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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 15, 2013

Insider Recap: PrimalCon Oxnard 2013

By Worker Bee
38 Comments

PrimalCon 2013In case you missed it, PrimalCon Oxnard 2013 took place this last weekend. This recap of the festivities was written by Mark’s Daily Apple team member and PrimalCon attendee Erik Cisler.

It was supposed to be sunny all weekend. That’s what weather.com kept telling us in the days leading up to PrimalCon Oxnard 2013. Sure, it was windy and kinda cold, but we were confident things would clear up. And then Friday morning, the attendees huddled together to hear Mark give the opening address of the weekend under a grey sky. “Don’t worry, guys. The sun will come.” Technically, it did. Right after lunch, it popped out and the grey dematerialized. It wasn’t exactly warm, but at least we had sun.

That was the last we saw of it all weekend. It hovered around 60 ºF, with that gray north-of-The-Wall (ASOIAF, anyone?) sameness perpetually overhead. But you know what? It didn’t even matter in the end. Because PrimalCon attendees are the hardiest bunch of customers you could ever assemble. They still ocean plunged. They still went barefoot. They didn’t complain for a second. Instead, people talked, laughed, ate, did everything but worry about circumstances out of their (and our) control. Everyone rolled with the punches (because there’s no other way to live).

Mark

Group Photo

Cold weather during the day? PrimalConners just made sure to move around a bit more to get the blood pumping; natural movement, sledgehammer, Olympic lifting, and kettlebell sessions were especially popular.

  Natural Movements

Chilly evenings? We busted out a few cases of wine (purely for the vasodilatory effect, of course) and passed out dark chocolate with ribbons of coconut manna (for the pro-metabolic lauric acid, of course). It’s hard to put into words exactly what this weekend meant for attendees, and I knew I couldn’t do that (I’m not even going to try) so I just took little five minute snap shot observations from time to time. Here’s one: A talented doctoral student named Bryan Barksdale waxes noetic about ketone bodies and neurodegeneration to rapt audiences atop a grassy hill not fifty yards from Glen Cordoza, author/MMA fighter, showing the proper way to use a kettlebell to peel apart gnarly hip flexors right next to CrossFit champion Jenny Labaw (on crutches) showing people hip drive in the Olympic lifts while Barefoot Ted zips around on a personal laptop vehicle that will change the face of human transportation just as Angelo dela Cruz teaches untrained folks to give themselves effective healing targeted massages and right around the time top CA strongman Brian Tabor carries a guy twice his size like a sack of (gluten-free) grain, then shows others how to do the same, while Tracy Barksdale comes back from a fever to lead a group in natural movement, and across the grass Monisha and Maya White instruct attendees in the Gokhale Method of sitting/standing/lying/living. Meanwhile, the whirr of Timothy’s sledgehammers and the whip of Olympic bars and the lilt of KStar slang combine with the twang of someone else falling off the slackline laid on top of William Vives‘ GS style smooth effortless KB swings.

O-Lifting KStar Squat

PrimalCon Attendees Attempting to Walk on a Slackline

If this all sounds a little confusing, that’s okay and I apologize, because you’d kinda have to be there to really get it. The PrimalCon energy, the vibe, cannot be transmitted through text – or even images and video – alone. You just have to be there to feel it for yourself. In the past, I feel like the reviews were easier to write. I could talk about the presenters and their talks and you’d get a good feel for what went down. This year, though, the energy was different. Better, I’d say, too. Lightbulbs were going off all over the place, groups were breaking off for impromptu sessions that weren’t ordained by some paper schedule. We had the schedule, but we also had freedom. It was a big sandbox, except instead of kids there were adults, instead of sand there was grass, and instead of sandcastles there were revelations being discovered and tribes being created.

Event Coordinator Brad Kearns “Lifting” Weights

Before my eyes, I saw people embodying precisely what Mark has been yammering about for years on this blog and in his books. They were present, they were being here/there now/then, rather than attaching their happiness to an outcome that couldn’t be. Paleosphere superstars freely mingled with blog commenters on equal footing, each learning something from the other. A tribe had formed, Dunbar’s number realized. Phones came out to take photos and immortalize moments, but I didn’t see heads buried in texts and Facebook and hashtags. No, this was real raw rendering of humanity.

It was The Primal Connection come to life. I began to wonder: were they just taking Mark’s writing to heart, or had Mark learned from watching them and put lessons to paper? Whatever – it was amazing to see.

PrimalCon: the only place where barefooters worry about shards of macadamia nut underfoot rather than glass, where you can share a dram of scotch with a ninja, a strongman, a barefoot apprentice, and a gym owner, where you get weird looks for not eating spoonfuls of coconut oil, where grandmas wield sledgehammers, where not one but a dozen experts on human movement and posture congregate, where Chef Rachel gives demonstrations and delicious samples that are never quite enough, where the first Primal food truck in Southern California caters your lunches, where teams of men and women compete for prizes by securing their feet to 2X4s with handkerchiefs and scooting along the grass three to a plank, where lifelong friendships form in a single night, where the same man who just attempted a deadlift PR gently plucks a harp’s strings not thirty minutes later, where an attendee can have earnest conversations with the best and the brightest this community has to offer – without even talking to any of the presenters yet. It’s weird and crazy and informative and awesome. In other words, it’s completely and utterly Primal.

Chef Rachel

No So Fast!

Survivor Challenge

Harp

Even though I had to observe and take notes and take photos and tend to my 8-months-pregnant wife and always kinda chilled on the periphery – I had a blast. I can only imagine what the actual attendees got to experience (but I think the smiles and laughs were a pretty good hint)!

Until Austin, and then Tahoe, and wherever else we decide to take this show. Hope to see you all there!

Group Picture

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38 Comments on "Insider Recap: PrimalCon Oxnard 2013"

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Rob
Rob
3 years 5 months ago

I can’t wait to go. One day…one day.

Lena Zegher
3 years 5 months ago

Slacklining looks like so much fun! Really want to try that.

June Sinclair
3 years 5 months ago

It is amazing! Challenging, wiggly, and absolute playtime!

Judy G
Judy G
3 years 5 months ago

Ahhhhh….to dream! and 60 degrees! Down right balmy in Wisconsin terms! Looks like a great time.

Greg
Greg
3 years 5 months ago

60 degrees! Cold! Where I live that’s when people start sun bathing.

Groktimus Primal
3 years 5 months ago

Finally we’ve discovered something meaningful to congregate for where one doesn’t have to worry about drinking the Kool-Aid!

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
3 years 5 months ago

Especially when it’s enhanced with electrolytes.

Nick
3 years 5 months ago

Looks and sounds like a hell of a time, would love to give it a go some time!

trackback

[…] Daily Apple / Posted on: April 15, 2013 Mark’s Daily Apple – In case you missed it, PrimalCon Oxnard 2013 took place this last weekend. This recap of […]

Eric R
3 years 5 months ago

Come to Chicago! We’ve got plenty of Groks here that would love to attend.

Susie
Susie
3 years 5 months ago

I second that motion!

Siobhan
Siobhan
3 years 5 months ago

Looks so unbelievably wonderful! I hope I can attend one day. But…60F, cold? Sheesh, I would be perpetually drenched in perspiration!

Bjjcaveman
3 years 5 months ago

Wow!! That looks like an amazing time! Like summer camp for paleo adults!

Bryan
Bryan
3 years 5 months ago

…this one time, at Primalcon……………….

LOL

Erin
Erin
3 years 5 months ago

Oh how I wish I could live in sunny California instead of uninviting Ohio. Oh well. At least I have Jungle Jim’s and Dorothy Lane Market at my doorstep.

Annakay
Annakay
3 years 5 months ago

60 degrees! Here in Scotland we consider that to be pleasantly warm.

Sandy
Sandy
3 years 5 months ago

Please some to SUNNY Florida…..

Elaine
Elaine
3 years 5 months ago

It really was so awesome. I travelled from Australia for it and I’m so glad …one of the best experiences. Learnt soooo much, met some amazing people.

primal_alex
3 years 5 months ago

When a “PrimalCon Europe”? 😉

K
K
3 years 5 months ago

+1

Greg
Greg
3 years 5 months ago

+2

Arlene
Arlene
3 years 5 months ago

+3 🙂

Elisa
3 years 5 months ago

What a fun surprise to catch you in our ‘backyard’ over the weekend. Welcome to the Shores!

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[…] Insider Recap: PrimalCon Oxnard 2013 […]

Not So Fast
3 years 5 months ago

What a ridiculously amazing weekend. Best people ever assembled into one area for 3 days. Great food, conversations and much more. We cannot wait to be back @ Tahoe!!!!

Bob & June

trackback

[…] In case you missed it, PrimalCon Oxnard 2013 took place this last weekend. This recap of the festivities was written by Mark’s Daily Apple team member and PrimalCon attendee Erik Cisler. It was supposed to be sunny all weekend. That’s what weather.com kept telling us in the days leading up to PrimalCon Oxnard 2013. Sure, […]… Mark’s Daily Apple […]

BPT
BPT
3 years 5 months ago

laptop vehicles…bring it on.

Megan
Megan
3 years 5 months ago

Did you notice Team Yorange, champions of the Survivor Challenge blowing everyone away in that hot lava challenge – YE-AH!! 🙂 It was a great weekend and now I’m getting ready to go to Austin.

AB Smith
3 years 5 months ago

Go team Yorange!!! 🙂

danielht
danielht
3 years 5 months ago

Question for people who have attended PrimalCon – Is it worth it to attend for people who have no idea what Paleo/Primal is?
I am hoping to send my parents to the next one in Austin, but I don’t know if they’ll get much out of it (other than ejoying great food and the retreat in general) in terms of knowledge.

Russell
Russell
3 years 5 months ago
Although the majority of attendees are already living and eating a primal/paleo lifestyle, perhaps it would be a fun “crash course” for your parents if they attend the next one. At least all the food would be in place. Also, the “swag bags” you receive during registration contain Mark’s books. So, while they are attending various presentations on diet and exercise, they can also browse through and study the books during down time or in their hotel room. “21 Day Total Body Transformation” is such a user-friendly book that beginners can “get it” by reading it. It’s the one I… Read more »
Cyndi
Cyndi
3 years 5 months ago

Never in my life have I had such a completely fulfilling, life affirming, amazing time. I type this from my office box (well, at least I have a stand up desk) and find myself missing everyone, the vibe, the atmosphere, and the “sunshine”. I can’t imagine spending all day inside today.

And I miss team Yorange so much!!!

Megan
Megan
3 years 5 months ago
I was wishing my parents were there the entire weekend! Yes, send your parents to Austin!! They will benefit so much! I am not fit now and I learned so much and had such an amazing time. I feel like anyone and everyone could benefit from it. I learned simple tips to decrease my shoulder pain and improve my form while sitting and walking. Your parents will learn so many valuable tools! To Team Yorange: please seek me out on Facebook! My name is Megan Leonard and I registered on the PrimalCon Oxnard and PrimalCon Austin event pages. 🙂
kratom
3 years 5 months ago

I’m pretty pleased to uncover this great site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to look at new information on your blog.

Homer Frizzell
3 years 5 months ago

Good times!
Thank you and hope to see everyone again soon!

Homer

Mike Giboney
Mike Giboney
3 years 4 months ago

Does anyone know where we can get a list of the contents of the Gift Bags we received? There were a bunch of cool snacks like the coconut flakes. Any help would be appreciated. THX!!

trackback

[…] founder and operator of CrossFit San Francisco. He also blogs at mobilitywod.com, presented at this year’s PrimalCon Oxnard to rave reviews, and has a great new book out, Becoming a Supple Leopard. He’s been busy! Now, […]

John
John
3 years 4 months ago

Amazing video and inspirational! I want to go!! Thanks for doing so much good in the world. It’s much needed.

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