Background to set the Stage…
Insert cliche – grew up playing sports and started working out at a young age blah blah blah…but yes! To expand…I played basketball, football, track and field and tennis in my youth. My step-dad took me to the gym when I was in middle school to start working out with him at a local gym in my hometown of Amarillo, Texas and I haven’t stopped since. There was a brief (10ish years) of hard partying through highschool in Amarillo and college at Texas State University, but wiser heads prevailed when a traveling internship at the Baylor Tom Landry Center in Dallas took me away from distraction and temptation in college and placed me in solitude to contemplate my life and purpose but that’s a story for another day…During the later stages of this period, one of my only hobbies besides keg stands and degenerate behavior was bodybuilding. I hired a coach and the discipline I gained from competing and placing in several men’s physique shows really helped steer me away from drugs and alcohol (to an extent) and has served me to this day. Bodybuilding and athletic performance were the first training principles I embodied and applied in my own life and clients lives but they wouldn’t be the last…
So many Questions….What in the Voodoo?!
There was another practical internship that was one of my last classes for my Bachelors of Exercise Sports Science at Texas State University, which entailed training and teaching a class of students with disabilities. For the first time in a long time I felt a purpose in my heart. Thus kicked off a career of attempting to better educate and expand myself to better serve the people I was training or treating. After that initial brief stint in bodybuilding and fitness modeling I was quick to realize that my self absorption (at least in my experience) took away from the purpose in my heart of serving others. So I changed from focusing on building and perfecting my body to trying to build and perfect my mind and the bodies of my clients.
Every client turned into a puzzle. After obtaining my ACSM Exercise Physiology credential, I started a functional and dynamic movement adventure which led me through Gray Cook and the FMS, FRC (Functional Range Conditioning), ELDOA (join decompression techniques), Steel Mace and kettlebell training, Jon Yuen flow work and calisthenics, and other abstract training and treatment systems of movement.
Each person came in with their own unique issues and I noticed that to progress in movement, hands on manipulation and therapy would be needed. I attended and graduated massage therapy school, and I quickly dove into medical massage certifications like ART (Active Release Technique), Myofascial Release courses, Craniosacral, and eventually finding NKT (Neurokinetic Therapy) and P-DTR (Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex). Each course, whether in movement or in therapy, served a client or weakness I felt in my treatment or training of one of my clients. This myriad of techniques and specialties has come to be known with most of my clients as VOODOO! My quiver is loaded full of treatment and movement arrows. The combination of neurological techniques, manual therapy and corrective exercise creates a powerful and positive result for the majority of people I work with.
This educational journey I was on also led me through many great places to work including chiropractic offices, Spa settings like Equinox, wellness centers like P5, corporate gyms such as Golds and Texas Family Fitness (first personal training job) and multiple private fitness facilities, starting ups like the first Cowboys Fit at the Star in Frisco, hospitals like Baylor doing firefighter exercise physiology readiness assessments, nonprofits like the adaptive training foundation and pretty much any other health or fitness related facility. I’ve been blessed enough to work in and for a vast variety of places and people who have helped mold me into who I am today. I’ve seen what’s worked and what I think could be done better. It’s already been an amazing ride.
Who Can Benefit From This?
Everyone. Most of my clients are now chronic pain referrals. Referring to all the techniques above I now have a knack for treating chronic and complicated neuromuscular conditions. I love being able to help the hopeless. Chronic pain is a terrible thing that no one should have to suffer with. Here we can reference one of my other blog articles “The Stress Onion”, which you can find in our blog section of our website. People with high stress who create tension in their bodies or have had severe injuries or surgical complications are all clients who I see on a regular basis and am able to thankfully help most of them. Anyone can benefit from this treatment and training style, it’s just more suited for harder cases. Athletes are also a target group that my techniques can help. When we place stress or damage on our body – it ingeniously must conform to that stress which can cause imbalances and compensations that can create chronic tension and pain. I can help undo those compensations and reduce pain that could have stemmed from a surgery or injury many years ago (or recently). I’m also lucky enough to work with other very highly skilled and highly leveled professionals who if I can’t help someone, I have the perfect group around me who can.
The Lesson that Changed My Life
I think it’s important to note on my journey that many of the things I have done or accomplishments I have achieved, have developed from an insecurity that I have tried to remedy or cover up. The first insecurity in this story was appearance – bodybuilding. I first felt insecure in society in general and tried to hide this by bodybuilding but also in my profession of personal training, I tried to hide behind big muscles and an ideal physique to minimize my insecurity of lacking knowledge in the field. (looking the part and practicing what you preach is a real benefit but wasn’t my core reason) The second insecurity (building off the first) was feeling inadequate mentally to my peers. I began taking course after course in an attempt to feel comfortable against the top practitioners in my field (again I also did this to help serve my clients but it wasn’t the initial reasoning I had). Both of these insecurities also served me but it wasn’t until my third insecurity that I discovered real worth and confidence. The third insecurity was in my faith. I lacked confidence in who I was and I believed that translated to a lack of confidence in treating my patience and clients. It wasn’t until I did a religious deep dive, learning not only about my self ascribed Christian religion but of other faiths too that I decided to dedicate my life and submit to a higher authority and calling. Ever since that moment the other insecurities have washed away (of course not completely)…I no longer have a feeling of not being enough in any area of my life. Yes I strive for greatness in my profession and in all areas of my life but not from a point of insecurity. I strive for greatness in my life because of a mission to help serve and heal as many people as I can in my life and bring them closer to a Faith that has healed my soul.
A beginner’s mindset. Now and Forever.
I will forever be a student of this amazing thing we call our bodies, as well as a student of many other areas of life. I love to learn. I love to help treat people. I love to serve. I love to teach. I focused more on the practitioner side of my life as that is what this blog is for but I am also being called to create a unique and better system of treatment and business for training, therapy, and the health and wellness industry in general. When our hearts are in the right place and serving our clients and patients is a top priority, we should all be working together to better ourselves in the interest to best treat and help heal and serve people. It’s important to note that it takes a village. It takes a community. It takes a power Greater Than ourselves to fully heal.
And when we work together with that in mind, we can truly change the world. And that is exactly what we will do next.