1. WHAT HAPPENED?
2. WHO ROCKED YOUR WORLD?
3. DID I MEET ANY STARFISH?
4. ARE WE HEADED FOR A TRAIN WRECK OR ARE WE BUILDING A DREAM?
5. DID PaleoFX RAISE THE BAR FOR THIS GRASS ROOTS MOVEMENT OF PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT?
I am back and very tired yet extremely energized by what went down in Austin. I wrote this on the plane ride home. I met some paleo luminaries for the first time, and I met a lot of people who were just lit on fire by this conference. PaleoFX was billed as where theory meets the practice of Paleo world. There is little doubt that the PaleoFX organizing team met their goal and fulfilled their mission statement. This event was launched in 150 days and to be there and see how professionally things were run was just jaw dropping for me. I honestly had no idea what to expect after AHS inaugural event last year at UCLA. My first day down in Austin was hectic. My flight was a bit late and the navigation in my rental car took me an hour away from the University of Texas Spark Center. I was due to speak at the opening event, and I got to the event about half an hour before I was due to go on. I was met by Kevin Cotrell and Shirley McLean (rockstar starfish). Shirley took my car and parked it and Kevin took my baggage, and we got dressed in the North End Zone of the Longhorns football Stadium complex. I posted a picture of it on my Facebook wall if you did not get to see it. It was kind of nerve wracking to start a conference, honestly.
Kevin Cotrell was super psyched and stressed a bit, because he was a bit concerned I “bagged” my planned speech and posted it the night before. He had no clue what I was going to say and I just requested that he get me a stick of dynamite, a lighter, an erasable writing board, an eraser and a glass of ice. We went downstairs into the gorgeous Joe and Betty Weider Museum of Physical Culture at the Spark Center. Down there was a red carpet, and a cool PaleoFX backround with lights cameras and a lot of buzz. The audience was jammed packed with new faces and the usual primal suspects. There were lots of Paleo Superstars like Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Jimmy Moore, Chris Kresser and Paul Jaminet. You could feel the electricity as we stood there for a few moments before I gave my opening speech.
I changed my speech because of a Facebook comment made by a special forces standout the night before. His name was Randy. After reading what he posted, I knew I had to go for a bit more. I choose to make it raw, close, and personal to make the impact I felt the message required. Randy Brumit was the beacon of light for that change in plans. The talk was quite hard for me to do, but I felt that it would get our conference off to the start it needed. I wanted the theory of what we all do and believe in, to be shown in a personal story from my past. So, I aired some of my own laundry. I am sure you will all get to hear it soon enough but the message was simple and clear. We need to come together now, and change the world. This movement has no room for infighting at this time. We need to join forces and bring the greatness of the science and clinical examples to the world wide stage for everyone to see.
We were very fortunate to have Dr. Kim Mulvihill from CBS- SF there to hear this message of unity. I specifically wanted everyone in that room to know that each one of us has “our own light” and our own contribution to make to this movement. None of us should be disqualified for our disagreements over petty matters. Brothers and sisters fight but they care about one another. Instead, we need to come together and show the rest of the world what this lifestyle can do for their health and their loved ones health. We needed to show our own examples of transformations together, to the world to change the healthcare paradigm. If we focus on aiming each one of our small flames, through the very powerful magnifying glass of evolutionary medicine, we just might light a stick of dynamite, and turn the potential energy within the system to a new energy that can change millions of lives. I saw a lot of faces who were ready for this change…and I saw a lot of “starfishes” that night and over the next four days. To understand the full impact of starfish analogy, you will have to wait until the PaleoFX organizers get the opening speech up for the public to see.
The main point of it all was we have to pay our own good fortunes forward to those who have yet to experience them.
WHAT WAS THE TOP TEN FOR ME?
10. When rides were sparse to get to meetings, a volunteer named Kaki came to the rescue, to get me to my spine meeting during PaleoFX. Kaki was a joy and was a beautiful young lady from Dallas, who was a UT student studying Spanish education. She drove me three times during the conference to make sure I made it to places I needed to be when other parts of the system temporarily failed. During our rides she told me about her Dad and his illnesses and during our rides I dropped some hints for her to help him. You could see his plight was killing her inside. I wish I could have helped more, because she was a “starfish” for volunteer team. She went above and beyond the call of duty and did it with a smile all three times. I won’t forget her for “paying it forward” this weekend.
9. Spending lots of time with Randy Brumit (Special Ops Ranger), Carlos Toro of AHS 2012 Boston, Dan Kalish, Shirley McLean and Dr. Lane Sebring and learning about what makes them tick and think…Special mention to the Dr’s. Mehta’s and The Stein girls from California. I loved having dinner with you all the second night. I still am craving more of that raw lamb leg though…Dr. Dan Pardi and the cool Wired article woman, named Ashley Tudor…all the sleep talk and the memory pill stuff was awesome.
8. Meeting Rich Dutton of Barclays Capital of NYC. After meeting me and speaking for a while, he graciously offered me some services at no charge to further our efforts of spreading our message. Just real special stuff here folks. His face spoke volumes that his words did not have to explain.
7. Meeting a local woman from Austin, who was bucking the national dietary trends, and converting her whole family at once to a primal template, and telling me about her struggles. She was more concerned with everyone else’s problems than her own. I told her to focus on her optimal self first, because, without a strong woman and mom to be the glue, the whole ship will go down if she is not optimal herself to begin. She was a joy to talk with. Her passion was deep.
6. Meeting Abel Bascom of www.fatburningman.com, his gorgeous lady, Alyson Bridge. I got to spend the day at the Pendergrass Paleo Playground cabin compound with all the IPMG crew too. While there, Dr. Pendergrass was a Primal chef, and his firecracker offspring, Karen, was well being, Paleo Approved of course! She is quite the bug eater, I found out yesterday too. I met a lot of cool young paleo’s there and had some thought provoking discussions with some of them. I came away from the cabin retreat feeling our future is bright based upon the conversations we had, and seeing Olive Oil Tony’s mad skills at Paleo Jenga. He is truly a mad warrior for risk taking. Tony, I had olive oil for breakfast today because of you!
5. Meeting and spending time with Dean Dwyer and his brother yesterday and spending some personal time together. Dean made some comments on a panel that he, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, and myself were on about the state of paleosphere. All their comments were spot on and need to be heeded. Dean, in my estimation, is a future leader for us. Pay attention to what he says, because in his words are some deep wisdom. What he represents in character tells me what kind of man he really is. He left a very nice comment on my Facebook wall that even touched my stone cold heart. After I got a chance to see him all day yesterday, I can forcefully report he is a stud. Go check him out at Being Primal. He Makes “Shift” Happen as the major Shift disturber. The dude is solid, and I think I have a new Canadian brother. His brother is a cool cat too!
4. Meeting Karina Stuke of Eat Play Live. Go check out her page and mission statement on the net or on Facebook. Katrina and Jen Sturm run this operation together. Katrina ambushed me after a panel and just dropped some emotional stuff on me that touched a nerve. Her friend’s life changed with some of the information on my blog and she is now using it to channel her energies to change lives in Milwaukee. She quit her job and started a new company to help show others what a paleo lifestyle can do to transform their lives. She is clearly a “starfish” and is hell bent on lighting many candles that need some light for direction. She is making her mark in this world.
3. My new respect for Kevin Cottrell and his wife Steph. I am not going to get all personal here, but you two were the real stars of Austin in my view. Just freaking amazing! Kevin, you are a born to be moderator. You were the best I have seen, including all the moderators at the terrible medical conferences, I have had the unfortunate pleasure of attending. Putting me together with Dr. Kim Mulvihill maybe the magical lever Robb Wolf has been searching for as the change agent. The month of May might be an interesting Paleo TV month in San Francisco.
2. My new friend, Tara. I’m not going to air personal stuff Tara, but you got me good. I am sorry I could not be in England to help when they needed it…but just know that you can help them now. You now can save their lives. You now have knowledge, you did not know existed. Go change their life. You are a doll.
1. Mitch Baird simply made PaleoFX for me…nothing topped what this young man shared with me. Honestly, it was not even close. He is the Program development coordinator for YES Level 2 Yoga Instruction for the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative. When he heard me speak about Cold Thermogenesis he nearly tackled me as soon as I was done. Many people in our community still do not understand the impact of CT but Mitch needed no convincing. His grandmother is the Shaman for his people and she was unceremoniously diminished by the “white man” in the 1950′s After they came in they gave then the SAD, Western culture, heated housing, and modern medical care. The result was 50% of their people now have diabetes in two generations…Here is the best part. Mitch grabbed me and began to cry like a baby. He told me when he heard me explain CT briefly he knew that I was implicitly correct because his grandmother used to prescibe cutting holes in the ice and making their people bath in it for health. He said when she was running the show up in the Arctic none of the neolithic disease they see now were present. His grandmother name and reputation were diminished by the modern methods and he now knew his grandmother’s teachings were the stuff legends were made of. Mitch told me he was going home to tell his grandmother, she was right these last 50 years and he assured me that all the diabetics in his community would be re-embracing their tribe’s ways soon. Mitch is going to make a YouTube video with his grandmother, who is in her eighth decade, and I am going to do a blog on their ancient customs. This young man was the greatest starfish I found in Austin…he had me in tears because of this story.
For me, the clinical side of Paleo/Primal is where the tipping point lies. The scientific community changes slowly but people can change on a dime. I saw a lot of people who are committed to that change now. They are out there doing amazing things now to make our world the world we want it to be for our future offspring. I was proud to be a part of this event. We need our community MDs, and healthcare providers to step up their game and leave our followers breathless. There is no reason not to any longer. The time is now.
Austin was epic, and for those of you who did not come, make sure you see the videos. Given the ones we already saw, the quality is superb. I think PaleoFX set the bar high for any future events for our community. I know this is true, because I drove Carlos Toro to the airport today and he was sweating a bit as he was getting on his plane back to New England. Boston and AHS 2012, should be fun in August. What the PaleoFX organizers did in 150 days is nothing short of a miracle.