The Physical Sub-Culture

I am really starting to get excited about this weekend.

I’m travelling again.  I know, I know, I’ve been on the road a lot this year.  My motivations, as always, are both selfish and altruistic.

On my last trip, to the conference in New Jersey, many of the speakers talked about how, “It’s not about the money.”  The idea is that you do what you love, follow your passion and share your gifts and the money will take care of itself.  I believe that, but I also appreciated Zach saying that for many of us, “Right now, it is about the money and it won’t not be about the money until you have enough that it doesn’t matter so much.  Then you’ll realize that it really isn’t about the money.”

I’m very lucky.  When my father died last year he left me a sizeable inheritance.  Part of that has allowed me to not be “all about the money.”  I’ve been able to afford these trips and to take the opportunity to learn from whom I consider the great masters of our industry.  My goal is to able to process the knowledge I gain and share it here and in the gym with you.

Of course, I’m a heretic and as such I follow other outliers, but honestly, isn’t the edge the only place to be?

Part of me very much is “about the money.”  My inheritance was my father’s final gift to me.  It is of paramount importance to me that I do not waste it.  Right now, it’s acting like a pair of training wheels, allowing me to foray into this world of giving from my heart and serving from a place of passion and personal drive.  Whether it will work or not is still up in the air.  I operate on the, sometimes shaky, faith that it will.

If it doesn’t work, if I fail and these efforts do not pan out the way I hope, I will, of course, be really bummed out.  I know myself well enough to know that there will be, what we like to call here in the South, a “come apart.”  A depression of some length will most likely ensue and then, I’ll just have to get over it.  I have “babies to feed.”  I’ll do whatever I have to do to move on, regroup and do my best to get back on what I believe to be my life’s purpose, my path.

But that’s not happened and right now, things are looking really good.  Response is high and I’m going, by personal invitation, to the West Coast, to bring a little bit of Alabama, admittedly an irregular, uncommon and somewhat unique part of Alabama, to meet what I suspect will be an equally irregular, uncommon and unique group of people.

I’m going to Sacramento, California, my first time to Cali, by the way, to attend the Gathering of the Tribes at Bodytribe.  The Celt in me sings at the very idea of such a thing.  There is something incredibly profound and exciting about going to meet “your people,” especially when you haven’t actually met them yet.  Just knowing there are others out there that share my passions and enthusiasms stirs my blood.

The potential and opportunity for connections, new ideas and new friends makes all the expense and hassle of travel worthwhile.

Chip Conrad, the owner of Bodytribe, speaks often of Physical Culture.  That’s the over arching term used to describe gymnasiums, fitness clubs, strongmen, exercise enthusiasts and working out from back in the day, and I mean really back in the day, like your great grandfather’s back in the day.  This was fitness before it was co-opted into a multi million dollar industry that makes more money when you feel worse about yourself.

That’s a sad comment on the business and marketing, but it’s true.  Negative emotions and self perceptions will prompt you to spend more money than positive ones.  Which makes total sense if you think about it.  Why do I need to buy a extraneous product if I’m perfectly happy where and how I am?  I buy stuff like exercise gadgets, gym memberships and (gasp) personal training because I’m not happy with how I look (read: how I am).  In fact, I’m so unhappy, that I’ll fall, repeatedly, for unreliable hype for products that consistently do not deliver, in the hopes that one day, I’ll find that secret.

To be in the fitness industry and not fall into this line of marketing makes you deviant, subversive.  If your message is health, mobility, ability and letting appearances take care of themselves you are in direct defiance of the Globo Gym directive, “It’s your fault, if you don’t hate yourself enough, to do something about it.”

The reference above, just in case it was a bit obscure, is from the movie Dodgeball.  If you haven’t, I recommend you see it.

We can never go back to the good ole’ days.  Too much has happened, and not all of it has been bad.  There’s been much innovation and growth and it’s foolish to ignore that simply because it’s new, just as foolish as it is to ignore our history simply because it’s old.

The Physical Sub-Culture seeks to defy all conventions.  It’s members think for themselves.  Knowledge and applicability trump all else.  The bottom line is that if it works and is congruent with your goals and values it has a place at the table.  It just so happens that, for many of us, the old stuff not only works but is way cool as well.

So tomorrow I’m off to meet another master, to immerse myself in the Physical Sub-Culture, and to return yet again changed in some as yet to be determined way.  I’m excited and I hope by sharing that excitement I can encourage you to take a chance yourself, invest in your own transformation and join us in July, when Chip brings his heresy to Birmingham.  Come, join me on the edge, the view is awesome from here.

Sign Up for the Bodytribe Workshop by Clicking HERE.

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Filed under Fitness, Motivation, Movement, Personal Development, Personal Training, Recovery, Strength, Strength Training

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