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    Primal Roots Blog


November 17, 2018

Transforming Our Lives With Tony Robbins

Unleash the Power Within

Last week, my entire family and I flew to Newark to attend a Tony Robbins event, Unleash the Power Within where we identify the fears that are holding us back and start living the life we desire.

It’s a 4-day event with Tony Robbins and his business partner, Joseph McClendon to help unlock and unleash the forces that are already inside us and break through limitations in order to take control of our life!

How It Happened

We had been discussing taking a Family Vacation for the last couple months but we couldn’t nail down where we wanted to go.  In between several of our unsuccessful family meetings to finalize a location, Jared and I started talking about going to a Tony Robbins event instead.

Since the desire for a family vacation was to get away and “relax”, we thought this would be an even better solution to find relaxation in every day life.

Everyone is in search of a temporary fix when it comes to stress.  We take vacations in order to feel like we’re escaping the demands of reality.  We force ourselves to unplug for a week or two, but as soon as we get home, we are back in our daily routines and the stress just piles up.

It’s rare to hear people that want to dig deep and find the source that’s preventing them from true greatness.

Arrival Day

After waking up at 3am to catch the first flight out, then finding out that the plane was having electrical issues which delayed us three hours and caused us to miss our connecting flight, we arrived seven hours later than expected into Newark.

We were able to see Scott’s sister and kids for dinner even though we were exhausted from a day full of sitting and waiting.

Day 1

We woke up early (again) to register for the event.  Luckily, it only took less than an hour to get our badges and material so we walked over to Whole Foods for breakfast before the event start at 12:30.

We found ourselves seated in different parts of the stadium  with three hours until Tony hit the stage.

I emphasized the importance not sitting together so we could all experience the event fully by being able to share freely with a stranger than censoring what is said with a loved one.

tony robbins upw 2018The countdown began and all 11,000 attendees started jumping and screaming with anticipation.  Tony’s dancers came on the stage and began their funny little clap dancing to get the audience even more pumped up.

Then finally, Tony came on stage and the crowd went BERSERK!  The music blared and everyone’s energy went to Level 150.

We spent the entire day in the stadium learning from the master.  We visualized our future, got leverage over ourselves when it came to fears and limiting thoughts, and got ready at the end of the night for the Fire Walk.  :O

Yes, you heard me.  We were all getting ready to walk barefoot across hot coals!

For those that know of Tony, he has an insane amount of energy considering how many hours he stands talking and jumping on stage.

It was 1:30am when we all took our shoes off and ventured outside in the 30° weather to walk across 2,200° coals.

It took Tony an hour or two to get us prepped for the firewalk because he had to make sure we were in a peak state.  As we walked from the Convention Center to the parking lot that held all 30 of the firewalk lanes, we were all to clap and say Yes. The sound of tribal drums boomed over the speakers and a true sense of ritual came over the mass of people. This tribal feeling helped to overshadow any self doubt and propelled, otherwise normal people, into being extraordinary.

I was thinking how we must look like a large cult to anyone that wasn’t part of the event, but it was amazing to feel the effect of what clapping and saying Yes did to my body and mindset.

Sharon and Scott had left before we took our shoes off because Sharon didn’t think it would be very safe to limp across hot coals.

I luckily found Jared and Alexa through the crowd (I can’t believe I did even though Jared is taller than almost everyone) to do this together.

Then we started creeping closer and we continued to clap and stay pumped.

I happened to be first among my family so I made sure to get super pumped before taking my first step.  They reminded me to look up and walk normally to the end.’firewalking at tony robbins eventAfter I took my first step, the rest was history.  I got to the other side, they hosed my feet off, and I celebrated my butt off!  Next was Alexa then Jared, so I watched them take their steps safely across.

After we all finished, we checked to make sure we still had our toes, then captured the moment.  You can see the pure joy on our faces after such an accomplishment.alexa jacobs, olivia chrisman and jared chrisman at UPW 2018

Day 2

Tony took the day to rest his voice and have his business partner lead the seminar.  Joseph was hilarious and full of knowledge just like Tony so he kept the momentum from Day 1 and challenged us to look deep within ourselves in order to identify our top human needs.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of sleep and travel, Alexa got sick and missed most of this day.  🙁

Day 3

Tony was back and Alexa was feeling good enough to come to the seminar to continue her path to greatness.

Around 4pm, it was apparently my turn to get sick.  Except my sickness was food poisoning and after four visits to the bathroom with my head in a public toilet (ew), I called it a night and took a taxi back to our hotel to sleep it off.

Day 4

Today was the FINAL day and all about Health.  This was the day that Jared was looking forward to most with his Wellness Coaching business.

I made it for the first hour and then decided to stick my head in a toilet again.

Even though Alexa and I missed good material, I wouldn’t change the experience I shared with my family for ANYTHING.

unleash the power within new york area 2018

We all learned so much and continue to inspire each other to live our lives with passion and not let limiting beliefs and fear take control of what we’re capable of becoming.

It was good to see a Thought Leader like Ben Greenfield at the event too.

jared chrisman and ben greenfield at UPW 2018

If you’ve ever considered going to one of his events, but want to talk to someone that’s attended, we are more than happy to answer questions and share our experience.

Thank you for reading,

Oliviajared and olivia chrisman at upw 2018

November 4, 2018

Wild Idea and Patagonia Provisions’ Event

After an amazing time with friends and family at the Wild Idea Buffalo Co. and Patagonia Provisions event last night, I have been mulling over thoughts on the important conversations that happened.

The party was held in an tent on Wild Idea’s headquarters in Rapid City, South Dakota about one hour away from their 35,000 acre buffalo ranch. Jill O’Brien, cofounder of Wild Idea and dear friend, organized this meaningful gathering to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday.

There was an electric atmosphere throughout the crowd.  Everyone was there for the same cause; to make the planet a better place.

There was an assortment of snacks and drinks provided by Patagonia Provisions and later a buffalo feast by Wild Idea Buffalo Co. to showcase the end result of their 20 years of hard work.During the gathering, we previewed Unbroken Ground, a film produced by Patagonia that features their sourcing partners’ practices.  Each farmer shared the same common passion; make our planet a better place.

After the video, there was a lengthy Q&A session with Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia and Earth investor and Dan O’Brien author and founder of Wild Idea.

Unbroken Ground from Patagonia on Vimeo.

My Thoughts

One thing I hear a lot is how expensive it is to eat the right way. I often recommend my coaching clients to eat food that is eating their version of a paleo diet.

For example, Wild Idea Buffalo Co. goes above and beyond to deliver bison meat that eats almost exactly what their ancestors ate for thousands of years. They also allow these animals to live a lifestyle similar to that of a buffalo pre-1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Before Anglo-Saxon explorers arrived in North America there was a perfectly balanced ecosystem with indigenous people and bison.

Wild Idea resists the constant gravitational pull towards “streamlining” their processes and remains on the righteous path of being stewards to our land by refusing to compromise.

Too often I hear people give themselves an out for taking the easy way like,

“I am so busy sometimes fast food is all that I have time for”, “grass-fed meat is so expensive”, “I can get Angus beef for a fraction of the cost at the big box store”, or “Organic is a gimmick so I don’t waste my money buying it.”

These are all small habits that comprise some of our biggest problems.

We can all make the time to cook homemade meals and skip the Netflix show or the screen-time on the Smart Phone.

We find the money to pay for an expensive iPhone and service, Cable TV, etc. and we’ll have to come up with the money later in life when the years of eating nutrient devoid food catch up to us and health care costs become even more astronomical.

I agree that “organic” doesn’t mean perfect but it’s better than eating food that is guaranteed to be latent with herbicides and pesticides.

Another interesting pattern to observe is how expensive buffalo meat is now compared to the mid-1800s when Americans were killing entire herds for fun. There were instances when trains would stop so passengers could shoot the animals for sport then leave their carcasses to rot without any consideration for it being food.

Bison skulls pile to be used for fertilizer , 1870

Our military looked at the destruction of the herd as a way to weaken the indigenous tribes of North America. General Phillip S. Sheridan, said: “If I could learn that every buffalo in the Northern herd were killed I would be glad…The destruction of the herd would do more to keep Indians quiet than anything else that could happen.”

tragic story of Americans killing millions of Great Plains bison

History does indeed repeat itself and there are things we value very little now that’s value will skyrocket once it is close to extinction. Like our Native Prairie grasses that are being tilled up and destroyed for government-subsidized soy, corn, and grain.


corn crop killing our precious topsoil

While people are bellyaching about the cost of good food, they forget it is us that made the cost so exorbitant in the first place.

Buy local and know thy farmer/rancher, cook together as a family for entertainment, and rework your budget to nurture your body.

A big thank you to Patagonia Provisions and Jill, and Dan O’Brien, Jillian, and Colton Jones of Wild Idea Buffalo Co. for being champions and leaders of these pillars. My hope is that the entire human population adopts these beliefs before it’s too late.

My Gratitude Goes To

Patagonia Provisions Wild Idea

September 11, 2018

The Strenuous Life

It is my firm belief that people crave adversity, challenges, and obstacles in their lives.

I believe it is programmed in us to want to overcome, achieve and revel in success once we have risen to the challenge. It all boils down to our biological make up and our hormonal responses.

Long before drive-through Fast Food windows, pizza delivery,  and Uber Eats, we had to hunt and gather for our food.  Our hormones were programmed to make us want to get up and move.  We were driven to output an effort to keep ourselves alive.

Lakota Bison Hunt

Depiction of a Lakota hunter chasing their main dietary staple, the great American Bison.

In my opinion, our innovations are outpacing our genetics and that’s the reason we see record highs in depression, suicide, mass shootings, prescription abuse, and/or any other modern societal plague.

women on their phones

All too common activity for modern humans to be lost in their devices rather than connecting.

We have replaced age-old hormonal patterns with modern conveniences, thus bypassing our natural tendencies.

The number of people that register for marathons, triathlons, obstacle races, and so on further proves my point that people are compelled to struggle and overcome and they will pay big money to do it.


People competing a a grueling 26.2 mile race for fun!

Every year, Americans spend almost $40million to register for marathons and hundreds of millions more on race equipment.  Although this sounds like a huge majority must compete in strenuous athletic events, it is actually a small minority of the population that choose to push themselves to their limits.

In Sebastian Junger’s book, “Tribe“, he discusses how communities bond together in the face of adversity.  For example, New York City and even the greater United States had a real sense of Patriotism and community following the 9/11 tragedy.

In smaller examples when communities are faced with disasters like wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and others, they tend to overlook socioeconomic status, race, and other modern labels in order to band together.

Another voluntary example of strenuous activity creating this strong semblance of togetherness would be marathons, triathlons, obstacle races, and other physically grueling events that people subject themselves to for that feeling of accomplishment.

President Theodore Roosevelt was a firm believer in what he called “the strenuous life”.  He sought out the harshest of circumstances to build his character like moving from a privileged life in New York to the untamed Dakota’s of the late 1800s.  He was ridiculed for being a short, eye-glass-wearing New Yorker and targeted for physical altercations. Teddy answered by knocking out such a pest at a saloon after unrelenting harassment.

He was also target of a robbery by two outlaws that met their match when he managed to tie them up and march them 40 miles to the nearest sheriff; a trek that took him multiple days and nights without sleep.  He stayed awake by reading Thoreau and reminding himself that his mental toughness is what would keep him alive.

Teddy Military

Teddy in his military garb during his stint in the military. He put a group of cowboys, roughnecks, and frontiersmen to for the infamous “Rough Riders” to go to Cuba to fight the Spanish in the battle of San Juan Hill.

Upon return from the Dakota’s, Teddy was a legend and a popular political candidate. He was elected Governor of New York and cracked down on corruption. He was well despised by a bipartisan group of corrupt politicians but was unrelenting in his work to clean up the state.

While he was Governor, Roosevelt had the billiard tables in the Governor’s mansion removed and replaced with wrestling mats and boxing rings.  He sparred with many of his political visitors and later went blind in one eye after sparring in the White House.

When elected President, Teddy went on a camping adventure with conservationist John Muir.  He had no security detail or anyone to carry his belongings during the trip.  He slept under the stars and even in some snowfall while exploring one of the country’s most precious resources.  He was the first to fight for the protection of the natural landscape that makes up much of the country. He established the first National Parks and protected them from being looted of their natural resources.

Theodore Roosevelt Deerskin

Teddy during his frontiersman days.

Later, Roosevelt relinquished his place as President and gave way for William Taft who turned out to be a spineless industrialist and started to unravel the steps that Roosevelt had taken to protect our lands. This did not sit well with Theodore after he helped Taft to win the Presidency.

In a true move of bravado, Theodore announced that he would run in the next election to ensure that his work would stand the test of time.  When he was sabotaged by his own party’s leadership in the Primaries, he decided to run as an independent and formed the progressive party a.k.a. The Bull Moose Party.  He campaigned ferociously and railed against the two major parties.

One day in Milwaukee, a man shot Roosevelt in the chest while he was en route to a speech.  The bullet hit his eye glass case and note pad before it lodged within millimeters of his heart. The presidential candidate was tended to by a doctor in the crowd where he was advised to go to the hospital.  Roosevelt coughed into his hand to check for bleeding in his lungs and when he saw none, he felt fit to deliver his speech.

He spoke for 90 minutes with a slug lodged in his pectoral muscle and even showed the crowd while stating it would take a lot more than a bullet to stop him. Ultimately, he lost to Woodrow Wilson but garnered the largest third party vote ever recorded.

President Roosevelt’s spirit of seeking out struggle is an anomaly but some trace of his tenacity lives in us all.

To feel fulfilled, we must pit ourselves against our greatest fears and push ourselves to overcome them.  Without this, we are piles of dissatisfied cells that allow each day to slowly pass while we stagnate in the pool of mediocrity. 

Let’s all stop taking short cuts and allow ourselves to struggle, seek out failure over comfortability.

Leave your car keys on the hook and walk to town, strap on your Big Boy Pants and break a sweat to get what you want.

Theodore Roosevelt Laughing

Seek out adversity and enjoy it like my hero, Teddy did.