I love the saying, “Big isn’t strong, strong is strong.” If you are a strength athlete, learning how to get strong and getting those little tips and tricks from any type of athlete or any type of coach can help you get stronger.
The idea behind Strong New York wasn’t just physical strength. It’s also the mental and emotional strengths. Just like I was talking about a weightlifter, having the mental strength to go into the gym consistently every day and work on things.
There are days that you don’t want to work out. There are days that you don’t want to go to work. There’s days that you don’t want to get out of bed.
How do we find the strength emotionally, physically and what is that thing that gets us out of bed? For me, that’s the most important thing.
I don’t care what you do. I love strength sports. I love endurance sports. I love anything that gets people moving and that puts a smile on peoples’ face, and that’s what I wanted to create. I wanted to create an event where people could come and enjoy fitness.
There’s so many layers, when I talk about why I came up with it, it was almost like a perfect storm of all these things that I was super interested in coming together.
When I first heard about the High Rocks event, I’m like, “Oh, I love that. That’s something I’m good at. That’s what I used to do on TV. That’s what I like to do in the gym and there’s kind of a lifting component. There’s an endurance component.”
When I got the opportunity to partner with those guys, I’m like, “Oh, this makes sense.” I was like, “That’s a great balance for what I’m doing with…I have access to all these weightlifters and strength coaches and coaches in general. Coaches who do general pop fitness.”
I wanted to put them all in the same room and help everyone learn. Traveling around to different events, I mean for the past 10 years, I’ve probably been to every fitness event there is across the country, and the one thing I noticed, I was always getting on a plane to go there.
I’m like, “I live in the greatest city in the world. Why the fuck don’t we have a fitness event?” I want everybody…what was fitness in New York to me? There was a lot of boutique fitness here so I needed to get those guys involved.
There was a lot of cycling. It’s a pain in the ass to get bikes and stuff. Eventually that will hopefully be the evolution of Strong. We do a ton of running. People love to run here in New York, so I wanted to incorporate all these things.
Where I found the most strength was one, community, and two, a lot of just doing bodyweight stuff or strength sports and gymnastics. I learned so much from David Durante. He’s one of the guys who I have consistently come back to Strong because I’ve learned so much from him.
Joe DeFranco is another guy who…I learned so much from him. I followed these guys for years when I didn’t even know who they were. I was just reading about them in magazines.
When putting these events on, I was like, “All right, I want to learn from the people who have inspired me and who could I inspire?”
Even if one person walks away from the event with a smile on their face and excited about going to the gym or excited about life, then I’ve won. That’s, ultimately, what I’m trying to do here.
I’m not afraid of failing. If I lose the tens of thousands of dollars I put into this, I’m OK with it because, at least I’m getting up to bet.
When I first got on television, people are like, “What are you doing? You’re not going to be a television star or anything.” For me, I was very happy about where I ended up with television.
I got to host shows. I’ve gotten to do so much stuff. I felt like I did really well with it. I won a couple times, like I said I had my own show.
Then when I got into fitness, my family, my friends were like, “What are you going to do? You’re going to be a coach? You’re going to be a fitness expert? You can’t make money that way.”
Up to this point, I’m pretty happy about where I am. Same thing with this. People are like, “What the hell are you doing?” I’m like, “I’m going to give it a whirl.” I don’t even look at the other side of it. I’m not like, “Oh, my God, this is going to fail. It’s going to fall apart, and I’m going to lose everything.”
Fuck that. I don’t care about living in my car. I don’t care about moving back to my mom’s house. When people are afraid to fail, then they don’t take risks. If you’re not taking risks, if you’re not stepping up to the plate, then you’re never going to get a chance to hit. Step up to the plate.