Eric “Esik” Melland, TACFIT U.S. Director
As a kid raised in the projects, it didn’t take long for me to start getting in trouble. My Mom insisted that I start going to church every Sunday. As much as I initially grumbled about it, it was a paradigm shift for me that started with me, a mixed race kid, being accepted and supported.
Taking the stage…
In middle school, I just wanted whatever class was easiest to pass. I signed up for CHORUS, without an idea in my head what it would be. I walked in on this fully-loaded bleacher of kids singing and they stopped everything to make me sing so they could place me in the right section. I was so annoyed with my stage fright that I decided to work on better stage presence and, eventually, that led to my music career.
After high school, I passed on a full-ride scholarship for volleyball, and ended up living in my car while working in a sandwich shop. I started doing open mike singing events to earn extra money and eventually ended up in larger bookings. While my music career started happening, it proved a toxic lifestyle for me.
Swinging the club…
In my mid-20s, I shifted to massage school, primarily because I wanted to restore my own body’s health and fitness, and this was the best way to learn. Shortly after graduating, I ran into an old buddy, Aaron Cruz, who was a personal trainer at a gym. Aaron trained his clients in the TACFIT system and it was there that I discovered the TACFIT clubbell.
At that point, everything came together for me. The movement protocols in TACFIT made so much sense with how the body builds and restores itself. And the TACFIT philosophy was everything I had learned in Sunday School – acceptance and support. It was a perfect fit for me.TACFIT fitness became my life. I went to work for a fitness company and developed initial curriculum around the strangest workout tool imaginable, the steel mace. As it turned out – with TACFIT protocols at the root foundation – it was an amazing training piece. I got so interested in the steel mace that I began my own company, Viking Ninja.
Viking Ninja took off in a big way. And, in early 2020, we merged with TACFIT. I’ve since taken on the U.S. Director’s role as the guy who spreads the word, gathers all the people and supports and trains them in the TACFIT way. It’s sort of like Sunday School … and learning stage presence … and choosing longevity and health for my body and mind … and swinging my first TACFIT clubbell.Every step along the way, you make life decisions in big ways that you never recognize as “big” at the time. They all find a way to weave your story, though. And that’s what I’m here to help the TACFIT community do.