Without question my favorite artist is Bruce Springsteen.

I was about 12 years old when “Born In The USA” came out and I can still remember picking up a copy at Sam Goody in my local shopping mall, putting the album on my brother’s turntable and listening to it repeatedly while reading the lyric insert sheet. Subsequently a family friend made me a copy of “Born To Run” on cassette tape and I was hooked. They say the music you listen to between the ages of 12 and 18 is the music you will most love for the rest of your life. For me, this is clearly the case.

Unfortunately everyone I work with is 10 to 20 years younger than me. Not only do they not share my appreciation for Springsteen, I don’t think they even know what a phonograph, album, cassette tape, lyric sheet or Sam Goody are. If I were to put on the Boss there would be a rebellion because, God knows, we need to, once again, listen to the latest by Bieber or Rihanna or the mother-fucking Chainsmokers.

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The Chainsmokers. Apparently this is what passes for rock stars these days.

But little do they know that, while we rarely if ever play his music, the spirit of Springsteen is all over this place.

If you know anything about Springsteen you know it’s all about the live performances. Sure, he’s had massive hit albums and iconic songs but for over 40 years now the dude has been putting on epic, legendary, 3-hour long, stadium-shaking shows. And you don’t really need to be a die-hard fan to feel and experience what I refer to as “the magic” – the power of a few individuals uniting and unifying groups of tens of thousands of people on a nightly basis through what they do best (which, in this case, is music). It’s a feeling that lives in experience much more than description (in fact, I’ve gone to a few Springsteen shows with people who are casual fans going for the first time and they are always blown away by the magic). It’s what I imagine very religious people feel when they attend an especially moving service or witness a sermon that delivers a message that hits close to home. It’s got an air of “not only do you understand my experience, everyone in here is sharing in my experience”. If you have a chance to feel it for yourself I highly recommend you go.

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The Boss does his thing

But if you don’t get the chance to see Bruce, I recommend you come here instead.

Because on some nights, when the crowd is right and the chemistry is on point, when the workout has the right combination of elements, when the competition is evenly matched, when everyone has had the right mix of caffeine and the need to blow off the day’s stress, it’s magic down here. Big weights are going up, clients are pushing a bit harder than even they thought they were capable, the music is right, everyone is screaming in encouragement. There’s just a feeling in the air.

We are not egotistical enough to believe that what we are accomplishing in 2,000 square feet is as grandiose as what happens in a 50,000 seat stadium, but to us, at least in those sessions, it’s everything we dreamed to achieve when we decided to pursue this in the first place.

And, I’d love to say that the magic happens every day in every session. Or that I can tell you that it happens at this time in the morning or on such-and-such days in the evening. But it I can’t. The magic shows up when it decides. And, just like the Springsteen show, I hope you get a chance to witness it.

I was binge watching Springsteen television appearances on YouTube recently (his performance of “Glory Days” on the very last Letterman show before he moved to CBS and a full band plus The Roots version of “Because the Night” on The Tonight Show are stand outs) when I came across an interview he recently did with Jimmy Fallon. Fallon asked him if there were any songs out there that he was jealous of, that he wished he had written himself.

“It doesn’t work that way,” said Springsteen. “Those great songs just wouldn’t be the same if I’d come up with them. The way they sound, the way they are performed, the way they come from inside the person, that’s what makes those songs special.”

And I think that’s what we have here as well. Clients always get worried for us when other trainers come down to visit and check the place out.

“Aren’t you concerned they are just going to take the idea?”

Truthfully, the answer is no. We haven’t invented these exercises. We aren’t the first people to do small group training. Others know how to put together good phasic training structure. There are even some decent fitness blogs out there. But the way we’ve put it together, what it all means to Kyle and Jake and Alec and Jess and Jose and I, the way it comes from inside us. That can’t be duplicated.

That is our own.

That is the magic.