Well, it’s back to reality time today. I spent most of the weekend in Toronto hanging out at the PTDC “Becoming the Expert” seminar and was fortunate to hang out with cool people like John “Roman” Romaniello (fresh off his near-record book royalty agreement that made him kind of a big deal), Neghar Fonooni, Mark Young (Jerk. He knows why), Rog Law (my room mate for the weekend, and all around awesome cat), Lou Schuler (author of the hyper-successful “New Rules of Lifting” series of books), and of course Jon Goodman, the mastermind behind everything.
I don’t know what Rog’s hand was doing there, but looking back I’m kinda creeped out by it. He did almost manage to front-squat me, and my jaw was only sore for a few days after landing on the back of an errant chair.
I was given a chance to present during the first day, the topic being “Specialization and Creating the Expert Experience,” and managed to include some jokes, case studies of clients I’ve helped, and even magic. I’m not shitting you, I literally did a magic trick on stage. Minds literally exploded everywhere. As with anything that goes well, technology seems to hate me and lead to a screw-up in a couple videos in the presentation, a display setting issue mid-presentation, and even a black screen that wasn’t due to an errant button hit on my clicker. Aside from that, it was a piece of cake.
Now being a budding writer the two presentations I got a lot out of were from Roman and Lou Schuler, who were co-authors on the new e-book and audio interview series How to get Published: Writing in Fitness Domination. As a pretty cool side story related to this, when Lindsay and I went down to New York a few weeks ago, I decided to read the entire thing on the plane on the way down all while contentedly listening to the audio interview with guys like Jason Feruggia, Nate Green, and even Roman. When we landed in Toronto for our connection, I check my email obsessively as I always do whenever I’m near free wifi (don’t act like you don’t either you judgemental SOB), and saw that I had an article published on T-Nation that day on Pain-Free Pec Training.
That’s some crazy coincidental timing, right? It gets better.
We land in New York, and I find out that my iPhone doesn’t get data service in the most cell-phone service dense center in the world. The cabride from JFK to Manhattan involved me feverishly trying to find a signal as our taxi driver who seemed completely unaware of how close his lane changes were getting to other merging New Yorkers that I momentarily forgot that looking at a cell phone in a rapidly accelerating and decelerating car with rapid side to side direction changes would lead to my life-long battle with motion sickness start creeping up into the back of my throat.
Each zig-zag he took through service roads and back alleys to try to beat the rush hour traffic caused my sensitive stomach to do back flips. This wasn’t aided by looking down at a screent hat was moving up down, forward, backward and side to side with every unanticipated movement of the Lincoln Towncar. I looked up without a moment to spare to prevent the unthinkable, and spent the next 30 minutes trying to burp without accident to decrease the fermented air content of my distempered tummy, open the window and get some fresh air, and think happy thoughts in tune to Frank Sinatra.
I momentarily contemplated bending over and letting the ghost of Steve Jobs “convince” me that the new iPhone dropping that day would be revolutionary enough to make me spend my hard-earned vacation duckets on it for the sole purpose of obsessively checking my emails and getting that giddy high and momentary out-of-breath movment of hearing that little “ding” signal when a new one dropped contentedly into my ever-eager inbox, but thankfully there was free wifi at the hotel where we were staying, thus successfully mitigating me lining the coffers of Apple further that day along with half of humanity.
Anyhoo, I check my email only to find that a journalist from none other than probably THE most prestigious fitness magazine in the world, Men’s Health, has contacted me to provide a quote for an article he’s writing, and should be in the January/February issue. On top of that I’ve been fortunate to contribute to two other collaborative articles for different publications with a bunch of other fit folks and I could realistically say that the talks involving writing and getting your ass published were right up my dark and twisting alley.
To be honest, even though I write this blog, the concept of me actually becoming a real viable writer has never been one I thought was, well, real. I mean, a blog is simply an extension of a conscious thought process sprinkled with some sub-conscious smatterings of the Id and Super Ego to make people stay informed and entertained enough to want to see what I have to say next. Sometimes it’s great information on how I approach the thoracic spine, other time sit’s talking about how Paula Deen is a complete sellout and should be taken out back and slapped with a rolling pin, and others involve fart jokes and stuff like that.
Maybe the fact that the only easy A I was able to get in school came through gym class and english should have been a tell-tale sign. When I succeeded in completely bombing on the MCAT exam to get into medical school a few years ago, I managed to get in the top 5% of the exams for the writing sample involving a timed debate on euthenasia in 1,000 words without the chance of using a spell-check or editor, and then managed to get in the bottom 20% for the physical sciences section. Apparently doctors need to know chemistry.
So with everything pointing to the fact that I have some skillz in teh english, I figured I should make some more concerted efforts to expand that aspect of my business. As a result, I’ll be more closely editing this blog, submitting more articles to sites like T-Nation, and seeing where the road goes from there. It may be a fun journey, it may make me the ridicule of the world, who knows. But at least I’ll have some fun with it, make some new friends, and hopefully get a chance to do more up-close magic in front of rooms of trainers looking to see me make a handkerchief appear out of thin air and disappear without a trace.
That, and it may eventually parlay into a seven figure book advance, so there’s that possibility.
While in Toronto, we all participated in a group workout at Body & Soul Fitness, which involved my first actual exposure to a trap bar for deadlifting. I approached it somewhat apprehensively simply because I’ve no experience to base it on other than the ground based HammerStrength machine we have in our club that is a far cry from an actual trap bar. When I did my first rep, I knew I was hooked and will probably be trying my hardest to get one for my club in the coming months.
While working out, we decided to do some bench press, and without properly warming up I felt a small twinge in the area when working with 225, and decided to call it a day. Since I’ve had a tear there before, I wasn’t in a hurry to have another, so I opted to do some biceps curls instead. Hey, you gotta look good in short sleeve shirts, and deadlifts just don’t do that for the upper arms.
As a cogent to this, I wanted to tell you about a really cool video/PDF that Rick Kaselj has put together for free that outlines the 5 worst exercises for your shoulders, if you need to adjust your technique to prevent injuries, and a few other unadvertised goodies. Plus, the lead-up quiz is a good way to test your knowledge and see if you know what you’re talking about or are simply a walking ball of fail when it comes to the shoulders. Click on the picture below to go to it, enter your email address, and voila!! Like magic, you’ll get a copy for yourself.
That’s all for today, but I wanted to get some insight from everyone out there in Readerville. What kind of stuff do you want me to write about in the coming months? Exercises, assessments, anatomy & physiology, injuries, random stuff, epic sparring matches with my puppies that resemble Rocky IV, randomly stupid run-ins with gym folks? Really I’m all ears, so drop a comment below and let me know what you want from me. You’re seriously so awesome, and technically you’re my boss, so, yeah………