Last week was a big week and today is a big day. I spent the past seven days in Cumberland County, Tennessee for the Power Monkey Camp and in 38 minutes our moving truck arrives to move our family to Northern California.

This article is a quick recap of my Tennessee Culinary Adventure. The experience was short on sleep, but packed with good food, fun and friends. I want to say a huge, “Thank You” to my brother, Paleo Jason, for joining me as Sous Chef. He worked hard, kept things light and made me laugh seven times more than I do on a regular basis. The only picture I have of us together is this one representing the Minnesota Trio: Paleo Nick, Elisabeth Akinwale, and Paleo Jason.

Another huge “Thank You!” goes to Ms. Jennifer for her southern draw and her hard work. She is the Camp Chef in the summer months and she baked some “Ranger Cookies” on the last day in order to motivate the happy campers to help scrub down the kitchen after the last supper.

While we spent many hours in the kitchen, we did find time to work out a few times, challenge ourselves on the rope course, and even go fishing. Here is a pic of Wes Piatt and I in search of some small mouth bass and a bit of solace. Wes caught the first fish of his life and then the second, but they were both sunnies and I caught the bass. Quality over quantity, right? I have to take the win because I won’t be beating him at anything in the gym any time soon…

This article wouldn’t be complete withouth mentioning the Irish, Israelis, and Italians. They brought so much character to the camp that attempting to describe it it words would be fleeting. Suffice it to say that two of the Italians showed up on the last day wearing nothing but their boxers. I later got this pic with Daniele, Alessandro and Andrea, my new friends for life. If you ever meet my brother, ask him to do his impersonation of Daniele, you’ll be in tears with laughter…

You may notice that I have posted no pictures of anything to do with weightlifting, gymnastics, jumping rope, mobility, injury prevention, etc… While this camp was designed as a pedagogical setting for those subjects, it turned out to be much more than that. Again, describing the quality of the instruction at this camp would be a vain effort.

I like to focus on fun and friendships and remind you that peoples’ paths cross for a reason. You never know what someone is going through, they always have something to teach you and you have a way to help them.

While snatches, back uprises, handstands, and jump rope mechanics were taught at this camp, relationships were the byproduct and arguably the most important takeaway. This camp provides an amazing way to step aside from your daily grind and put into perspective the important things in your life all while eating real food, forging friendships and feeding your sweet tooth for fitness.

I want to say a huge “Thank You” to Dave Durante and Shane Geraghty (Center in above pic), Steve and Ashley Lippincott, and the rest of the Power Monkey Fitness staff. A “Thank You” to the all of the sponsors, the athletes, and the happy campers who made this adventure possible. I look forward to reconvening in rural Tennessee this fall and want to encourage you to join us. We will have a select number of Culinary Crash Course spots available where you’ll have the chance to work with Jason and I in the kitchen all week. It will be like a mini culinary school where you’ll become a CCN (Certified Culinary Ninja). Stay tuned for more details…

Well, I just heard the air brakes on the moving truck as it pulled up infront of our house. I have to “move on” to my next Culinary Adventure. However, this one is not just a page in the book of my life, today represents the end of a chapter and tomorrow, the start of a new one. I hope that you’ll follow along as I document the experience.

I’ll leave you with a quote from William Wallace in Braveheart, “All men die, but not all men ever really live.” I feel alive right now…

Choose quality over quantity and do your best to “Keep It Paleo!” at every opportunity.

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(As promised, here is a pic of Paleo Craig, the King of Cumberland County.)

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