"The path of my life has never been fraught with the danger of a thrill-seeker. Instead I’ve moved with the optimistic enthusiasm of a trusting naif. My energy was focused on the so-called arts and contrived adventures along far flung but well-travelled routes. As I sit now to reflect upon one particular beacon named Mark Twight, I’m challenged to give proper weight to his appearance that cold Winter morning in Montreal.
A week prior I’d heard his name for the first time. My cousins and I, sitting in the shadow of Yosemite’s El Capitan, spoke of moving "fast and light" in the mountains. Twight, they said, was the obvious authority on the matter. Jump ahead seven days and I’m on the set of 300 and shaking Mark's hand in quiet astonishment of such a coincidence and with the nervousness felt before a christening of sweat in the Spartan warehouse he called a gym.
It was 2005, I had an idea of what a gym should look like. They were filled with complicated machines isolating particular muscles. The undeniable exactitude of it all was reinforced by stickers of skinless men whose muscles gleamed as they were targeted. To find myself in Thermopylae’s concrete and drywall expanse with nothing recognizable except a truck tire was shocking and inspiring. I was not struck by the physiques of the stuntmen walking around in their leather shorts and crimson robes but of the creativity that had to be expressed in that space. It wasn’t the gear, it was the thinking that distinguished the 300 gym. That space seemed to be a workshop, a lab, an artist's studio in which Mark was crafting so much more than men. Curiosity piqued, I dove in. And with the film’s release, many more would discover and follow.
Learning and experimentation begat friendship, friendship swirled with work, and time honed it all into today’s good fortune. Mark Twight is someone I get to greet almost daily with a smile. I get to train in an on-set gym not dissimilar to that 300 gym (albeit better stocked with the trappings of an evolved enterprise). Eleven years later, the spirit of creativity has not wavered. Inspiration and deep understanding remain a paramount concern, and his pursuits, discoveries and thoughts, generously shared, now affect legions of people better for it.
I know in my heart that my life was changed in Montreal., that my body was changed by Mark's instruction and that I remain inspired. My optimism hurtles me forward, confident in Mark’s continued effort. For all of it, I am grateful."