I was raised in Western Canada in a small town called Elnora. My family owned a farm so I spent most of my childhood raising livestock and harvesting land, but I was much more interested in playing sports and watching hockey with my siblings. At the time I didn’t realize it, but growing up on a farm helped bring the concept of Core Stix to life. I was cultivating the foundational aspects of Core Stix through daily farm chores like building a cattle fence, which consisted of repeatedly jabbing a long iron bar into the ground, and wrenching it around in multi directions to until a hole was deep and wide enough for a fence post. A ground-based movement that would revolutionize how I thought about building functional strength.

With my passion for hockey and my comprehensive knowledge of physical fitness, becoming an NHL strength coach was the next logical step in my career. In 2004, I joined the Los Angeles Kings as their Strength and Conditioning Coach. The highs and lows of sportsmanship, and the rush of chasing Stanley Cups truly fulfilled me. I loved being able to work with top-level athletes to help improve their game. I was always trying to find ways to help my team expand their functional core strength with innovative technology—but it occurred to me that most of the training equipment didn’t do much to build the kind of strength these players needed. I wanted a training product that mimicked real-performance movements and built the kind of strength that I was able to develop while working on the farm with my family.

In the same year that I started working with the LA Kings, I met Kregg through a mutual friend. We became fast friends around the time of the 2004-05 NHL lockout. Kregg’s skill set was exactly what I was looking for to help breathe life into my training equipment idea–and he was just an all around great guy to be around. So I shared my idea with him, and Core Stix was born over fish tacos and beer.

As our friendship and business developed, our understanding of the importance of core and functional strength had deepened as well. We realized that the versatility of Core Stix exceeded our own expectations. Not only could a product like Core Stix help high performance athletes build strength, but it could also help physical therapy patients of all ability levels rehabilitate after injury. I brought the Core Stix product with me to Pittsburg when I was hired as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Pittsburg Penguins. I spent 8 years training the Penguins and seeing them off to many victories—including a Stanley Cup win in 2009.

Several prototypes and a lot of work later, here we are with a product I couldn’t be prouder of.

Today, I’m a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Detroit Red Wings and I use Core Stix to train my athletes. Core Stix has exceeded my expectations and evolved so much more than I could have ever imagined. Kregg and I are passionate about our product and we can’t wait to share it with the world.