Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of moderating an Austin FitTalk panel on “Positive Progression through the Injury Maze.” The expert panel included Sports Doctors, Injury Recovery Specialists, Sports Psychologists and Professional Athletes. Without a doubt, the most rewarding byproduct of being a fitness ambassador in Austin is meeting and connecting with those who are the biggest influencers.
That night, our group was introduced to Brian DeMarco. DeMarco is a former college football standout and NFL Offensive Linesman with a promising career until one fateful hit ended his dreams in a flash of pain and paralysis. His story is harried and devastating and it’s chronicled in-depth in this Men’s Journal article. Years of crippling pain and morbid obesity followed this injury. His wife, Autumn, stood by his side and tended to his medical and emotional needs. Together, they battled the burdens of the financial strain that this career ending injury placed upon his young family. In addition to being practically immobile, the DeMarco family was also homeless. Brian told me of a time not long ago when he and his wife and daughters moved into a storage facility with only a mattress. It’s all they had.
Actually, it wasn’t all they had. They had love and faith. It’s amazing what those two things will allow you to do. Literally, on a prayer, Brian and Autumn created a new way to move called Primal 7, a product that helps to provide unweighted, 3D functional movement. As it says on the Primal7 website, “Primal 7 was born out of Brian’s need to move again and a desire for a better quality of life. Through a lot of hard work, sweat, and tears, Brian and Autumn DeMarco created an intuitive system that alleviates bodyweight to promote and support functional movement. Fueled by an innate need to help others, Brian and Autumn built Primal 7 from those first truck tie-down straps to the award-winning, patented design it is today. Using an innovative suspension training system designed to guide proper form and enable full range of motion, they set out to make functional movement accessible to all body types and conditions.”
The product is awesome and designed for people of all levels and ages. While I love the system, it’s Brian himself who strikes me the most. His energy, passion and desire to help people is so authentic. This product, born out of necessity, saved his life and he’s now using it to save the lives of others. I had the privilege of heading out to their offices to get a tour of the bands with Brian. Much to my surprise, he led me through pull-ups! I could never do an unassisted pull-up, but Primal 7 made me feel like a rock star!
I don’t know about you, but doesn’t it seem like most business owners and entrepreneurs are just out to develop a product that makes a quick buck? Once they turn a profit, they sell and are on to the next “get rich quick” scheme. So much of our society is based on our own self-indulgent needs. Very few products and services are created for the sole purpose of helping others. From basic training to rehab centers to gyms and homes, Primal 7 promises to enable beginners, those with disabilities, and even the elite athlete the ability to engage in strength training that will change their lives.
It’s so true. I’ve seen it for myself and feel lucky to have met Brian and his team. I don’t know what it is, but this product and this man’s heart are in the right place. In a way, it feels like he is “paying it forward” and those are the people I want to be surrounded by. Literally and figuratively, they make me feel stronger than I ever thought possible!