Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: Vega Sport, Cortland Symposium, and Gravity

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1. When my girlfriend, Lisa, and I first started the dating, four years ago, I have to say my courting process was pretty on point. Sure, I paid for dinners, opened doors, was uncannily witty, and refrained from burping in front of her until at least a week in.

But I like to think that I went above and beyond.

Our first “date” date happened to be on the same day that Mike Boyle filmed his Functional Strength Coach 3.0 DVD (you know:  the one where 9 out of 10 strength coaches shit a kettlebell when Boyle alluded to nixing squats from all of his programming) on the Boston University campus.  I drove in for the day to participate, and afterwards took the “T” up to Lisa’s apartment to shower before we headed over to the North End for dinner and a comedy show to follow.

In my head I was going to be all Rico Suave and come out from my shower with only a towel on while holding a bottle of red vino; but then I realized I wasn’t Channing Tatum, there was no way in hell I’d be able to pull something like that off, and decided that that wasn’t going to be a good idea.

I knew she was a keeper from the get go, and the fact that she was letting me come to her place to shower before a date, without really knowing me all too well outside of our initial “hey, nice to meet you” date, was kinda cool. So I kept it very, very PG-rated.

Maybe 4-5 dates in, knowing that she was every bit as into fitness as I was, instead of bringing her a bouquet of flowers, I arrived at her door with a canister of strawberry (whey) protein powder.

Which was awesome, and definitely won me some brownie points, except for the teeny tiny detail of forgetting that whole conversation we had where Lisa told me that she couldn’t have dairy products.


Needless to say in the years since, Lisa has tried her fair share of non-dairy based protein powder products, and well, most taste like sandpaper dipped in fart.

About a year ago she heard about this company called Vega Sport, which makes dairy free, gluten free, soy free products for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike that…..taste…….awesome!

Thing is:  it’s not cheap, which is perfectly understandable.  Anytime you make a specialized product that caters to a specialized group of people, it’s expected that it won’t be cheap.

So you can imagine  how much Lisa was jumping up and down and doing cartwheels when a representative from Vega Sport reached out to me a few weeks ago asking if I’d be down with them sending me some free swag.

I came home with the box they sent – which was pretty substantial (they even sent us socks!) – and it was like Christmas morning for Lisa.

Funnily enough, Lisa now has an internet crush on my contact person – Jaclyn – and has stated (repeatedly) that she looooooves Jaclyn and that she wants to meet Jaclyn and that she would kiss Jaclyn – on the mouth – if that ever happened.


Okay, cheesy male fantasies aside Lisa has been enjoying her Vega stash.  We did a quick home workout together yesterday and afterwards she wanted me to take a picture of her crushing her Vega protein in her Vega shaker bottle.

Did I mention that Lisa loves Vega Sport?

I’m not saying all of this because I’m endorsed by Vega or because I’m getting any kickbacks from them.  I’m not.  But, rather, it’s just to say that they’re an awesome company, who make awesome products, who also make girlfriend’s happy.

Nuff said.

2.  As some may recall, last April I was invited back to my alma mater – SUNY Cortland – to speak to a bunch of undergraduate and graduate students on the fitness industry and to feel like a big deal for a day.

As it happens they’re looking to make this into an annual event and this coming April (2014) I’m proud to say that they’re hosting they’re first Cortland Strength & Conditioning/Sports Medicine Symposium.

The line-up is straight-up baller, including myself, John Gaglione, Dr. Mike Roussell, Kurtis Frank, and Cassandra Forsythe.

I’ve also been told there’s going to be a Strongman demonstration, and if we play our cards right, possibly a Laser Tag tournament.

Fingers crossed on that last one……;o)

In all seriousness, it’s going to be an awesome event and you can’t beat the price.  Pre-registration starts at $40 for students and $50 for non-students.

For more details and to register go HERE.

3.  Since yesterday was an ovcrall gloomy day on the weather side of things, Lisa and I decided to go see a movie that I’ve been foaming at the mouth to watch, Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and directed by one of my favs, Alfonso Cuaron.

It’s no secret that I am obsessed with movies, and if I weren’t a strength coach/writer I’d probably try to finagle some way to get paid to watch them for a living.

Anyways, cutting to the chase, Gravity was stunning.

STUNNING, I Tell You!!!!

I remember being awed by Cuaron’s brilliance during his last movie, Children of Men, where he had not one, but two EPIC tracking shots (one of which lasted a full ten minutes).  He was also the impetus behind the Harry Potter series becoming “darker,” more grown up, and less Disneyish.

(He directed The Prisoner of Azkaban).

In any case, watching Gravity was equal parts beautiful and breathtaking. Cuaron had to wait a few years to even be able to film this movie so that the technology could catch up with his vision. But the end result is well worth the wait.

You literally feel as if you’re in space with the characters, and the camera work is seamless.

Bullock gives a profound performance, although I don’t feel we need to hand her the Best Actress trophy yet. She’s great, and most certainly will be nominated, but I don’t feel as if it’s a slam dunk like many critics are alluding to.

The real star here is Cuaron.  The man is a genius, and if this doesn’t propel him to Scorcese or Spielberg territory I don’t know what will.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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