This past September we were lucky enough to host a collaboration seminar with Jon North and Jared Enderton.
The seminar was by far one of the best ones we have had the privilege of hosting. What made it so great was not only the quality of instruction, but rather the ENERGY and PASSION for the sport that both lifters brought with them.
Both Jon and Jared were extremely personable, supportive, and had a significant influence on those in attendance that day.
Days after the seminar, we received news that Jon had gone into cardiac arrest, and was in the hospital. The news was shocking. Only a few days prior we were in his presence watching him throw around 300 pounds on a barbell like it was a child’s toy.
I continued to track his progress, and I shared updates with everyone from my gym who had attended the seminar. Train Heroic made a video the day of the seminar, and Jon started a new blog to inform the masses of the specifics in his turn of events and the aftermath as he learned of new developments. His first blog post and personal account of what happened the day his heart stopped is chilling, gripping, and extremely powerful.
Both links are below:
Now lets rewind, and fast forward…kind of at the same time.
Before we hosted the seminar, I had been plotting to have a mural painted on one of the high profile walls in my gym. I knew I wanted something different than some of the other artwork on my walls, but I wasn’t sure exactly what would be fitting for such a prominent display.
After Jon’s story unfolded, and after I read his first blog post on the light orchestra, I had my idea.
By no means am super religious, but I had seen this picture a number of times on the internet, and something about it stood out to me:
I decided I wanted the mural to capture similar elements of this photo, but with a few twists.
On the surface it is of course symbolic of GOOD vs EVIL…DARK vs LIGHT…but more significantly, to me it represents the the ACCEPTANCE of both…and the internal “battles” associated with both.
Jon, your seminar influenced many of my athletes, and I am extremely appreciative of your willingness to share your passion with us. Your story has touched and inspired many as well, and I am happy that I can share with you how we took your inspiration of the Dark and Light Orchestras to the next level.
Translating my idea was hard at first, but my artist, Jessica Bean was EXTREMELY patient with my vision and my demands. I asked her to give me an account on her experience with the mural:
“When Ryan approached me with this battle of dark vs. light, yin vs. yang mural concept I was intrigued but not inspired. Then he sent me your story. I didn’t know much other than you had just been at our gym for a seminar. I had skipped it because I’m relatively new to lifting and felt embarrassed (despite Ryan telling me experience didn’t matter).
When I read your blog posts my outlook on the mural concept and weightlifting completely changed. You truly are an inspiration. I can only hope we captured 10% of your force in this piece, and I hope it touches your life positively like you have done for so many.”
– Jessica Bean
I know your following is growing on a daily basis, and you have a great support system, but you should know you have a lot of fans at Wild Horizons CrossFit in Fort Collins, Colorado.
We now have a daily reminder proudly displayed at our gym that serves not only as a tribute to your mission and purpose, but also as a source of inspiration for those fighting their own battles.
Owner/Wild Horizons CrossFit
I know your schedule is filling up, but we would love to have you back some day to lift in front of this!