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If Corey Clark Can Change His Life, What's Your Excuse?
By: Matt Furey
Best Selling Author of "Combat Conditioning"
Six weeks ago I received an email from a
customer, telling me how much he and his
son have benefitted from my teachings -
and how they'd "like to take me to lunch"
when they came to Florida in late March.
At that point a red flag went up.
I put the red flag down a few seconds later,
and I'll tell you why shortly, but before
I do, you may wonder WHY the "red flag."
Well, the long and the short of it is that
success or "fame" brings with it a lot of other things,
and if you don't have your priorities in order, you can
really get thrown you out of whack.
Sometime ago I realized that in order for me to
function, I needed to withdraw from and not do many
of the things that others would like me to do. Like take
me to lunch; or speak to me by phone - or exchange
emails ad infinitum. There's just no way I could keep
up with the demand, so my solution was to stop doing
all of it.
And so, it's no secret to many that I am a private person.
Truth is I have to be to preserve my own
health and well-being. I have to be in order to give my
family the love and attention they deserve. In my life,
after my health and my family, everything else comes
in, at best, third.
This is why a "red flag" goes up when I hear the magic words, "take you to lunch."
Some situations, however, are DIFFERENT. And this one most certainly was.
The man writing me, Tobin Clark, was the father of an 18
year old boy, Corey, who was born with cerebral palsy.
About 15 months ago, after struggling in pain for years, Corey underwent bilateral hip replacement surgery (that's both at the same time - OUCH).
Being I knew something about this surgery, imagine my surprise when the father followed by saying, "And Corey has been following your Combat Conditioning program with great success."
THIS, I had to see.
So I contacted Tobin and told him that although he and Corey wanted
to meet me - I was really more interested in metting THEM.
I said, "We may have time for lunch, but first I want to see what your son can do. Tell him to bring workout gear."
Tobin wrote back and said they would be glad to.
Last week I met them for a workout. When I walked through the double-doors to greet them, young Corey stood next to his father, looking at me, holding himself up with crutches.
I walked toward him, held my hand out and looked him in the eye. Corey took one hand off his crutches and shook my hand.
The three of us went into a workout area. I'm still wondering 'How
can this guy do Combat Conditioning?'
When we stood next to the mat, Tobin told me that Corey was able to do handstand pushups and Hindu pushups and
the bridge fairly well. Naturally though, he had trouble with the squats.
"Handstand pushups???" I thought. "Well, let me see how you do them."
Corey put down his crutches, slowly walked toward the wall and
got down on the floor. His father stood between his legs, grabbed hold of his legs and in an instant, Corey was in the handstand
He started cranking out the reps while my wife took pictures.
Both of us are looking at each other and saying, "Wow."
After Corey did about 12 reps without much effort, I told
him "that's good enough."
I then worked with him on some exercises he could do
in place of Hindu squats - giving him
three variations of the wall chair as well as teaching him how to breathe deeply when he held each position.
Corey was amazed at the difference. I was even more amazed
at his determination.
Then we went onto the mat and Corey showed me his gymnastic bridge. Unreal.
"When he started," said Tobin, "he couldn't get his head off the
I gave Corey some pointers on improving the bridge, then we moved onto various styles of pushups and situps.
While he was doing the exercises I prescribed, Tobin said
that Corey began my program last November. He said that
Corey was lifting weights to get stronger, and as a result
of getting his bench press up to 180 (Corey weighs 130), he hurt his lower back and his shoulder.
But once he started following Combat Conditioning,
the pain went away and Corey got stronger. In fact,
after six weeks Corey decided to test himself on the bench,
to see how it felt. To his surprise, he benched 200; twenty
pounds better than his previous best.
When he told the strength coaches, one said, "Whatever
you're doing, keep doing it."
The other said, "There's just no way you went up 20 pounds
on the bench just from doing pushups." No matter how much
Corey insisted, the coach refused to believe it. Too bad for him.
Near the end of the session Tobin told me that occasionally someone at school gets the "wise" idea to pick on Corey.
"You're kidding me?" I said.
"No," said Corey. "Last month a kid pushed me from behind
in the hallway and his friend, who was in front, tried to trip me."
"What happened?" I asked. "Did you get knocked to the floor?"
"No, I caught myself before that could happen," said Corey. "And I just starting whaling on the guys until my friend pulled me away."
"Wait a second? Your friend pulled you away? What exactly
were you doing to whale on them?"
"I took my crutches and started whacking them in the shins. And when one leg reacts in pain I whack the other one. I just keep going until they're on the ground in agony."
I laughed uncontrollably. "Serves those s.o.b.'s right," I said.
After the workout I agreed to continue our conversation over lunch. I spent over an hour teaching Corey how all that has happened to him can be used to help others around the country who have had the same problem.
Last week I received an email from Corey. It reads as follows:
"Mr. Furey, Thanks for letting me meet with you and talking with you.
What you have done for me I find hard to put in words.
It has been a life change for me. I feel blessed by God to
know that people like you are out there and are willing to
help. Thanks for everything."
I have written this story as inspiration for all of us, myself included.
I have also written it because it is the perfect situation to
examine when you catch yourself making excuses about
why you can't do it.
Can't do it????
I think Corey Clark would have something to say about that.
He truly is kicking butt and taking names.
Copyright, Gold Medal Publications, Inc 2004
Matt has posted the pictures of Corey's workout on his Inner Circle, along with the exact exercises
he taught Corey, and why. If you want to know what they are and what
you should be doing? Then go to Matt Furey right
now and make Matt your online personal trainer.