose was to alleviate health care costs struck… Read More »

Of Camels, Devils, and Swagger

I found this quote in my inbox this morning. It was from a “Quote of the Day” email I get from Philip Cardwell and it seemed very much in keeping with my message of your perfect imperfection. “Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.” G. K. Chesterton It reminded me of one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite musicians, Tom Waits. “If I exorcise my devils Well my angels may leave too When they leave they’re so hard to find” Tom Waits, Please Call… Read More »

Steven Ashton

  Yesterday, I announced the launch of a new project, War Stories: Tales from the Front. This is an attempt to share the stories of people who have influenced me or made me sit up and take notice. My intention is draw from all walks of life and showcase a wide variety of people. The common theme is that these are people who have faced life head-on – and are still around to talk about it. I want to showcase the struggles that are found in all our lives; and the beauty and strength found in those who’ve made the… Read More »

War Stories: Tales from the front

Today I am super excited. This is the day I announce the launch of a new program here at Agoge Fitness Systems. It’s a bit of a departure from what you might expect from a gym. However, if you’ve followed me for a while it’s really no surprise. Today I launch War Stories: Tales from the Front. This is a collection of interviews with people I admire and respect. I took the name Agoge for my business because of the history of the word. In ancient Greece, the agoge was the school all Spartan youth attended to learn their respective… Read More »

Destiny’s Manifesto

Over the past few days I’ve been writing the biographical part of what will become my manifesto. It’s a useful exercise in that it achieves two goals. It shows you where you’ve been and it shows you what matters most. What matters most defines your core values. Your core values are the compass by which you navigate life. Being clear about those values is helpful, especially when wading through the murky and unclear waters that often comprise our lives “right now.” Hindsight is good but only after the fact and in the midst of a struggle a sense of bearing… Read More »