Archive for September 4, 2009

I cannot begin to explain all the emotions that went through the last weekend. There were times of doubt, nervousness, excitement, exhaustion, fulfillment, pain, anger, and many others. At the end I finally understood what RKC is all about. It is hard to describe what transition I went through, but I truly believe that I am a stronger and more honorable man now that I have been through it and passed. My bond with Nikki (my wife!) is even stronger than before. I also have a very strong, almost unbreakable bond with my team, my fellow RKC’s and especially the IronTamer Clan.
I would like to take this time to talk a bit about the IronTamer Clan. A long time ago, Nikki and myself began Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp and were blown away on the results that we were getting in class. We decided that we would like to train for the RKC and began our quest. Along the way we made a bond with other members of the bootcamp and for some unknown reason, all 5 of us decided to all sign up for RKC San Diego in August and thus began our quest to become RKC certified. I would like to take the time to brag about each and every one of them.

Nikki (or as most of you know I just introduce as “my wife, Nikki”) has always been an outstanding athlete and it showed from day 1 of bootcamp when we met with David. On the very first day with only very limited experience with kettlebell training she was already swinging a 24kg with good form. Dave Whitley stated “the force is strong in this one”. Nikki has hit some impressive numbers since beginning training back in October of 2008. She has hit over 200 snatches with a 16kg in 10 minutes, can strict press a 24kg, do a full get up with a 28kg and a 1/2 get up with a 32kg. More importantly she was a very motivating factor in my training. She was very patient with my moods, got me out of bed every morning at 5:15am when it was time to train. And gave me countless important cues on improving my technique. She is quite a remarkable woman and I am proud to say that “she is all mine!”


When we first met Kristen it was through her husband, Matt who is an RKC. He was subbing for a class of ours when Dave Whitley was out of town. We walked in and saw Kristen snatching with a 16kg. (Nikki thought to herself, “how in the hell is she doing that?”). Kristen told us she was planning/training for RKC certification probably around October 2009. But Kristen was next in line to sign up for RKC and join the clan after the Irontamer called and notified her and her husband that Nikki & I just signed up and that the Irontamer himself was going to be instructing. Kristen is just a little thing, but I would definitely would not mess with her since she is very strong and strong willed to boot. “We are here for physical training!” as she would let people know in the elevator in La Jolla when they asked her if she was here on vacation. Kristen was the first person I saw after we finished the 5 minute snatch test and she was jumping up and down excited that all of us performed it so well. I also think that Kristen really helped Nikki out by having another female in the group to work with and ask questions to. There was a time that Nikki thought there was no way she would be able to snatch a 16kg until she saw Kristen doing it for reps. They developed a very strong bond between the 2 of them. Kristen is also the one that right after RKC stated that we should all go to RKC II together. I think the world of her and the things that she can do. Her and Nikki both belong in the “sexy and strong” group that so many of the RKC women demonstrate.


Jay has been coming to bootcamp for a long time and stated that he has always wanted to perform the RKC instructor certification program. When David called him to tell him that Nikki Kristen, and myself were going, along with himself as an instructor. He immediately joined the team and signed up. Jay is an amazing individual, his terrific sense of humor came out at out of the blue times to make all of us laugh. Whether it is his Rick Flair impersonations while doing push ups and squats or his “cardio step” warm up routine for RKC prep on Saturday Mornings at 6am, to his 80’s dance offs with David Whitley. He always kept us entertained. Jay is a diabetic and through his diet and exercise regimen you never would guess he suffers from the disease. The one thing that I love about Jay is the fire that burns inside of him. On Saturday morning of the RKC cert, he looked totally wrecked. He stated that he cramped up all day on Friday and was very tired and sore. But wouldn’t you have known it, he pushed through with the heart of a lion. I looked over to him during the grad workout when I was running out of gas and looked into his eyes and saw that “fire” again. He was yelling and grunting his way to the finish line that was truly inspiring. This loving husband and father is truly a man among boys in my eyes.

David E.

David was the last to sign up for RKC. If I remember correctly, he began a long time ago doing some personal sessions with the Irontamer. On the day after everyone else signed up, David E. showed up to say hello to the Irontamer and they spoke about the RKC. The following day he signed up as well. David E. decided to enroll in the RKC certification as a birtday challenge to himself. At 40 years of age (although he looks under 30 and his work ethic and body look like that which most 20 year olds wish they could have) David E’s progression and training was the most challenging. The rest of us were in top shape and have been training with kettlebells for some time. David E. pretty much began about 3 months out from scratch. He had to retrain himself into all the required kettlebell exercises that he would be trained on. David E. has a history of back problems and he had times when his back was too sore to train at all. But little by little, David’s progression pushed along. His back stopped hurting cause he was using his glutes instead of his back extensors, then he reached 100 snatches in 5 minutes, then he just took off. By the week before we left for RKC, David E. was clean and pressing, snatching, snatching and doing get ups with a 32kg! I would have to admit that I was quite jealous on how strong he had become in such a short period of time.
At the RKC certification he took a leadership role with Team Cheng and flourished in that role. When I was finishing the workout and was running out of gas, I could hear David yell… “Come on SNOW!!! just like we do back home!!!!!!!!!!! Very glad to hear those words. I am very proud of his accomplishments and hope I look as good as he does when I turn 40.

So that is the IronTamer Clan in a nutshell. All are unique in their very own way. I have to say that the bond I have with them is unbreakable. I no longer call them friends, I call them family. I no longer shake their hands or high five, but I hug them each with a feeling of pride. I will never forget you guys and how you have motivated me.

Next blog I will talk about the influential people who helped us to become RKC’s.

From Left: Kristen, David E., Myself, Nikki & Jay