I wanted Reebok Pumps. I wanted them real bad. Back in 1991, Dee Brown hit a dunk where he has his arm over his face. Before he goes in for the dunk, he pumps up his shoes.
At this point, I’m in sixth or seventh grade. I'm thinking to myself, "Oh my gosh, I have to get these." Now keep in mind, at that point, I was either still living with my grandparents because my parents had split, or we had just moved into our trailer. Needless to say, me having a $100 pair of shoes wasn't going to effing happen.
The Funny Thing
I vividly remember how bad I wanted this shoe. Unfortunately, with my family’s financial situation, it just wasn’t in the cards at the time. Three years after they were essentially the hottest thing. Three years later, with zero fucks given, I was buying them at a yard sale. I was wearing my friend’s hand-me-downs. I didn’t even care because I still wanted them.
20 Years Later…
Fast forward almost 20 years. I’m deep into the fitness world with a bunch of stuff going on. I’m getting ready to leave MusclePharm. My homie, Mark Bell, reached out and hooked me up with James Hobart. Then, James Hobart hooked me up with AJ Pappas. And AJ Pappas connected me with Andrew Connor. And before you know it, Reebok has offered me a contract to be a paid fitness athlete. All because I wore their shoes when I squat, and in the Squat Every Day Trainer. A trainer that has 60 million page views.
They recognized that I had given them exposure to a group of lifters that weren't Olympic lifters or CrossFitters. I gave them exposure with the general fitness people that were way above average strength and were squatting every day. They needed these shoes as equipment. They saw the value.
Here I am, as a kid, not even in the ballpark with being able to afford these Reebok Pumps. Then, here I am as a Reebok athlete, getting paid in cash and gear each month. I would have never thought that this was possible. Are you kidding me?
I followed my dream to do something big in the world of fitness. I pushed myself hard, believed in myself, and added my own unique twist in an unapologetic fashion. It brought me to the table of a company that I couldn't even afford their tennis shoes as a kid.
I worked with them for two years. When I went to Boston, I didn’t ask for a free pair of Reebok Pumps, I bought a pair of Reebok Pumps. The shoe that I wasn’t able to afford and bought at a yard sale three years after they launched. I wore these to the office that day, in Boston, to sign my deal with Reebok.
All the work, belief, and drive I put in, over 25 years, ended with this opportunity. I was in utter disbelief. Consistent work and a strong belief can do some crazy things. Everything had come full circle.