human optimization seminar

The 2nd annual TAE conference was a completely unique experience and one I am truly grateful I was able to be a part of. Second reviews are precarious to write and this one was difficult for me. Nevertheless, here is the review from the second OPTIMIZING ATHLETICISM: THE HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE SOLUTION.

I knew this conference was going to be different right off the bat when I saw Dr. Bob wouldn’t be headlining. If you read my first review you will know that Dr. Bob is a powerhouse. However, the lineup didn’t disappoint. Nor did the format. Before I delve into the topics and speakers, I want to spend some time on the setting.

When I evaluate a seminar I look at it through four lenses: setting, format, attendees and content/speakers. The 2nd TAE Human Optimization Seminar crushed it on all four this year.

Setting

playThe setting was the same as last year, a beautiful house on Lake Travis. The weather was magnificent and we all enjoyed the patio and pool. I even grabbed a quick Headspace sesh outlooking the lake. It was ahhhwesome.

This year I stayed on premises and it was a completely different experience from last year when I commuted. Staying on the property was a joy and allowed me to make deeper connections with some of the attendees. The food was another thing that I think was an upgrade from last year. Not that the food was bad last year, it was actually quite tasty and super healthy. However, the food this year was a game changer! Those fajitas tho. Thanks Megan and Dave :)

Format

The format was a little different this year because there was no real “headliner”. Last year we had Dr. Bob lecture, this year we had a few people lecture twice, but mostly everyone had one presentation.

After every presentation we had a 10 minute movement session, this year’s movement sessions were a highlight for me. They opened my eyes to the capabilities of the human body, and how much of a tragedy it is that most people don’t experience the bliss of movement. After the movement sessions, we would either reconvene for the next talk or eat :)

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Another thing I enjoyed about this year’s format was the amount of interactivity and application. I find theory enjoyable and sexy, but ultimately application is where theory truly comes alive or dies. Having a sort of “lab time” where you were taught the core concepts then given the equipment to execute said concepts. I thought this was a transformative part of the seminar and when talking to other attendees they truly enjoyed it. Nice work Ben.

Attendees

One of the most unique attributes of the TAE Seminar is the quality of attendees. This year was no exception. The pedigree of the attendees was staggering and it made for incredibly intriguing conversations over fajitas…oh the fajitas. Not only were the attendees super awesome they were all very humble in their journey to help improve themselves and their clients. Humility and badassery are a rare combo.

alex and attendees

Speakers/Content

The speakers this year exposed me to a spectrum of beliefs, protocols and methodologies. I enjoyed the range of ideas and thought processes. I think it can be very easy to live in your own little bubble and never seek out info that disproves what you believe. Being exposed to different and contrary ways of thinking is a great way to expand your beliefs and become a more cultured human. I love the saying, “Strong beliefs, weakly held.”

Dr. House with Patrick

Dr. House with Patrick

In terms of the speakers, I thought all were strong, but it was truly a coming of age moment for Dr. House. I have seen him present and lecture multiple times, but this presentation was different. The amount of connection he had with his audience was unparalleled. You could look in his eyes and see an endless supply of love and passion to heal people.

Aside: What Ben embodies for me is what true health practitioners or healers (note I didn’t say doctors) have in their bones. The way Ben sincerely cares about helping people one of the most impressive things about him and is nonexistent in today’s healthcare.

No matter how convoluted or complex a person’s issues are he has a sensei like ability to synthesize a plan of action and inject hope into people. It makes me sad when I think of the current health situation in the US and think of how many “doctors” don’t give a f$ck about their patients. There is a gross epidemic of people becoming doctors as a job, not a calling. End Rant.

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Dr. Pat Davidson

Healing and understanding was a huge component of almost everyone’s talk. The basic needs of a human being in terms of touch, laughter, engagement etc. are very rarely met in modern day humans. The ability to play is lost in a lot of people. If you don’t believe me, go and ask someone, “What do you do for fun?” So many of them will not have an answer and will be nonplussed by the question because they have never even considered it before.

Dr. Pat Davidson also had a phenomenal presentation that really went deep on the brain. I am obsessed with the brain. We had two stellar presentations on Nutrition and Thyroid from two killers in the field. Rounding out the presentations were Dr. Nelson on Metabolic Flexibility and Coach Valley on the awesomeness of med balls (one of my favorite talks of the weekend). One thing that I missed from last year’s event were the Q&A panels. However, out of time considerations the panels had to be cut.

Takeaways

The huge takeaways from the seminar were three fold. One we need more play in our lives. Two we need/crave touch. Three we need to rebuild the healer culture. This seminar is always a seminal event for me and I truly believe in what Ben, FMCR and TAE are championing and I am just happy to play my part in the cosmic plan. I always find it helpful to distill epic experiences into two or three words. Last year, I chose: Inspired, Humbled, and Thankful. This year: Learning. Laughter. Love. (H/T Alex) See everyone in September in Wisconsin for the third go around 😉

 

aaron and ben

P.S. Huge thanks to Ben and Aaron for putting on another stellar event!