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View Full Version : The CAGE: A different view



Aggression
03-09-11, 4:31 pm
2011 marks my 3rd consecutive trip to the Arnold. For all 3 years, I've had the privilege of working for Animal. I couldn't ask for anything more. This year was different. In previous years, I would arrive on Thursday night, catch a meal and hit the sack. I'd walk into the arena the following morning to see the Cage erect and ready to rock. We'd stock the shelves and we'd start rolling. Not this year ...

This year I had the pleasure of heading out to Columbus a few days earlier. I arrived Tuesday night. NG and I caught a meal and went to bed. We had a few long days of labor ahead of us. Wednesday arrived and we met up with G Diesel to make our trip down to the expo center. We walked up to booth 419. There was no Cage erect. No 200lb dumbbells on the rack, no sound system booming. What stood in its place was yellow tape marking the outline of our booth. Around the 'booth' stood 20+ pallets of equipment. Time to get to work.

A few hours after starting, the fence people showed up with what would become THE CAGE. At that moment, it came in a pile of pieces. What it would become ... would be epic. As we started to piece together what would ultimately become THE CAGE, I took a glance around the expo center. Aside from us being there working, there was only a handful of other people in the arena. All of them were show labor people assigned to a booth. No other supplement company had their guys out there building shit from the ground up. Just another reason why Animal stands above the rest. We do it right. While we're doing backbreaking work, the rest of the companies and their employees are farting around at home, relaxing and having a good ol' time. Not us.

After putting in roughly 7 hours of hard work, we packed it in for the day. A lot more had to be done the following morning. We didn't have much time left. Thursday morning came and it was back for another day of labor. I strapped into my work boots that I've been rocking for 10+years, we got to work. Hanging banners, building shelves, folding shirts, stocking THE BOX, etc. Mid-day, J-DAWG and JUGGERNAUT showed up and got to work themselves. We had just a few hours left. Time to make the final push.

As the hours passed with each day, the Cage took form. The CAGE transforms from a flat, open space to a booth that the competition simply cannot compete with. I am proud to have played a part in building this masterpiece. A ton of work goes into planning this show. Building the cage itself takes a lot of time, patience, and strength. We all possessed those qualities in helping to make THE CAGE a reality.

Once the Expo Center officially opened its gates to the public, it was off to the races. All I could do was hope that everything went smoothly. "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face" - Mike Tyson. Words to live by. There were several things I wanted to have happen, but once the crowds formed around the booth, we had to make audibles. In the end, everything worked out. I spent most of my time behind the scenes; folding T-shirts, stocking inventory, signing papers, and handling the money. As far as I could tell, everything went rather smoothly.

I feel that we had a great Cage this year. And I want to reach out to all of you who played a part in helping to make it work. Thank you. Its because of all of you that the CAGE had the success that it did. We pride ourselves on being close to the consumer, putting them first. And you guys came right back with the same mutual respect, offering a hand whenever we needed one. I wouldn't want to be a part of any other booth.

Being more involved in the decision making this year, I was able to see a side of it that is rarely seen. Animal preaches blue collar, hardcore people that fight and claw their way to get to the top. Respect and loyalty are big parts of the Animal name. Everyone that I came into contact with this weekend displayed those qualities. Our booth was built with blood, sweat, passion, and drive. Having the booth built by some of the top guys in Animal just goes to show you what type of company we are. And I realized that we have attracted, as a brand, individuals who possess those some characteristics.

This post goes out to all of you. Whether you were an internal staff member, an intern for the day, someone who showed up and hung out in THE BOX, an athlete, or just the guys who weren't able to make it, yet took time out of their lives to watch the live webcast and/or post up pictures that were sent to them from us inside the Cage ... THANK YOU. If it wasn't for you, there wouldn't be a CAGE.

Tonight I'm going to pour myself a stiff drink. I'll raise the glass in the name of Animal. Salute.

Madcat
03-09-11, 4:50 pm
Awesome post bro, it really is a family, fraternity, whatever you want to call it. It's just US. Others look at us funny and dont understand the "Cage" vs. the free shirts, free boobies, etc. but we do. We are there to learn, to gain knowledge from those like Vinny, G, Ox, House, EVERYONE has something to pass on to someone else who wants to learn, to gain just that bit of knowledge to better themselves.

I know personally, I hadn' t spent basically every minute I was at the Arnold in the cage until this year, but this year it clicked, and thats what I did. I was a groupie, but in a respectable way, I gained a ton of knowledge, I shared a little, but best of all, I got to spend time with everyone there.

I'm not the biggest guy there, the most knowledgable, I will never be a pro, but I still feel like Universal/Animal is the one place that still shows the true respect to us who still put the time in the gym day in and day out. They are true to what they say and stand by what they believe, just like us who are here.

Already counting down to next year.

ToSo
03-09-11, 4:53 pm
"Being more involved in the decision making this year, I was able to see a side of it that is rarely seen. Animal preaches blue collar, hardcore people that fight and claw their way to get to the top. Respect and loyalty are big parts of the Animal name. Everyone that I came into contact with this weekend displayed those qualities. Our booth was built with blood, sweat, passion, and drive. Having the booth built by some of the top guys in Animal just goes to show you what type of company we are. And I realized that we have attracted, as a brand, individuals who possess those some characteristics."

Amazing thread bro. This was my favorite part, really hits true! Great job.

smoothballer
03-09-11, 4:58 pm
You got a way with words Aggs. Awesome to hear things about the weekend from your perspective.

Phil800101
03-09-11, 5:05 pm
Awesome write-up my man! Really cool to get this different perspective. It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of it and help out.

FITGYM
03-09-11, 5:36 pm
Great Post Aggresion...

This year was my first year at The Cage but not my first trip to the Arnold. Its been 16 long years since I been there and I can thank the Cage and Animal for bringing me back to Ohio. I can also reflect back to when The Arnold was held at another location and it was smaller but the place was packed and over the years it had out grown that spot and moved to it's current location. In all of the years that I had been there I can say this year was by far the best and The Cage and the Animal shirts that were everywhere was just amazing.

Mr. Dead
03-09-11, 6:55 pm
Great stuff, there... I just hope, that some day, I can at least Intern, at the Cage...

Aggression
03-10-11, 9:38 am
Thanks. I'm just trying to give you guys a different perspective compared to most post-Arnold threads. Hope it did the job!

Razor
03-10-11, 10:06 am
Awesome write-up Aggs! Thanks for the different perspective!

freighttraindane
03-10-11, 10:27 am
Great write-up aggression, its interesting to here the differnet prespectives, from interns, workers, corporate, and the people just hanging out in the Box. Thanks for all you did with putting this all together.

Enforcer
03-10-11, 10:46 am
It was great to see you bro, keep up the hard ass training bc it really is paying off. Was great to shoot the shit with you as always, looking forward to seeing you soon, until then keep training hard and keep in touch

scals
03-10-11, 8:07 pm
Bro, again gotta say congrats on what you did this year. It was an awesome time.