In December of 2014 I heard Mark on an episode of The Fitcast (the OG of fitness podcasts.) Mark was super genuine and I really connected with him on the topic of trainers changing their minds about the best ways to help humans accomplish their goals. After this interview I really thought about sending Mark an email, but thomases gonna Thomas. I figured eventually we’d cross paths and I would tell him I really appreciated the information he presented on that show.
A few months later in March of 2015, I was in New York to attend a DVRT (Dynamic Variable Resistance Training) workshop with my pal Steve “Coach-Fury” Holiner at Mark Fisher Fitness in Hell’s Kitchen. Prior to the workshop, I had been in NYC for a few days crashing at someone’s house I shouldn’t have crashed at. I ended up with really bad cold and, according to a scale I had to drop 10lbs to make weight for a performance test (it turned out the scale was super broken….probably should of told that person.) By the morning of the workshop, everything was looking up as I was able to watch one of my good pals wrestle in the main event at Madison Square Garden. Also, I learned that Mark was actually attending this course, and I planned on telling him I dug his interview on The Fitcast after the workshop.
When day two of the workshop started, the instructors had us partner up. As we all moseyed over to our partners from the day before, they threw the curve ball of finding a new partner for the day. I turned to the left and, after seeing Mark, we gave each other a mutual floppy haired up nod, the most bro way to mutually agree to be partners at a fitness workshop. We chatted between trying new exercises/drills instruction from Fury and the rest of the DVRT crew. After a few cues of internal rib rotation and throwing acronyms back and forth a couple times Mark and I decided we’d grab lunch together.
We headed over to a spot with a slew of gentlemen not super far from the MFF Clubhouse. I don’t remember the name of this place, but I do remember my order was referred to as a “meat-box” – I loved that! As everyone was grabbing food I made the horrible mistake of ordering a coffee. It took 10 extra minutes and as everybody was heading back to the clubhouse, I started having the kind of anxiety kids who have to eat lunch in the bathroom would have, which probably would of been me but Chicago Public Schools keep you in the cafeteria. I was worried about getting lost and, believe me, I know getting lost in New York is kind of hard (“it’s a grid system motherfucker.”) Still, I had some anxiety in my bones until Mark walked back in and guided me back to MFF after my coffee finally came.
We had lunch together and were partners the rest of the day on drills and thangs. I told him about how I had listened to him on The Fitcast and loved the episode, shook hands like men and then I walked back to my hotel feeling completely different than I had two days when I arrived in the city. Just before I was about to take Nyquil and sleep until forever, I got a very encouraging message from Mark on Facebook. This made an already great day even better and I still read his message when I’m down about career things. I’ve only met Mark 6 or 7 times, but in those times he’s helped me promote a successful workshop, comforted me to not go crazy while dealing with a false reactivate HIV test, and he’s also refereed me clients in the city at crucial points for my business. To Mark, he may not even realize his impact – this is just what he does. He helps humans out of rough spots and makes them feel good about themselves when they didn’t think it was possible.
That’s why I wanted to converse with Mark Fisher.
PS: Check out John Mulaney’s special “New in Town” on Netflix to hear his whole bit on getting lost in New York that I quoted