It’s not every day that I get to meet my maker and be able to talk about it afterwards. Since The Tony created P90X, he deserves some credit for helping to make me the person that I am today. For the last two years, he’s been a presence in my living room—rousing, encouraging, motivating, and making me laugh. His Tonyisms such as “Bring it!” “X me!” or “This is the MOTHER of ALL workouts!” are now the stuff of legend, but I have not gotten bored even after hearing them hundreds of times already. I still do my workouts with Tony’s narration on. It hasn’t been all great, because I have cursed him on many occasions, especially in the beginning when my body was trying to get used to exercising for the first time in ten years. To this former slug, his high energy level was irritating as hell. Doesn’t this guy slow down like the rest of us mortals? His workouts seemed like a form of purgatory.
Since my inauspicious beginning, however, I have become more like Tony—stronger, faster, and possessing loads of energy. Thanks to him, I can laugh now at my old sickly self.
So I was able to meet The Tony for the first time last week. I’m happy to report that he is exactly the same in person as he is in his videos—irreverent, insouciant, cheeky, cocky, and slightly off-center, but never boring. He gave a talk on health and fitness and revealed himself to be a very thoughtful person, except that his most profound ideas are wrapped in layers of zany humor. Tony came up with his 11 Laws of Fitness because the 10 Commandments were taken, and another organization already had a 12-step program. I was laughing hysterically the whole time, and his hour on stage seemed like minutes. For this reason, it’s sometimes easy to forget how much sense he makes.
Afterwards, Tony led our group of about 100 folks in a workout session. It was no joke. At 53 years old, Tony seems fitter in person now than what he looked like in P90X, which was taped when he was 45. He didn’t come to play, because he had most of us P90X graduates dropping out like fall foliage. He showed us some old moves, but mostly new ones such as the “Power Boat,” which is like the boat pose, but with added leg lifts and extensions—hard to describe, but even harder to do. Although Ab Ripper X is easy for me, my abs were screaming in protest at this new exercise. If this is what P90X2 has in store for me, I’m in serious trouble!
Tony was kind enough to pose for photographs with each one of us, despite his other commitments. He didn’t leave until every one of us got our turn, even sticking around to chat some more. He clearly loves what he does, and the people he has touched. Despite the apparent cockiness, he still has an air of incredulity about him, as if he can’t quite believe the adulation he is receiving from us. There’s no sense of self-aggrandizement, just a lot gee-whiz. If there is a cult of Tony Horton, I’m probably already a member.