All I can feel is sound, the roar of a thousand lions, caged, furious, mad with rage. Bulls bellowing with all of their strength straining to break their bonds, every fiber taut, fuelled by an anger so deep it’s origin is nameless.
In a moment of clear consciousness I realize–it’s coming from me. I’m on my knees beating the floor with both fists, bawling for all I’m worth. My neck strains, my mouth stretches and all I can do is let it out.
Around me fifty some odd guys and a few women are in the throes of their own catharsis. Most are yelling, adding their own voices to my own, giving release to years of pent up anger and frustration. A few, the really brave ones, weep, curled up in their own personal sorrow, giving release to grief they’ve carried for who knows how long, over tragedies untold and unnumbered.
What the hell is happening?
It’s Elliott and we’re in the middle of his “presentation” as he shows us what he really means by becoming the strongest version of ourselves.
If you’ve followed my writing for any length of time, you know I think the world of Elliott Hulse. He’s my friend and a mentor. Over the past year I’ve spent a fair amount of time travelling back and forth from St. Petersburg, learning from Elliott and building a relationship. So as the conference rocked along and the buzz would surface about Elliott, I’d just smile, “Dude, you have no idea. Just get ready for something big.”
There was no way to get ready for this. I’d had a taste but never seen the true potential, the capacity for change, and on such a scale.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Elliott. He’s an awesome guy. He does tremendous work and has the capacity to be a hugely positive influence in many people’s lives.
He is not Jesus.
He’s a human being and he’s got his problems just like all of us. Very little of what he gives is “original.” What he does is take his thirst for knowledge and understanding, focus it with a laser-like precision and then processes what he learns. He takes it in, chews on it, digests it, and makes it a part of him. He then shows you himself. He opens himself up to you and shares his understanding, “This is what I learned from these other guys and this is what it means to me.” That makes him unique. That makes him outstanding. That makes him remarkable.
It shouldn’t. We’re all capable of doing the same thing. Elliott’s just done more of his “work” than the rest of us. He’s gotten “himself” out of the way and therefore made it easier to share himself, what he knows, what excites him.
What excites him is becoming the strongest version of himself and showing you how to do the same.
So there we were in the middle of a twenty minute “meditation,” based on the knowledge and teachings on old masters like Osho, Alexander Lowen, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Wilhelm Reich, purging some of our own personal demons and letting fly emotional baggage most of us didn’t even know we carried. Like ancient samurai we faced the wave of our life, through chaos, catharsis, death and rebirth. Elliott was just there to show us a way.
In the aftermath was a peace I have rarely known. Even when I sought my own personal solace in drugs I never knew this peace. That was always superficial, a false layer of “feel good” I smoothed over the crap to distract me, for a time. This was pervasive, it reached all the way down to my center and then radiated out into the world from there, on my return everyone commented on how different I was–open, strong, smiling, vital, alive–that much closer to the strongest version of myself.
As I watch Elliott grow and develop his mission I see its potential. I see how important it is, for me and for you. We live in a world that is threatened by you. Society wants you to think you can’t, that you must depend on others, that you’re not strong enough, smart enough, good enough.
I’m here to tell you, I am–and so are you.
Become the you you were meant to be. Become the strongest version of yourself.
Why? It’s your birthright. These are your God given abilities, don’t let anyone take them away from you.
You know I see the gym as a crucible for learning these lessons. Agoge Fitness Systems is not about how much you can lift. It’s about finding your own strength, your own ability. It’s about using your body to learn your own personal power. Strength is not so much what you can do today. It’s what you can do today that you couldn’t do yesterday and the effort and struggle you put forth in order to make it that way.
On the last Saturday and Sunday in July, Chip Conrad will be here at our gym. He’s bringing two days of learning, sharing with us his own journey of development and the skills he’s picked up along the way. You are all invited. When it’s over I guarantee you’ll see every tool we have here in the gym, including your own body, in a whole new light. Join us. CLICK HERE.
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