It All Started By Baking PVC Pipes

Sometimes it is really funny to think about when this fitness stuff got real for me. Because in my mind it was just yesterday, but in reality it was 2008.

I was living in Bryan, Texas, going to Blinn Jr. College, living with some buddies from high school and having the time of my life. But, I knew I was all in when I started baking PVC pipes in our kitchen… Ring work, dips, muscle ups, mostly, were getting mainstream and I just had to have a pair of gymnastic rings. Unfortunately, unlike today, they weren’t as easy to find. So my roommate and I googled our way into finding out how to turn PVC pipes into gymnastic rings. I wish I still had the PDF file saved, but that was many computers ago. It was a 1 time shot, and we nailed it. He was in the fire academy at the time so obviously he knew how to tie bad ass knots, and that he did. We hung those suckers up in the back yard, and the rest is history!

At the time I was a trainer at the Texas A&M Recreational Center. About 5 months in my boss was not having my unconventional ways of training (AKA something other than using machines at the gym) and I quit and started training folks out of my garage. To say the least, it was AWESOME! I don’t know if you could call it a passion or not, but guiding others through the things I loved to do was just an incredible job and I feel very grateful to still be doing it to this day.

OTL Fitness is very unconventional, it is cold in the winter with no heat and hot in the summer with no A/C. But that is how I have always gone about my training. Check out the photo above. That is me at about 20 years old in the backyard of the second house I lived in while in college. We trained in the back, on the ground in the heat, rain, and cold. I love and still love it to this day. Our pull up bar was a chain I attached on one tree, then ran a pipe through it and attached the chain to another tree. Every time you did a pull up, the trees would fold together and the pipe would spin. It made pull ups SO DIFFICULT! But the transition to a stable bar almost felt like cheating. Believe it or not, people still trained with us. It felt right to them. Nothing had to be perfect, everyone just worked extremely hard and it was amazing.

The stories of the beginning go on and on. The story has molded me into the coach and person I am today. The programming of OTL has evolved, as it always will, but the foundation of our beliefs will stay the same. Be a minimalist, keep it simple, work hard, get results. Never do I want to be someone who relies on the next big thing or all of the newest equipment. It isn’t about that for me. It is about getting in the trenches, and working hard no matter what the environment brings us. The story has built what OTL is today and will continue to be written for many years.

For your entertainment, here are my old YouTube Videos from what was called RawFit Tee St. >>

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