My TribeCast Interview w. Legendary Sports Reporter Roy S. Johnson

##### Roy S. Johnson has quite a unique perspective.

From growing up as an African-American in the Civil Rights era in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to his college tenure at Stanford University thereafter, Roy was groomed for his eventual career in journalism.

For three decades, he was based in New York, where he worked for the likes of Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, and Men’s Fitness. He’s appeared in, directed and co-produced documentaries on ESPN, including ESPN’s acclaimed 30 For 30 series.

He came up at a time where African-American journalists were few and far between. Roy’s work paved the way for many incredible journalists who would come after his arrival, and he did it at a time where African-American athletes like Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, Isaiah Thomas, and many others, used their platform to create change in sport.

Roy was there to cover it. He covered Michael Jordan’s 3-Peats and the rise of Tiger Woods in golf. He’s seen a lot, covered a diverse cast of characters in sports and business, and then he ended up in Birmingham, Alabama of all places, in 2014.

I saw a piece he wrote on Ali recently, for the Alabama Media Group (AL.com), which Roy is now working for as a sports columnist. His name seemed familiar. I knew I had seen it before in an ESPN film and sure enough, I looked him up to find out I was on point!

We connected and our conversations were so contagious that I just had to get him on for a TribeCast interview. I’m proud that God connected us and excited to share our talks with you.


Why My Wife and I Chose To Start A New Business Together


“Work can convince you that you are working hard for your family, while you are being seduced through ambition to neglect them. Don’t let it happen. Don’t sacrifice the most important thing in your life for your dreams.”

– Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor

I’ll never forget the cloudy January day, when I finished Every Good Endeavor, a manuscript blessed with the wisdom of New York City Pastor Tim Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian).

This book pushed me to realize that my work is temporary, but my life is eternal. I walked away from it with a challenge to myself, to not let the “law of diminishing intent” win, as it does with most continuing education or personal development attempts. You know, when you read or hear something and get excited, only to do nothing with it in your own life.

I chose to push myself a bit, by thinking about ways I can further leverage my gifts from God, to be a blessing beyond any monetary score or career accomplishment that the world would hold high. Instead, using those relationships to share my personal story of faith with others, giving them a chance to hear about the greatest hope we have – Jesus.

“How can I dream without making my dream bigger than the relationships God has blessed me with?”

– My Internal Question after reading Every Good Endeavor

For those who know me well – let’s face it; I am a passionate dreamer who likes to architect an idea into a plan that I am willing to carry out as the mason [if possible].

This is something the world celebrates. This is something I embrace. But is there a point where this is an idol and not only a distraction from my relationships with those I love, but also a distraction from my faith?

My answer was and is an astounding “Yes”.

So my conviction when I read this back in January 2013, was that I must use my work to attempt to further impact everyone I lead or come in to contact with; this includes customers, team members, friends, family, and especially my wife and children.

Let’s read it again;

“Work can convince you that you are working hard for your family while you are being seduced through ambition to neglect them. Don’t let it happen. Don’t sacrifice the most important thing in your life for your dreams.”

Seduced? Am I actually seduced? Am I neglecting my loved ones but blind to it, because of my addiction to the ambition and intense passion for which I dream?

Tough questions to ask yourself. Tough questions I asked myself.

I began to set better parameters in my life, while still passionately dreaming, but for a greater purpose.

I am still setting these parameters every day and getting feedback on where I fall short. Feedback from my business partner, Forrest. Feedback from my Leadership Team. Feedback from my wife. Feedback from friends. Feedback from my kids.

It’s not always easy to hear, but it always gets through my head in a way that makes me better.

It will be an everlasting challenge for a guy like me to disconnect from my dreams and enjoy the present moment with those relationships God has blessed me with.

To “be where my feet are,” as Dr. Kevin Elko so simply puts it.

During these past few years of praying, reading, writing and digesting these questions, my wife Yazmin has been building a side business in our garage. Women from throughout our Ross Bridge neighborhood here in metro Birmingham, let alone from neighborhoods all over the city, have been coming to our home to get their hair, makeup or spray tan on a regular basis.

You see, my wife has dreams too. And as much as she respects my dreams; they aren’t her’s.

She has been building this beauty business in our garage, while giving birth to and raising our three children, Savanah, Sofia and James IV.

Pretty incredible!

Yazmin and I share in the passionate dreaming we do for our marriage, as we have dreams for our lives together. We also share in the passionate dreaming we do for our kids, and the things we hope they get to experience in their own lives.

But, as I saw her building her new business, I thought about what it could look like for us to share in a business dream together. Because I love everything about being an entrepreneur and she loves everything about what she gets to do for her female clients with the beauty services she so wonderfully provides.

I also thought about what it could look like for our children to see us starting and growing a business together, and how they could contribute, learn, and the natural ways our relationships with them could grow through this experience.

After lots of prayer, ideating and journaling; GLOW was born.

Yazmin originally fought for a brick and mortar salon concept, offering these hair, makeup and spray tan services, amongst others. Although I thoroughly enjoy the brick and mortar route we’ve taken with Iron Tribe, I felt like the opportunity for GLOW was more in line with the recent growth of the tech industry’s “on demand economy”.

Together, Yazmin and I designed a plan to pair two key groups through a mobile app we would call GLOW; the existing network of trained professionals who want to deliver these hair, makeup and spray tanning services when their schedule allows, and the other group is the marketplace of women who need to access these professionals in an on demand format that makes it easy to research and schedule an appointment to come to their home, place of work, hotel, or even for the customer to visit the professional’s place of work.

The past eight months have been intense, with lots of work amongst our existing roles as parents and my existing role as President of Iron Tribe. We’ve had to fund the business, which has meant sacrifices in other areas of our lives.

And the blessing of Matt Landers, CEO of Platypi, along with his wonderful team of co-founders and staff, has been the key to getting GLOW branded and designing our GLOW marketing plan together to the point where we’ve SOLD OUT our brand launch party.

In addition to the branding and digital marketing, Platypi is building the GLOW app, which launches on the Apple iTunes and Google Play app stores later this summer.

Ultimately, Yazmin and I are dreaming together, as a family.

It’s a blessing that God has given me, to be able to do something like this. And, one of many things my leadership position at Iron Tribe continues to teach me, I can use this blessing to bless others.

GLOW will follow in our Iron Tribe footsteps to “Connect God’s Blessings With His Purpose”, as we will bless others with our hopeful growth as a brand here in Birmingham and beyond.

I’m so excited to be able to embark on this journey with my wife.



My TribeCast Interview w. Greg Everett of Catalyst Athletics

Presented by SFH – Stronger Faster Healthier

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Show Notes
  • Jim talks with Greg about his time with Robb Wolfe at NorCal Strength and Conditioning and what led him to Start Catalyst and focus more intently on professional weightlifters.
  • Jim and Greg discuss the differences between progression and scaling and what methodology is more effective.
  • Greg gives his insight on wearable fitness trackers as well as the state of the fitness industry today.
About Greg Everett

Greg Everett is the head coach of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, which has won multiple National Championship and American Open team medals, and whose over twenty national level lifters have collectively won over a dozen individual national competition medals. He remains a competitive lifter at the senior national level with a top placement of fifth in the National Championships, and is the 2015 Masters National Champion and masters American record holder in the clean & jerk in the 105kg 35-39-year-old category.

Everett is the primary content creator for Catalyst Athletics, known internationally as one of the top sources for weightlifting educational material and weightlifting training programs, and publisher of multiple books on weightlifting. Catalyst Athletics also offers coaching certification based on Everett’s methods and curriculum, and has been providing weightlifting seminars around the world for almost ten years. He has authored multiple popular books; Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches has been the most popular book on weightlifting available since shortly after its original release in 2008.

He owns the Catalyst Athletics gym in Sunnyvale, California, where he coaches his competitive weightlifting team, and which also provides training for recreational weightlifters and athletes of other sports, and has published the monthly journal, The Performance Menu, for over ten years.

In 2013, Everett released the first feature-length documentary film on the sport of weightlifting in the US, American Weightlifting, which he wrote, directed, produced, shot and edited on his own with no outside funding.


About Jim Cavale:
As Iron Tribe’s President, Jim’s focus is scaling the Iron Tribe Fitness athlete experience throughout all of its gym markets, leading each of his department Vice Presidents and Franchisees to innovate new growth strategies and engage their respective teams to achieve the brand’s purpose of creating fitness communities that change lives!

Jim Speaking On Stage


Perpsective, Podcast

Journey With Me Through Cambodia

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[Left To Right] Jim Cavale, Lindsey Sillers (ITF Brentwood), Frank Adair (ITF Mountain Brook), Jessica Parks (ITF Corporate), Caleb Burchfield (ITF Vestavia), Wes & Anna Archer (ITF Belmont), Mark Whitehead (ITF 280) and Allen Rice (ITF Johns Creek).

I recently returned from a nine day Neverthirst trip to Cambodia, with an incredible team of coaches and athletes from multiple Iron Tribe markets.

For me, it was a chance to go to a new place I had never been, in a poverty-stricken nation that experiences life in a much different manner. It was also a chance for me to grow my faith, through a growing dependence on God in prayer, that is much harder to have here in America.

In the United Nations’ most recent Human Development rankings, Cambodia was 144th out of the 188 countries on the planet (U.S. was 8th).

When you go to a place like Cambodia, you immediately dismiss your desire for “wants” and you start to focus on simply meeting your “needs.” Our group agreed to take things a step further, by agreeing to a theme of “flexibility” for the entire trip, knowing that we weren’t there to be served, but to serve.

The team embraced this philosophy, as we prayed about it repetitively, talked about it in our devotionals each morning, and we ultimately maintained this attitude as a unit throughout our trip abroad in a new land.

Neverthirst did a phenomenal job of planning this trip; establishing context for our work in villages, as we visited the nearly 1,000-year-old Angkor Temples near Siem Reap, and the Killing Fields in capital city Phnom Penh, where the Pol Pot Regime killed more than two million Cambodians in a genocide from 1975 to 1979.

These experiences set the stage for what we saw in the villages we visited and lived in for several days of the trip. It helped us understand the history of the Buddhist religion in Cambodia and the effects of the Pol Pot Regime, which killed the majority of the nation’s educated people in an attempt to force the country to “start back at zero,” just less than 40 years ago.

To quote a book I’m reading right now about Cambodia [Cambodia’s Curse], “you stand in these villages and look around knowing that these villages look exactly the same today, as they did 350 years ago!”

Neverthirst has united with multiple partners in Cambodia, to bring villages clean water through three delivery mechanisms; water wells, biosand filters and rain tanks, depending on multiple factors which determine the best option.

The work we were a small part of, with Neverthirst’s partners for each of these three clean water delivery mechanisms, allowed us to truly connect what you and I get to do with our annual Workout For Water event each year, to the exact latitude and longitude it affects on the other side of the world. It was powerful.

And to actually have our hands touch each of these three clean water delivery mechanisms, by helping to build and install them in these villages – that was more than powerful. It could even be eternal.Because we got to share our faith with so many who have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ, let alone the Good News that He came to save everyone, including them.

We stayed in areas all over the country, including the Vietnam border, where of course, I had to watchApocalypse Now on my laptop before bed. The overall experience I had on this trip, is one I’ll never forget and surely try to repeat in Cambodia or another area of the world in 2017.

But when we debriefed as a team, we were asked to each answer two questions;

“What was your most impactful moment?”

My most impactful moment was when I was working with a group to install a biosand filter for a specific family in one of the villages we visited. While we were installing the filter, the family was living life as they normally would, by using the dirty pond behind their home [a tree house on stilts] for multiple purposes.

As we were putting the finishing touches on the biosand filter, a little boy who is maybe a couple years older than my son James (2), was just getting home from school and decided to go back to the pond with a pan, to get himself a drink of dirty brown water. After all, it was more than 100 degrees temperature at the time. He drank it right in front of me, instead of just waiting a few more minutes as we finished installing the filter that will now bring him and his family clean water for at least the next decade.

This really put things into perspective for me. There were many similar experiences on the trip, but I’ll never forget this one.

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My son James IV drinking from a water source at Spain Park [to the left], while this young boy in Cambodia, drinks from a pan he dipped in a brown pond [to the right].

“What are you going to do about it?”

For me, this is a twofold answer. I have been on the board of a ministry here in Birmingham, called The Aspire Movement (www.AspireMovement.org), for a couple years now, since we launched it at the end of 2014 – we pair adult men from the church, with fatherless children from Birmingham city schools, for a long-term mentorship commitment.

I mentor a young boy, Mekhi, who has become a big part of my family with my wife and three children. I’ve committed to mentor Mekhi through graduation from high school – he is in fourth grade. That’s how our program at Aspire works.

This trip fired me up for the work that is possible with initiatives like Aspire and other local ministries that give us a chance to make an impact here in America. If I go abroad on a trip like this one to Cambodia, for maybe 1-2 weeks a year, I’ve got to challenge myself on what I’m going to do to make an impact the other 50 or so weeks that remain each year.

However, the second part to my answer to this question “What are you going to do about it?”, is that I’m going to tell everyone I can about my trip and about the upcoming Workout For Water on May 14th at Oak Mountain State Park.

After seeing and humbly putting my hands in on the work that is being done, because of the dollars we raise each year at Workout For Water, the event means that much more to me. It is my hope, that reading about my trip, it means that much more to you! You have helped us do something that is truly changing the lives of people on the other side of the world right now and potentially, forever and ever in Heaven. Amen.

Set up your giving profile at WorkoutForWater.com, share it on your social media channels so that your friends can join in on the giving process, and of course, attend the event on May 14th.

Our goal is to raise $400,000 in Birmingham this year, with half of that coming from a matching fund of $200,000 that we have already privately raised. This means that every time you give, or you help somebody from your network give, your giving will be doubled instantly.

So get ready and mark your calendar for May 14th at Oak Mountain State Park, setup your giving profile at WorkoutForWater.com, and start spreading The Good News!

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The most refreshing water I’ve ever touched. This is a water pump provided by Charleston, SC’s Iron Tribe Mount Pleasant gym, owned by Corky Alexander.

You can listen to Jim’s entire journey through Cambodia with the Iron Tribe team and Neverthirst ministries, on the newest edition of the TribeCast podcast. Press Play Below.