As of Sunday April 23rd, 2017 my company Target Release Recovery has launched! Now if you read this blog and listen to the podcast then you have heard me talk about Target Release Recovery. This company is a sport recovery tool company that has been in the works for a long time. In this post I will tell the story of Target Release and how it came to be.
It all began back in August of 2016. My mom, sister, and I went to visit my aunts in Palm Springs, my sister stayed for a few days, but my mom and I only went for a day. When we got back home my dad had something to show us. Motivated due to the fact that the numerous massage sticks, foam rollers, and other such recovery tools did not provide him what he needed he set out to design something better. What my dad showed us that day was deceptively simple, yet incredibly effective. A handheld sized wooden dowel with the end rounded off and a rubberized bottom, he showed us how he could put it against the wall and use it to dig into his muscles. The rubberized bottom kept it in place and the rounded off end dug into the muscle with leverage provided by your body against the wall or floor. The design was ingenious and effective. It provided something that no other tool did. As they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention." At the time my mom joked that I could even sell them! Well, that planted the seed into what grew into Target Release.
Over the subsequent week I made a smaller version for my dad to try and began using each tool myself. The idea began to grow more and more solid in my head, I really started to want to make this a reality. The next vacation we had planned was a trip up to Mammoth to do some mountain running. Over the time leading up my dad and I talked extensively about the tools. When we got to Mammoth we used the tools after the runs, too. But, I was still looking for a name. One of the runs we did was the climb up to Duck Pass, my dad and I were chatting and laughing, making our way up the mountainside trail. You could turn around and see the entire valley that Mammoth sits in while we made our way through shale, above a turquoise alpine lake. One of the topics we were discussing was the design of the tools and the name of the company. We threw ideas back and forth, after a lull in the conversation my dad threw out the name of Target Release. The minute he said it we both new that was going to be the name, it embodied everything the tools were and the philosophy behind them. Forged by suffering on trails it was apropos that the name should also be forged by that same suffering and setting.
Over the next few months we worked on finalizing the design of the tools, branding, and packaging. My dad, in another stroke of genius, developed the logo as well. I even took the Basecamp and the Peak, names I developed, to the Bulldog 50k to see how they would help me on a longer run. They worked great and helped me jump back into running. The fall of 2016 was spent in what you might call the "creative" phase. Working on the whole image of the company and fleshing out ideas on how I would sell them. Over Thanksgiving break I met with some running stores in Portland to see if they were interested to sell them, which they were. Over Winter Break I sent the tools, along with the packaging we had designed, to some friends of mine from the podcast to see what they thought. Jeff Browning, Joe Grant, Rip Esselstyn, and many others loved them!
Now it may seem that this company has been long in the making, and it has, but not without reason. Going into this entire endeavor I knew that I was going to take it slow and methodical. I planned my approach and made sure to know what this company meant and where it could go before I launched. Moving into the new year I had other things on my mind, my first 100k and school, that put this company a little bit on the back burner. Then in March I chatted with my friend Karl Hoagland of Ultrarunning Magazine about the tools and the company. He got me in contact with Donald Buraglio, who writes the reviews for the Magazine. Donald and I emailed back and forth and he decided to write a little online review of the tools along with some other tools that he uses. I took it and decided that I would launch when the review came out. Over the next few weeks I made sure to produce a lot of tools and refine my process.
On April 23rd the review came out on the site and I launched! I am so excited to finally be able to begin the new adventure and new chapter of this company. I hope you will partake in this adventure and incorporate these tools into your daily regimen of recovery and health. Wish me luck and I hope you will share the news of the best recovery tool. Thank you.