Well, I’m back for what had to be one of the best times of my life! SPEED B.A.G. III was a resounding success…both as an event….and as a video shoot. I got into town (Keyport, NJ) Thursday afternoon and after checking in to my hotel, headed directly over to the Real Gymm (http://www.realgymm.com). I was met by Donnie Blanks, owner of the Real Gymm, personal trainer and one hell of a nice guy! After showing me around the gym, we walked down to the boardwalk along the water and talked a bit. You can see the NYC skyline across the way, what a charming little town. I was welcomed with open arms and given free reign of the gym….and did I mention what great people Donnie and his family are?
Since I was there and had Donnie’s attention, we started with a little on-the-spot interview in the gym. I found out that Donnie had discovered speed bagging the same way I did; seeing an Alan Kahn video on YouTube (where would we be without the internet these days?)! After all, he is “The King”. After joining the forum he was kind enough to open his gym up to Tim Platt and the SpeedBagForum for the very first SPEED B.A.G. gathering…and the rest is history.
Shorty after the interview, Alan Kahn showed up… it was an honor to meet him in person and again, you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy. It was a special moment for me personally because there I was, just one year (and a little) after getting the addiction of the speed bag…meeting “The King”, the man who wrote The Speed Bag Bible, the man who taught me after hours of watching his videos and reading his book. I felt like I’d known him for years and we’d only just met. What a great guy, always willing to teach anyone and “Pay it forward”…it really was an honor and as far as I’m concerned, I have a new friend for life. (now…wheather he feels the same…I don’t know…he might be thinking, “Stalker”!)
Next…Tim Platt walks in…and again, it’s a thrill to meet him. Not only is Tim a killer speed bagger, but he owns and operates the SpeedBagForum.com which is THE forum for people who take the activity seriously (although there is plenty of ‘ribbing’ among the senior members and friends). Tim is another great guy! I mean really, everyone I’d met so far were genuine, open people and thrilled that I was there to shoot and tell the Speed Bag Story.
All this might sound weird, but you have to remember that the only previous interaction I’d had with any of these guys was via the speedbagforum or direct emails….and if you’ve ever been a member of some of the forums out there…you never know what you’re going to get if you know what I mean. There are a lot of ‘posers’ & ‘wanttabes’ out there, sitting in dark rooms, crouched over a keyboard, spewing BS and taking out their own personal shortcomings in an attempt to feel better, all under the vail of a username and the anonymity of the internet.
For the next three days, I met and interviewed a bunch of my speed bag heros…shot hours & hours of speed bag footage…had a few good meals and great conversations. It’s official…this film is going to ROCK.
This was much more then just a bunch of people showing up to hit speed bag….it’s a speed bag brotherhood & I’ve never met so many people that I hope I can call friends for life. Now it’s my turn to do them proud!