Five days ago I boarded a plane to Ireland with my brother and fellow PCC Lead Instructor Al Kavadlo and Dragon Door CEO John Du Cane. It was uncharted territory for us and we did not know what to expect. This was Ireland’s first Progressive Calisthenics Certification. Not to mention the fact that we’d never been to the Strong Room or met our host Adrian Harrington. In fact, none of us had even been to Dundalk, Ireland. We were really going out on a limb with this one.
You could say we were “lucking” it.
We got off the plane in the Land of a Thousand Welcomes, and rather fittingly were welcomed by Mr. Harrington himself. Looking into his smiling eyes, it took no more than a handshake and a few minutes to find out we were all kindred spirits. You see, in the world of body-weight training, there is a bond that exists which defies geography, history, even culture. There’s something special about the solidarity between calisthenics aficionados—we are connected, even when oceans apart. It seems that wherever we go, we stand united with our PCC brothers and sisters. The enthusiasm, dedication and purity bring us together from all around the globe, no matter what our roots. We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves and learn from each other. I love meeting people from different backgrounds, age groups and walks of life who share my passion. And the posse’s gettin’ bigger!
Adrian took us out to the lush, green, Irish countryside and served us a homemade breakfast of fresh eggs, “homegrown” ham, coffee (with butter!) and of course, homemade blood pudding, prepared fresh by his Mum. If you truly want to experience a culture, eat the food. We had never been here before, yet we felt right at home.
When the workshop began the next day, it was déjà vu all over again. We could see that each and every one of the attendees, regardless of any differences in past history or present skill level, stood exactly where we stand. (Not to mention the fact that the Strong Room turned out to be one of the finest facilities I’ve ever practiced calisthenics.) We worked on push-ups, pull-ups, human flags and muscle-ups. In addition to the thrill of teaching these skills and the satisfaction of seeing so many PR’s (first muscle-ups, flags, one-arm push-ups and more), we got to make so many new friends. That’s the part you can’t really see on the internet. It can only be experienced firsthand.
Day two was even better. So many folks who were on the fringes of achieving the elusive back lever, one-legged squat and back bridge got to see their dreams become reality and so did we. Have I mentioned that I love my job?
In what felt like an instant, it was already Sunday, the third and final day of PCC. The pleasure of witnessing so many brand new inversions and elbow levers, the emotions running wild during Century testing and the tears of joy at the end of the day made it an experience none of us will ever forget. But it was is bitter-sweet; we shared so much with so many! Just two days ago, the people we met were perfect strangers, but now we see they were just like us all along. It’s so hard to say goodbye.
PCC Dundalk proved to be the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
We are thrilled to have made the trip and are looking forward to coming back. I await with anticipation the prospect of meeting more future members of our PCC family and doing it all over again. As the Irish saying goes, “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb… that’s where the fruit is.”
Danny Kavadlo is one of the world’s most established and respected personal trainers. He is a Master Instructor of Progressive Calisthenics and the author of Everybody Needs Training: Proven Success Secrets for the Professional Fitness Trainer. A true in-person experience, Danny is known globally as a motivator and leader in the body-weight community. Learn more about Danny at: www.DannyTheTrainer.com.