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 learn more about this event here.
I mentioned Jason C. Brown yesterday in my post about Zach. Jason is another member of this enlightened (my word) tribe of trainers and movement enthusiasts who sees the fundamental role of play in being a healthy, functioning, mobile adult. Jason runs Kettlebell Athletics, where I gleaned a tremendous amount of information on kettlebells and their application, especially for jiujitsu training, and now he has started a new project PathFinder Method, which applies the ideas and philosophies of traditional martial arts to training and life.
I was very excited about his presentation. Jason was one of the reasons I was in New Jersey and he did not let me down. He and Zach have been friends for a very long time and in my opinion offers the perfect yin to Zach’s yang energy.
He spoke about his new project and what he calls the 6 Pillars of the PathFinder Method:
Pillar #1: Pleasure makes everything easier.
Pillar #2: It’s not what your selling, it’s what you stand for.
Pillar #3: Practice
Pillar #4: Enjoy the Process
Pillar #5: Place (The Dojo is always open.)
Pillar #6: Patience, persistence.
Yes, technically #6 is two pillars (hey, I didn’t make ’em up) but actually it’s the combination that makes it so powerful. Patience is one thing and persistence is another, but in tandem they are an unstoppable force. They’re the little drops of water that overtime wear away granite.
Summed up Jason’s mission is to help ease the manic tension that has gripped the exercise industry, the obsessive desire that only by “killing” ourselves each and every time we train can we consider our workouts well done. It’s as if we’ve taken the idea that exercise is uncomfortable and unpleasant (a vicious fallacy, to be sure) and therefore in order for it to be effective it must be as uncomfortable and unpleasant as possible.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a hard workout and there are times, when my body craves it, that I throw myself into my training with a vicious intensity that squeezes every ounce of effort and leaves me an exhausted puddle on the ground. I do this because I find it enjoyable. There’s pleasure to be found here (I know, hard to believe for some) and when I’ve recovered I feel better for it, but I don’t do this every session. My body wouldn’t stand for it and then I couldn’t train and that is not pleasurable.
The “action item” I took from Jason is, that before his talk was even finished I decided I wanted to have him come to Birmingham and do a workshop, similar to what I’m doing with Chip, and from that decision a new model developed–quarterly workshops. I want to take advantage of all the wonderful connections I’ve made with some of the most dynamic and innovative trainers in the industry and bring them here, to my gym, where I can share them with you.
Before the conference was over I emailed Jason, thanked him for his presentation and made the initial contact that will eventually lead to having him come to Birmingham for a future workshop. This prompted conversations with several other like minded trainers at the conference and I’m building a “database” of contacts all of whom I’m excited to bring into our area to spread their respective messages and to energize our area, raising both awareness and “the bar,” continuing our ongoing mission of helping all of us find the “strongest version” of ourselves.
Don’t forget, Chip Conrad will be in Birmingham at Agoge Fitness Systems for his two day workshop, Brutal Recess, July 28th and 29th. There are only fifteen spots available. This will be a small, intimate group with lots of personal attention and instruction. It’s is going to be a working weekend. Come prepared to train, sweat and have fun.