How Did You Get Into Speed Training?

When I was going into about the eighth grade, my dad came to me and he had a coaching magazine. My dad’s a lawyer, but he read every coaching magazine that existed. He came to me with this magazine and he said, “Hey, I found an add in the back, an itty-bitty ad in the back of the magazine for a speed camp in Delaware.” Now at that point in time, you either thought you were fast or you weren’t. There’s no way to train it. Anything that was a speed camp, that was unusual. He said, “You’re going to this.” Now, keep in mind, I am 14 years old going, “Oh okay are we all going as a family?” He said, “Oh no, you’re going.” So, he’s going to send me to Delaware to go train speed, which was unusual, with some guy we don’t know named Randy Smythe. Alright, my mom stopped in and said, “Absolutely not, you’re not putting him on a plane to go to Deleware.” She shut Dad down, but being Dad, he decided to get another way to get this done. He looked for other camps closer to us, couldn’t find any. So, he reaches out to Randy Smythe and he says, “Look, would you come to Jackson, Mississippi to do a camp?” Randy is from Portland, Oregon, never been to the deep south, and dad convinces him to come down and put on a camp at Jackson Academy, mainly for my benefit, but we rounded up some other people that would pay to do it as well. Randy was like this mad scientist of speed training. This was very much on the fringe back in that time which would have been the mid-late 80’s at that time. He had spent some time in the Soviet Union, watching all of the crazy training techniques that they did and Randy was starting to build equipment, speed training equipment in his garage in Portland, Oregon and started a little company called Speed City. So, it was stuff that is common-place today like quick foot ladders that lay on the ground and the different bungee cords that pull and resist you but Randy was one of the first ones, if not the first one, in the United States to do it. He shows up to do this camp, brings all this equipment, some of it very heavy equipment. We do a three-day camp. We get to know Randy and when he leaves, he says, “Look, I don’t want to take all this equipment back to Portland on the plane, why don’t you just keep it.” So, I have all this cutting-edge training equipment that I throw in the corner of the garage and I don’t think I looked at it again until I was about to go into my senior year and I decided, “You know what, I’m going to get out that stuff and use it”. The decision to get that equipment out and use it, years later, ended up changing my life completely. It opened up so many different doors and opportunities that I wasn’t expecting and it was all because of Randy Smythe and the training equipment and then years later after that, I even ended up being president and owner of Speed City, the company he started in his garage in Portland, Oregon.