- March 14th, 2014
It hard to imagine the amount of attention I have gotten over the past few years. Growing up to say I was the cool kid is far from the truth. In fact, I had an imaginary friend when I was younger who used to leave me to go play with different kids down the street. When I started training strongman and started growing a team and crew being a star was never and will never be the goal. I learned to love so many parts of this sport and it goes far beyond being able to lift heavy things. As I did, my focus was to grow something bigger than me. I wanted to share and influence in a positive way all the people I come across. This sport has become a big part of this and has added to my motivation and inspiration to continue to do these things.
I have had 11 members of the Untouchable Strength Crew since it’s inception. We have had 9 NAS Title holders, 7 National Qualifiers, 3 National or World Records Set, 2 World Qualifying athletes, and number of success stories. We have become one of the most respected strongman crews in the Nation and Davis Speed Center has become known as a gym that when an athlete shows up to a contest everyone knows they are going to have some hearty competition.
I could recap my thank you newsletter from Nationals as everything in that newsletter also applies to my latest trip to the World Championships. My appreciation to everyone I have mentioned in the past has not changed in any way. I want to focus on some people who I feel really deserve a special mention. In the 5 months since I was named #2 strongman in the nation they were all monumental in my run for World Champion. It is these people and the things they do that really show me i am getting closer to growing this crew to what I have imagined and it is far bigger than me and bigger than I ever will be. So without continued rambling. Here is the list. I know, as usual, I have probably left people out and as always you will likely be receiving your own private message in the very near future.
Shawn Zambon and Jon Tammi-As I have made this journey, pretty much since the beginning no two people have been along for the ride more than you two. You do so much more than you ever have to and you follow with so much excitement, not just for me, but for all my teammates. You have become at least online friends with several of my competitors and you follow the sport with enthusiasm that I try to spread to everybody. You have helped financially (which is much more important than most people know in this sport) by way of sponsorship or just helping your poor little brother out. I love hearing you cheering in the background of my videos. But nothing is more enjoyable than watching you compete in the DSC Contests. You are big reason I stay as excited as I do in the sport, and can honestly say I try to do just a little bit better to keep you on board. Knowing you are there makes the journey so much easier. I am leaving out 1000 more things you do for me, and although I try to be good at showing it, I am not sure I really am but know that I am so thankful to have you on this team. Even a late shout out to Taylor and Josh who got to witness their Uncle compete for the first time (I hope I did well enough to win back to back relative of the year awards).
Momma Bear and Larry: Hard to single strongman out for all the things I need to thank you for. From being the best parents and role models in the world from the time I was born, through the confusing years, to finding myself and what I wanted to do. You never gave up and always reminded me that no matter what I would choose to do, I would be great at it. More times than i would like to admit I have had to come crawling to you for help and never once did you ever lose faith in me. I know this sport scares the sh#t out of you every time I pick something heavy up. After you saw your first show at Jakked I was convinced that Larry would never let you come to another one. None of this would be possible if not for your help and support all along the way but also as specific as it is to this road to the top. I am so glad you got to come out to watch me in Ohio and next year i promise I will make sure you get to see me on that stage.
The Source- Even before you knew what this sport was, I came to you for a loan so i could buy the equipment I needed to start this thing up on my own. I will never forget what you said to me, even though I am sure you already have. You said “I can tell your are excited about this and think this is going to work”. That was all you needed. When i think back about what I had to start with, it amazes me how far I have come. A lot because of the faith you had in my “business plan”. I also laugh that many of the things that drove me crazy having you as a dad are some of the traits I now have and make me as good as I am at what I do. As a competitor but more so as a Coach. Last year you got your first taste of this and this year you were on board all the way. I know you will be there next year and all the way till I can’t do it anymore. I couldn’t me more proud to have you there cheering me on. I am so thankful for everything and hope you continue to be a part of this.
Dave Davis-Didn’t need you as much this year. Thank god, since I basically needed you to hold my hand last year and finally fix a decade long slump in my deadlift. When I hit a snag this year I did again call on you and without hesitation you again there to help me out. Luckily it was minor enough I only needed you for 3 weeks this time, but again we got past levels we were not even close to last year. From giving me a chance to run my strength program to all the help in my training I thank you. I have told you many times that I don’t know if i will ever be able to pay you back, I haven’t forgotten anything you have done and I want to once again say thank you. With the addition with the 150lb strongman skinny class being added, would be a hell of time sharing a podium or two with you this year.
Kim Stone and the Stone Family I am the first to admit that my coaching style is not exactly traditional. I probably put more responsibility on the athlete than a lot of strength coaches out there. I know what I do works, but it is often hard to break through to new clients who don’t know about all DSC has done with the strength program and what it has produced. When you started with the Get Fit program, not one time did I ever think I would have any member of your family in my program because of the reasons I mentioned above. Probably one of the top 5 things I have been most wrong about in the past 10 years. You have evolved into an almost odd extended family of mine. From knowing and not trusting my talented appetite that you have brought me food in for several reasons. Whether it be a special occasion, an illness I have had, and my favorite: making me healthy dinners so i wouldn’t let my weight slide (which I would have by the way). Even more than all this you and your whole family have become quite the talk of the DSC Strength program, and believe it or not some of my friends across the country have asked about you and all the videos I have put up. The joy you and you kids get by hitting PR’s, the sharing of your goals, the push all of you have to get stronger and strive to be as strong and good as you can be is some of the best motivation around. We joke a lot at the gym, but if it wasn’t for clients for you guys I probably wouldn’t have the drive to continue to be the best I can be. I feel I owe you and the whole DSC family that much for all that you do for me and all the motivation and inspiration i get from you guys. Your whole family is also about as DSC team oriented as they come.
Big Trevor and Regina-The first guy I ever had come to DSC to train strongman and my first employee for that matter. I am very happy you and Regina are doing so well out in Chicago. I am not one to complain often or out in the open, I am not one who really lays everything out there, but any time I have ever needed a sounding board, or bitch about anything in life I have often turned to you and you have never complained. I am glad I don’t train with you everyday, because if I did I would be dead. However I am very glad we do get to train together when it works out. You are like Magic Johnson of training partners and just being around you seems to make everyone better. It is almost guaranteed that PRs get set every time we train, and some of if not all of my best training moments have come during our sessions. It is also those sessions I use to get the much valued help I need when I have hit a wall. It had been a lot of contests before we both finally won, and dominated the LW stage together at summer fest last summer and that is one of the most overdue and best moments of this sport I have ever had. As far as your better half goes, Regina, I can’t thank you enough for all that you do and all the support you show me. So many times I have to fly solo to shows and you do all the little things I often, shamelessly, ask you to do. In addition you are so supportive and shoot videos (and I can hear you cheering in the background) and do everything else like we have been best friends since Middle School. You really are the best, and make things so much easier. I am so happy that even after the move I have been able to stay close and share all this with both of you. Both of you have a loyalty, work ethic, and character that is something we all can admire.
The DSC Get Fit Class – You guys and gals are all awesome. You operate as one unit and show all the young athletes that results come easier in a team setting rather than individual battles. You all have been so supportive and huge fans, not just of me but Davis speed Center in general. The picture you guys gave me makes me emotional every time I look at it, and was really one of the best gifts I have ever received and that includes the He-Man/Battle Cat combo and the Dukes of Hazard motor cycle I got at age 5 and 6 respectively. Not an easy task to stay par with those two gems. In all seriousness I genuinely thank you all for all the support.
Mike Ginsberg and the Ginsberg Family-What you did for me leading to the World Championship was actually one of the hardest things I have had to accept. It was during a time of need that took such a huge amount of stress off my shoulders that you nor anyone will ever understand (because I don’t tell anyone). Your text messages and words of support and belief were always an aspect of motivation. I am so glad Erin will be playing soccer at her dream school and I hope I have been a part of that even in the slightest as it is the least I can do to try and pay you back. Looking forward to getting back to working with both you and making sure you both reach every goal you wish too. I haven’t had the opportunity to thank you in person so this is going to have to do for now. But I wanted and needed to say it again, thank you so much for all your help.
Kevin Brummond, Pat Wenzel, J.T. Michell, and all other help-I have said it a million times so I will keep this short. Often times these big contests force me to be away more than I would like if I want to stay on top. All of you have, without hesitation, done everything you can to make the burden on me so much easier. I appreciate all the extra stuff you all do and if I didn’t have such a supportive staff I would be nowhere near where I am today.
Sam Nirva-This one may seem out-of-place a little bit, but I do need to send you an individual thank you. The messages that you sent to me after Nationals I have saved and kept handy anytime I don’t feel like training, or when I get frustrated over the little things that pile up in this profession. They hit me hard when you sent them and they still work every time and remind me that what I am doing is what I should be doing. You have been an absolute picture perfect athlete to train, and even when you are away you make it pretty easy for me to know I have done some things right with my athletes along the way. I know you are going to kill it at Nationals this year and you deserve everything you have accomplished.
Kett-Can’t leave you out even though I told you a few months ago I would never mention you again in a post. While my schedule for the last month or so leading to Worlds didn’t give us any time to train, but up until then and all the way leading to Nationals you were the one I leaned on in training the most. Won’t get too sappy on you, but all of your help and support is most certainly appreciated.