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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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April 14, 2012

Blogging from PrimalCon 2012 – Day 1

By Worker Bee
43 Comments

Today was crazy. Immediately after the welcome speech by Mark and Brad, and all the introductions, which went very smoothly, things started to change.

Although “choices” was the theme of Mark’s keynote talk this year, the weather gave us very few. It was cold, windy, rainy, and thundery (sure, that’s a word); we had planned for warm, still, dry, and silent. It started during the first (and last) presenter session of the day held outdoors. Just as Erwan was showing folks how to skillfully and smoothly swing themselves up on top of playground sets, big broad Star Wars blaster bolt-like sheets of water (but with better accuracy than the stormtroopers) starting coming in at a 45-degree angle, practically sideways. Everyone got soaked, had to come back to the Embassy Suites ballroom, and our initial plans to dine at Oxnard Beach Park, outdoors, got scrapped.

But another theme throughout the day that presenters kept coming back to was the importance of embracing the random fractal quality of life, of eating, and of movement. Rolling with the punches, pivoting, responding to things that most people would see as adversity. So when life rained lemon juice down upon us, we collected it, added some raw powdered stevia leaf, and created delicious PrimalCon lemonade.

Things were shuffled on account of the rain. The three presenters – Erwan, Kelly Starrett, and Billy Vives – had to share a ballroom and a hallway.

Erwan didn’t have jungle gyms to climb around on inside, but MovNat is way, way more than that. It’s jumping and landing, crawling and squatting, standing up and sitting down, standing still and moving quickly. All the daily movements we take for granted must be reexamined, because our instinctual predilection toward natural human movement is stifled from birth. Put that guy in an empty carpeted room full of willing interested listeners and magic happens. The only bad thing about his presentation was that I couldn’t get a single shot without some part of him blurring. Always, something was moving in the frame, maybe a hand, perhaps an attendee’s conception of human movement.

K-Star condensed a full-day of mobility seminar content into an hour, but this didn’t detract from the quality or delivery of the message. He introduced his midline stabilization concept, described how the state of your arch (collapsed or not) can identify and even predict “upstream” tissue problems, showed in explicit and hilarious detail how a movement dysfunction in one joint directly impacts it’s ability to generate force. He made pretty much everyone jealous of the ease with which he dropped into a full, stable squat (before telling people how to go about fixing theirs, plus their pushup). After his talk, I saw many a strong-looking dude and gal trying to squat the way he did.

And then Billy Vives, master of the kettlebell. Billy has the unique ability to not only convince someone who’s never picked up a kettlebell in their life to go ahead and pick one up (and with proper form) without fearing it, but also the ability to make that same person adept at swinging, snatching, and cleaning the thing. Every single step of his “picking up a kettlebell” process was highlighted, explained, and sequenced, so that although not everyone made it all the way to snatching a kettlebell, everyone made progress.

After a fantastic lunch of pulled turkey legs straight from Diestel Farms (literally pulled; Primal Nutrition staff pulled the tender bird femurs asunder to make gorging easier for attendees), Diestel cold cuts, grass-fed Kobe beef burgers (even the burnt, extra medium-well fluke of a patty I ended up with somehow stayed juicy and delicious), marinated artichokes, local strawberries, fresh cut watermelon, what seemed like twenty different kinds of nuts and seeds, and the gallon buckets full of raw almond butter and macadamia nut-cashew butter (it was a magnificent sight, let me tell you), Mark gave the keynote talk.

The cool thing about Mark’s talks is that they’re not canned. There are themes, obviously, and general trajectories, but other than that, they’re wide open. Same thing here. He kept coming back to the idea of choice – that everything is a choice, the deciding of which must be claimed by the person and owned. Choice means you can really mess up, and you have to own up to it, but it also means that you can do something really awesome for yourself and know that you did it – and how to do it again.

“There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to health. Only choices.”

Next, the question and answer period, which is always the bread and butter (note to self: we need a Primal replacement for that idiom… any suggestions?) of his talks. Topics ranged from ketosis to thyroid to carbs to fat adaption to training to post workout nutrition, plus more.

By then, the rain looked to be over, so we got a little cocky. Some of us trekked the 0.7 miles over to Chef Rachel‘s beach pad for a cooking demo (which I heard was fantastic), and some of us hung with Barefoot Ted. If you know anything about Barefoot Ted, it’s that he gets off on running (or “trotting”) barefooted on concrete just so he can throw it back in the naysayers’ faces. Well, there’s no concrete in a ballroom, and if we decided to just run barefoot on soft fuzzy ballroom carpet, we’d be proving them right. So of course we found ourselves following this barefooted madman, running outside, in the 44 degree F windchill weather, sand whipping us in the face and a big dark grey cloud sliding in from the sea. And sure enough, the sideways rain came down upon us. We ran back through the downpour, a procession of bare feet, probably looking crazy, trying to get out of the rain without sacrificing that light, delicate, silent gait that Ted instilled in us. It was tricky, but I think we learned a lot on that run back because we had to.

And because food was waiting for us. Delicious braised short ribs and gravy, turkey legs, shredded slaw in a vinaigrette, bone broth soup, pecan roasted butternut squash, whipped cauliflower, a goulash of some sort, a fresh salad. Tray after tray appeared and then wasn’t. Seriously, it was so good I think I saw a guy sifting through the short rib bones for leftover scraps of meat. Oh, wait, that guy was me.

At that point, things got chocolatey. Cups of gourmet dark chocolate chips were passed out. A chocolate bar appeared on the table. Various truffles were offered up. I partook of all things cacao, and, judging from the blackened teeth of everyone I talked to, so did the others.

A few brave souls did the ocean plunge. Given the cold weather nobody really wanted to, but there’s always that one guy who gets a look on his face and goes “Hey, why not?” This invariably sets off a self-perpetuating vortex of bravado and one-upmanship, a vortex that I always get sucked into. So instead of going home to a warm bed, I found myself running full tilt through high winds toward a raging surf with Bryan Barksdale (a Texas med/PhD candidate; yes, both) and Angelo dela Cruz (VitaMove specialist, massage therapist, wellness coach, Ninja Warrior, and all-around awesome guy). We didn’t want to do what we were about to do, but we felt compelled and did it anyway. How does that even work?

Boy, it was cold. Until the jacuzzi took care of business.

But you know what? The craziness and the hectic atmosphere made it all better in a weird way, brought us closer, made the laughs come a little easier. And tomorrow, when the weather returns to its regularly scheduled programming, PrimalCon will be better than ever.

Tomorrow looks to be a beautiful day, so stay tuned for that!

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43 Comments on "Blogging from PrimalCon 2012 – Day 1"

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Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo
4 years 5 months ago

I want see a picture of that almond butter!

How about meat and macadamias instead of bread and butter?

‘Everything is a choice.’ Amen to that.

And who is this anonymous worker bee? Will s/he be revealed at the end so we can put a face or if not, at least a name, to this wonderful piece of narration? 🙂

WildGrok
WildGrok
4 years 5 months ago

Hey: I think the Worker bee is a guy

“I think I saw a guy sifting through the short rib bones for leftover scraps of meat. Oh, wait, that guy was me.”

Whoever you are worker bee you are doing a nice job, thanks for keeping us (green with envy) posted!

Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo
4 years 5 months ago

I’m sure it’s a guy (the ocean thing) but didn’t want to appear presumptuous.

Primal Toad
4 years 5 months ago

I think it’s Aaron but I could be wrong.

Philmont Scott
Philmont Scott
4 years 5 months ago

I vote for “the real meat”. Consider it in context:

“Next, the question and answer period, which is always the real meat of his talks.”

Meredith
Meredith
4 years 5 months ago

“nuts and berries” ?

yoolieboolie
yoolieboolie
4 years 5 months ago

Fantastic read, thanks so much for bringing us there through your words 🙂 And I like the “Meat amd Macadamias” suggested by Alison- it has a nice ring to it! Hope the sun is shining for you today!

Trish
Trish
4 years 5 months ago

Instead of “bread and butter” how about “meat and marrow”?

Kari
Kari
4 years 5 months ago

Can you arrange a midwest, preferably Minneapolis, convention???? I know a great supplier of grass fed meat….
It looks so great!! Have a blast, and look forward to hearing more.

WildGrok
WildGrok
4 years 5 months ago

What about “Bacon and Bananas”

Sondra Rose
4 years 5 months ago

Meat & (sweet) potatoes, of course!

Diane
Diane
4 years 5 months ago

“Bacon and (pastured) eggs!”

Jake
Jake
4 years 5 months ago

thats what i was thinking

mars
mars
4 years 5 months ago

“beef and butter” 🙂

thanks for the great read!

Lynn
Lynn
4 years 5 months ago

Worker bee writing is Excellent! Thanks, so enjoyable. Yeah, CA weather leaves a bit to be desired this weekend (just finished a bike ride at 41 degrees and came in to drink buttered coffee and wipe the icy tears from our face.) But, ummm, the snow covered mountains made it all worthwhile. Hop on up to the local mountains for some snow boarding before ya’ll leave for home.

Thorsten
4 years 5 months ago

Hello, worker bee,
thanks for your fine reporting from PrimalCon! Like WildGrok I’m soooo envious. 😉 Have a phantastic second day there in CA!

Matthew Caton
4 years 5 months ago

I’m about to go do a fasted workout. I’m going to be thinking about all the food at the event, and using it as my motivation.

I feel your longing for more ribs.

Kenneth
Kenneth
4 years 5 months ago

In regards to the lemon rain:

When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade! Make life take the lemons back! Get Mad! I don’t want your damn lemons! What am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give (insert your name here) lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man whose gonna burn your house down – with the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that’ll burn your house down!

Jen
Jen
4 years 5 months ago

All right Cave Johnson…

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
4 years 5 months ago

I’d like to see photo’s of the members along with their MDA forum names!

jake3_14
jake3_14
4 years 5 months ago

English already has metaphors for what Worker Bee was trying to express: The meat of a presentation, the heart of the matter. No need to contort the language any further to be of service, although “beef and butter” has a nice rhythm to it.

Rob
Rob
4 years 5 months ago

Sounds like a great time!

How about meat and seeds, instead of bread and butter?

Grok On!

Mark Simmonds
Mark Simmonds
4 years 5 months ago

Dear Mark and worker Bee,
just reading your blog in Sydney Australia. The Primal Con sounds and looks great! I would love to be there – maybe next year I will jump on the plane and get there??? unless you could organise one down under? I reckon you could – you do have a good following here. look forward to seeing day 2.

BR,
Mark.

ces
ces
4 years 5 months ago

I second this Ozzie convention biz- I’m in Melbourne, t’would be sweeeet, : )

Caroline
Caroline
4 years 5 months ago

I 3rd it!!! I’m also in Sydney

lovin' the good life
lovin' the good life
4 years 5 months ago

I’m not in Australia, but I sure would love a great excuse – like Primal Con – to go there!

Russell (Primal U)
4 years 5 months ago

Here’s your Primal-approved replacement for the phrase “bread and butter.”

Ready?

“Steak and eggs.”

Russell (Primal U)
4 years 5 months ago

Alternately, “bacon and eggs.”

Alby
4 years 5 months ago

Super cool that barefoot Ted was there!

panderbear
panderbear
4 years 5 months ago

bread and butter < meat and bones

Jessica C
Jessica C
4 years 5 months ago

I am soooo jealous…wish I was there!! I hope to be able to make it next year.

Kristina
Kristina
4 years 5 months ago

I vote for “Steak and eggs.”

I was sitting here trying to think of something that flowed with steak and couldn’t get it right until Russell (Primal U).

Steak and eggs.

trackback

[…] Mark’s Daily Apple Related Posts: Blogging from PrimalCon 2012 – Day 0Announcements: New Seminar Dates and Mere Weeks to PrimalCon 2012Dear Mark: Food for Skiing, Menstrual Carb Cravings, a Stubborn Teen, and MoreA Triple-Threat Success Story with Chocolate on TopDear Mark: O6:O3 Ratio, Green Drinks, and Shin SplintsHow to Eat More Fat This entry was posted in Health and tagged &#8211, 2012, Blogging, from, PrimalCon by admin. Bookmark the permalink. […]

Gene
Gene
4 years 5 months ago

Here in the UK, we use the phrase “meat and two veg” to describe something that is basic, straightforward and elemental.

Ryan Travers
4 years 5 months ago

Very good read, thank you Mark!

“Everything is a choice” – will keep that in mind 🙂

Russell C.
Russell C.
4 years 5 months ago

I’m guessing Worker Bee is a guy, if he mentioned dealing with a puppy (which was adorable). And if it’s the same Worker Bee, he helped me change barbell weights on Sunday morning so that I could beat my PR in the deadlift.

Mary Kay
Mary Kay
4 years 5 months ago

meat and sweet potatoes.

Kristen
Kristen
4 years 5 months ago

Thank you for writing this! I feel like I was there! I’m really appreciating living vicariously through your posts!

Loretta
Loretta
4 years 5 months ago
I went to this event as a “tag along” to my partner who is all into this. I was registered, but not really very informed. Sure I liked the new food that had been introduced to the household, and I had lost about 20 lbs. in the 8 months since (mostly) following the diet (who doesnt love bacon! ) In past few months I allowed myself to eat anything I wanted once a week, so I didn’t feel deprived. Plus I ate a whole lot of fruit every day. At the event I learned that because of all the fruit,… Read more »
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[…] Today was crazy. Immediately after the welcome speech by Mark and Brad, and all the introductions, which went very smoothly, things started to.www.marksdailyapple.com/blogging-from-primalcon-2012-d… […]

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4 years 4 months ago

[…] post feels a bit like “What I did on my Summer holidays”, and PrimalCon may be of limited interest to anyone who isn’t a primal or paleo lifestyler. Nevertheless, […]

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4 years 2 months ago

[…] Blogging from PrimalCon 2012 – Day 1 […]

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[…] event. After all, we publish testimonials describing the retreat as “life changing”, and the food as the “best you will ever […]

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