How it all got started...
Trust me when I say that I know what it's like to feel "stuck" or "broken." I grew up in a town actually named Cement City, MI. Both of my parents abused alcohol and drugs. My dad died when I was seven. And I was born with Class 1 Cerebral Palsy, which created many physical restrictions I had to overcome. But also, my entire life, reading was a severe struggle.
Reading was so hard; I'd quickly fall asleep. Reading made me feel stupid and ashamed. No one knew how to fix my reading problem. They just kept saying that I didn't read as well as I SHOULD. So I learned to hide my reading problem. I relied on audiobooks. I became a top athlete (a dancer). I grew up to be a Pilates rehab therapist, and by 21, I had a long waiting list of A-list athletes and celebrities. But I still couldn't read well.
Then one dayI'm 33 years old, and I'm at a conference when I stop by a vision therapy booth that is giving free "visual coordination tests." The test revealed I had a small “gap” in how my left and right eye "worked together,” and we did a few short exercises to close this visual gap. I left the booth thinking, "no big deal."
But then, five minutes later…
My friend hands me a note from someone, and to my amazement, I can read it easily!
I used the rest of my time at the conference to practice and invent exercises that would get my eyes to better coordinate. On my flight home, I read my first entire book in one sitting, and in a matter of a few hours! That night, I told my wife that I was going to read the rest of the series. She said, "Who are you, and what have you done with my husband?"
That conference trip marked the end of my reading problem and the beginning of my dedication to "brain training." Without knowing it, I'd already been helping people retrain their brain for a decade through my Pilates work. This experience showed me how important the eyes are to receiving information that the brain needs whether it's reading or movement. Now, I was on fire to take my passion for "problem-solving" to an entirely new level.
I spent the next decade of my life focused on inventing new ways for anyone to bio-hack their brain. Usually, brain training is expensive and clinical. I was on a mission to make it highly accessible and fun.
In 2015, I created the first version of BrainSpeed Ball to use in a brain training workshop I was leading. The BrainSpeed Ball was something I wish I would've had as a kid; a ball that was a form of vision therapy. It was my students who said, "You have to make and sell this ball!" And that's how the BrainSpeed Ball came to be.
Today, I teach proprietary techniques and strategies worldwide to help improve brain performance. One of the great joys of my life is witnessing tremendous and permanent changes in children, seniors, athletes, and those with neurological conditions. I did fail first grade. But sometimes our problems bring us to our purpose.