It was back into the trenches Monday morning after attending the inaugural PCC over the weekend. To say this course was phenomenal is an understatement. The Kavadlo brothers (Al and Danny) set the tone for the weekend with their positivity, humility and accessibility. Further enhancing the vibe were John du Cane, Al and Danny’s co-instructors Adrienne Harvey and Steven Low, and all of the students who spent the weekend cheering, coaching and supporting one another. I have rarely experienced a class, conference or certification with such an amazing atmosphere and amazingly accessible group of instructors in my years in this industry (don’t want to age myself, but somewhere in the immediate vicinity of 20 years…).
This praise is independent of the actual course content, which was absolutely spectacular. An organized and systematic series of well thought out progressions for some of the most challenging bodyweight strength techniques out there. These movements/exercises/techniques are accessible to fitness professionals and clients of all levels because of the thorough progressions for each.
All of which brings me back to the title…love? Where does that fit into this picture, or this course? As is often the case in the field of fitness and performance training after a class or conference, I returned home motivated and inspired by the wealth of new information and resources I learned…as well as humbled by my great inability to perform so many of these techniques, despite throwing weights around in the gym for over 25 years. There is the age-old process a professional in our field goes through after an educational program of any type: does this fit into my philosophy and methodology? If so, where and how? How will I incorporate this into my personal training program? How will I incorporate it into my clients’ training programs when I return to work Monday morning and going forward?
Logic and precedent suggest that I set about answering these questions when I returned home Sunday evening. For perhaps the first time ever I didn’t do that though. The content of the PCC is so unique and accessible to all populations that something entirely different happened. Like so many others, I not only took a break from work to attend this course, I also left my family at home, including my 10-year-old son. It’s safe to assume I wanted to reconnect and spend a little quality time with him when I first got home…and before I needed to shift my focus to returning to work the next morning.
Something unique and special happened right after I settled in at home…before giving it much thought I found myself saying to my son, “Hey buddy, want to see a couple of the cool things I learned this weekend?” Always gracious, and perhaps a little curious about what dad had been doing all weekend he obliged me. Next thing you know I had my son’s hands firmly wrapped around my ankles as I spotted him and he pressed his way into his first bridge! From there I showed him one other move that was a little more balance than strength oriented, the frog stand. As he spent the remainder of the night on the floor trying to pop up into a bridge or a frog stand every so often father and son had reconnected and our bond was strengthened by our new shared pursuit (and I’m sure he enjoys the fact that his gumby-like 10 year old mobility allows him to perform some of these moves better than me at this point!).
So…the PCC and love? I don’t yet know exactly how I will incorporate this phenomenal approach to training into my own programming, or that of my clients. What I do know is that school is out tomorrow for my son, little league is officially over, and summer is upon us. My son and I have already scouted out the local schools and parks for the best playground equipment for our needs and have found our “spot” for the summer. We are both equally excited to go workout together. He is excited because it feels like playing to him and he gets to play with dad. I am excited because I get to play with my son while sneakily introducing him to strength training and laying the foundation for a fitness lifestyle for the remainder of his life, while also challenging myself with some of the toughest strength moves I have ever tried to master. My son is the center of my universe, he is my love, and it is the unconditional love he shares with me that humbles and sustains me.
For all the praise I can easily heap upon the PCC course and its content, none is greater than the way it has and will strengthen the love between this father and his son. I have a new “gym” at one of the local middle schools…and I officially have a new workout partner, he’s 10 and he’s my best buddy! I suppose I could put on my business cap and start working on the possibilities and opportunities for bringing the PCC system of training to the TV watching, Xbox playing, inactive youth in my area, but right now I have a date to go outside and “play” on the monkey bars with my son!
About Pete D’Epiro: A fitness & performance coach in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years, Pete specializes in training the unique population that is the Silicon Valley executive/entrepreneur as well as junior athletes ranging from middle school to Division I scholarship athletes. Pete also volunteers his time to Stew Smith’s non-profit Heroes of Tomorrow, providing free training to candidates preparing for careers in military special operations, law enforcement, & fire. Most days of the year Pete can be found at the world-class training facility, Evolution Trainers (www.evolutiontrainers.com), in Mountain View, California.