Lance Pekus: The Red Rush-Fueled Cowboy Ninja

L Pekus

If you’re a fan of the television show American Ninja Warrior, you may have seen AIM Member Lance Pekus aka the Cowboy Ninja in his iconic black cowboy hat and blue jeans, swinging from chains, leaping over water-filled pits or suspended in mid-air climbing an inverted ladder hand-over-hand.

Although Lance often competes in front of a worldwide audience, at heart he’s a downhome husband and father from Salmon, Idaho who works for the forest service and on his father-in-law’s cattle ranch. He literally is a cowboy. He even trains in a modified calving shed where he’s built small versions of the obstacles from the show. This was mostly out of necessity because when he started, the only obstacle course training facilities were in California or on the East Coast. His father-in-law told him that if he was serious about pursuing this dream, he should use the calving shed as it’s only really in use a few months out of the year.

Lance has been an athlete all his life. He wrestled in college and had always been active, but he was looking for something new and fun. He tried running a triathlon, but decided triathlons weren’t for him. He was at a friend’s house when he saw American Ninja Warrior and decided to give that a try. He qualified, and it’s grown from there.

Lance is best at the obstacles that require upper-body strength like the salmon ladder, which has one rung that competitors hang from and manipulate upward. In order to complete the obstacle, the competitors must use their upper body strength to force that rung—the same one they are suspended from–upward into the notch above until the bar rests in the highest notch possible. As you can imagine, this takes incredible strength and coordination. It also takes a whole lot of focus.

“A lot of the obstacles are mental. I know a lot of really strong competitors who can do the obstacles individually, but when you put them all together and you’re on TV, it can be tough. It’s best to focus on what’s right in front of you and not what’s coming up.

“The best thing about doing the American Ninja Warrior competition is that it’s about pushing your body. You see an obstacle and you think, ‘that’s impossible’ at first. But then you train and you adapt, and then you can achieve it, and then you go on and attempt harder ones,” he said.

He first heard about Red Rush and AIM when he joined his brother-in-law for the WOD for Warriors competition at AIM Member-owned Snake River CrossFit. Lance won the competition and the prize was a box of Red Rush.

“I tried it out and used it. I definitely saw some positive gains and decided to use it for competitions. I’ve never been a fan of energy drinks because they get me too hyped up and jittery. I didn’t get that from Red Rush. I felt relaxed and focused, and I felt like I had extra breath when I was out there on the obstacle course.”

O’Ferrall Pauly & Michelle Long Seven Million Dollar Club Inductees


At the 2015 Scottsdale Conference, Chairman’s Club Directors O’Ferrall Pauly and Michelle Long were inducted into the Seven Million Dollar Club in a ceremony that also honored the life of the late Janet Pauly. AIM Senior Vice President and co-owner Ron Wright led with a moving speech about Janet Pauly and how she helped grow The AIM Companies™ during its early days. “Janet was dear to all of you,” he said. He recounted how Janet once went to Idaho to speak at a restaurant during a blizzard. Unable to attend the meeting due to the storm, Ron asked AIM President and co-owner Dennis Itami to film the presentation. He did, and the video became a pre-Internet viral sensation, passed from person to person on video tape. “Janet Pauly was friends to us all and loved by all of us,” Ron said. “She was the real beginning of The AIM Companies.”

Instead of using a wheelchair ramp to get on stage, O’Ferrall quaffed a Red Rush™, rose from his motorized wheelchair, proclaimed that he “didn’t need the scooter,” climbed the ramp and walked the length of the stage unaided. The audience laughed and cheered.

Royal Emerald Director Jann Abrams, a hospice nurse and a close friend of Janet Pauly, described Janet’s lifetime battle with various illnesses, their friendship and how BarleyLife® helped strengthen Janet’s immune system. “AIM’s a better company because Janet was a part of it, and the world is a better place. She was compassionate, unselfish and always looking to help people,” Jann said.

Royal Emerald Director Opal Wright (wife of co-owner Ron Wright), also close to Janet, described her as a comedian, a great speaker and very relaxed. “I feel her spirit is here among all of you, and she’d be so proud to see you here.”

O’Ferrall Pauly and Michelle Long gave their acceptance speeches: “I’ve shed tears of joy,” O’Ferrall said. “Thirty years ago, this year, Janet and I attended our first AIM conference. It was held in Lake Tahoe. We drove all the way from Texas. AIM announced their first car contest. Janet and I looked at each other because we needed a new car, and we tried to figure out how to achieve that goal. It lit a fire under us. The next year, we won the car, and were able to win a couple more cars over the years. It was a lot of fun. We met a lot of wonderful people. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your words to me and about my family.”

“On behalf of my mother,” Michelle said, “I would like to thank her upline, downline, Dennis, Kay, Opal and Ron. For those of you who knew my mother, you would know that she was not about the money. Tonight would make her very uncomfortable. Just to show you just how much AIM is in my blood, my son was born twenty years ago next month, the first day of the AIM San Francisco Conference. Mom was supposed to be the keynote speaker, but she kept postponing her flight so she could have more time with her grandson. She then flew to the Conference, didn’t even change her clothes, just walked up on stage and said ‘I’m a grandma.’ Thank you for all your love. I’m very proud to be a secondgeneration AIM Member. We will continue to drive the line.”

School Years, Healthy Years

School BL

It’s that time of year again: back-to-school. Whether you have children in elementary or high school or in college, AIM supplemental nutrition can help maintain their health and boost brain power for scholastic success.

As much as educational institutions are a source of knowledge and a means of advancement in life, schools are also a breeding ground for colds, flus, infections, etc. Whatever you can do to support a child’s immune system will go a long way in making school years healthy years.

For younger children, AIM BarleyLife® Xtra and AIM CoCoa LeafGreens™ Sample Packs are convenient ways for parents to give them a nutritional edge for body and mind.

BarleyLife® Xtra delivers the super nutritional, immune-boosting benefits of barley grass juice concentrate along with the sweet “Xtra” taste and nutrition from eighteen fruit and vegetable powders. Even young children can use the AIM Blender Bottle by adding water and a packet of powder and shaking up a nutritious green drink.

The same can be said for blending packets of CoCoa LeafGreens, which provide three types of calming, brain-boosting cocoa. A calm, focused mind is what every student
needs for academic growth. In 2013, the American Botanical Council published a study that determined cocoa contains polyphenolic compounds that not only enhance calmness, but also increase blood flow to the brain, improving cognition. And CoCoa LeafGreens also delivers nourishing greens, so students can enjoy a cocoa-licious drink that’s good for them.

For older students, initial forays into independence usually include a nutritional drop-off. Fast foods, incomplete meals and soft drinks can eventually take a toll even on the healthiest young people. Getting their three Daily Essentials is a priority to avoid sliding down the slippery slope into poor health. Greens, fiber and essential fatty acids (EFAs) are daily necessities, and the Daily Essentials Starter Pack provides all three in convenient capsule form.

  • AIM BarleyLife® for greens that ensure a quality source of natural nutrients
  • AIM Herbal Fiberblend® for fiber and herbs that cleanse and keep a body regular
  • AIMega® for EFAs that the body requires for healthy cell replication and performance

Packing a weekly supply in supplement cases ensures that busy students always have Nutrition that Works! on hand for healthy learning.

Another Link Between Probiotics and Weight Management


The difference between a diet high in fish oils and one chock-full of lard is pretty obvious.  What hasn’t been obvious is the metabolic effects that these diets can have on our gut microbes.  Researchers in Sweden looked into the quandary, publishing their results in Cell Metabolism.

In the study, there were two groups of mice. One group of mice were given healthy fats (fish oils). The other group were given unhealthy fats (lard).   The two groups had very different gut floras, but when gut flora from the fish-oil mice were injected into other mice (from a third group), that new gut flora was able to protect the third-group mice from inflammation and diet-based weight gain.   This means “that gut microbes are an independent factor aggravating inflammation associated with diet-induced obesity and gives hope that a probiotic might help counteract a “greasy” diet.” —Cell Press

“We wanted to determine whether gut microbes directly contribute to the metabolic differences associated with diets rich in healthy and unhealthy fats,” says first study author Robert Caesar of the University of Gothenburg. Even though the study was done in mice, “our goal is to identify interventions for optimizing metabolic health in humans.”

In their next set of studies, the researchers plan to see if the gut flora from the fish-oil mice can aid the lard-eating mice.

Get your healthy fats from AIM’s AIMega and probiotics from FloraFood!

AIMega  Basics of Probiotics

Red Rush Athlete Mark Wheeler: In His Element


There are fewer than ten people in this world who have accomplished the Fuego y Agua Devil’s Double Challenge, the completion of two races, a 100 kilometer (62.1 miles) ultra-run and an 85 kilometer (52.8 miles) survival race up and down the sides of two volcanoes with only thirty hours of rest between the events. This February in Nicaragua, Red Rush Athlete Mark Wheeler became one of those people. To race in the Fuego y Agua Survival Run, you can’t just show up. You have to apply or be invited. Some of the top obstacle course racers and ultrarunners in the world were invited to try this thing. Out of forty-three battle-tested athletes Mark finished third. Only three crossed the finish line. At fifty, Mark is the oldest person in history to do so. He used Red Rush the entire time.

“I brought Red Rush on the survival run. The day before the race, I was priming with it. I took one fifteen minutes before the race. I just feel like I get an even sort of energy output from it, but the thing I really notice is that I don’t have cramping issues like I used to. In the 100k, I did the same thing. I took one right before the start, and from there, I’d take them at the aid station about every four hours. I used it regularly because I feel it makes a difference.”

He runs 65-70 miles a week in addition to regular fitness training at Snake River CrossFit, but he says there is no way to prepare for something like the Fuego y Agua. “It’s just a mental thing. I’m just not going to quit. It’s a place that you go in your head months and months ahead of time. If you make that decision on the spot, you’re likely to have less fortitude.”

The Fuego y Agua Survival Run differs from an obstacle course because it demands that the  runners adapt to the environment, culture and location. All of the challenges are based on activities that the islanders do like harvesting and carrying bamboo. At one point during the race, Mark hauled a gunny sack filled with five gallons of sand and gravel up the side of a mountain. The contents of the sack were emptied out and were used to make concrete for a sustainable farm.

Based on a Polynesian rite of passage, the first challenge the Survival Run racers were tasked with was the retrieval of an egg from a small, unnamed island. Before a racer could attempt any of the latter challenges, they had to present the unbroken egg to the judges. If their egg broke, they had to find another one. Mark only broke his egg once while buying supplies from a boy manning a food stand. The boy sold Mark a new egg— in accordance with the rules all racers carried 500 cordobas and could barter with locals for food, water and eggs—and Mark was able to continue the race.

Other challenges included building a raft, harvesting plantains, carrying or rolling boulders away from arable soil, assembling a slingshot, diving for slingshot components and a blistering jaunt up the barren and steep slope of an active volcano. During the cold, nighttime swim across the caldera in the mouth of a dormant volcano, Mark became so chilly that he began to shiver uncontrollably, and he feared that he might be hypothermic. One racer saw Mark’s poor condition and quit right then and there. Undaunted, Mark wrapped himself in a blanket and allowed the tropical air to warm him up. He completed his quest, an unbroken egg in his pocket.

Read the extended interview here.

Director Promotion: Ralph Peterson


Ralph Peterson of Portland, North Dakota retired from his job as a school bus driver after twenty-two years. He still owns and operates Ralph’s Sharp Shop, an outdoor power equipment sales and service business and raises delicious organic sweet corn, the kind that melts right off the cob. He spends free moments with his ten grandchildren and other members of his family. If Ralph’s life didn’t sound idyllic enough, he recently promoted to Blue Diamond Director.

His journey started painfully in 1989. Ralph had trouble walking due to the arthritis in his knees. In fact, doctors had told him that he would probably have to have them replaced one day. A friend and future sponsor, AIM Director Wendell Berg noticed this and gave Ralph an entire jar of barley grass with the caveat that Ralph would use all of it. Two weeks, later his knees stopped hurting. Twenty-five years later, Ralph still uses the same knees that he was born with.

When he’s working on his AIM business, Ralph is making and receiving phone calls or preparing and sending out information packets, datasheets, books and literature. He places the Healthy Cell Concept brochure and two books—Cleansing the Body and Colon for a Happier and Healthier You: Using Herbal Fiberblend by Teresa Schumacher and Toni Lund and the Nutrition that Works testimony book by Charlotte Thompson—in every packet he sends out.

“The cost of materials is nothing compared to the people’s lives that you are investing in. When I have the privilege of sharing AIM products with somebody, it is the highlight of my day. Helping them improve the quality of their lives spiritually, mentally and physically and then seeing them come alive again, what more could you want?”

He tells new Members to study and learn what each product does, to get in contact with their upline or someone who will help them and to attend meetings, events, teleclasses and webinars. He also recommends that people attend AIM Conferences.

Ralph says he has been blessed to attend the annual Conference nearly every year since joining AIM. He sat next to Chairman’s Club Director Ken Huxter. Hearing Ken’s story motivated Ralph.

“Everyone should attend all of the AIM Conferences and meet people and hear their stories. I think it’s one of the most important things anyone can do. You can study and learn but sitting next to other successful AIM Members and hearing how the AIM products have changed their lives really motivates you.”

“I thank God for His constant goodness to me and for providing The AIM Companies™ as a continual source of His blessing in my life. My wife, Phyllis, was a great support to me. I would not be where I am today without all her hard work. She is missed much. Thank you to my children and their families for their love and support. I’d like to thank my downline and the AIM owners and staff.

Red Rush for the Ages


By now, every AIM Member is aware of the athletic benefits of beet juice. We all know that Red Rush provides a boost of much needed stamina to competitive athletes and helps them recover quickly from their grueling workouts. However, the athletic benefits are just the beginning. Did you know that there have been over sixteen studies that have shown that beet juice can lower blood pressure? The most recent one found that the blood pressure benefits of daily beet juice consumption lasted for two weeks after the subjects stopped drinking the juice.

Our veins can become damaged by a sedentary lifestyle, the aging process and by poor dietary choices. This damage disrupts the body’s ability to create nitric oxide. In fact, the inability to produce sufficient amounts of nitric oxide is the main feature of endothelial dysfunction. Red Rush provides the body with 500 mg of dietary nitrate, the building blocks of nitric oxide. To put that amount in perspective, the average American gets 60- 120 mg of dietary nitrate a day. Someone on the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension Diet consumes 500-660 mg. One tiny shot of Red Rush provides you with your daily dose of therapeutic dietary nitrate. Red Rush may also provide these other benefits:

Lew Hollander

Lowers Blood Pressure
In a recent study, participants who drank beet juice saw an 8/4 mmHg reduction in blood pressure, a 20 percent improvement in blood vessel dilation and a 10 percent reduction in arterial stiffness.

Jann Abrams

Improves Cognitive Functioning
Improved cranial blood flow has been linked to enhanced cognitive functioning and quicker reaction times. Drinking beet juice to improve blood flow to the brain is also being researched as a way to mitigate the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s

Assists with Basic Mobility
One study found that beet juice consumption made walking twelve percent easier, and recently, scientists at Kansas State University have been giving beet juice to heart failure patients in order to help get them mobile again, a critical factor of their recoveries.

Nitric oxide facilitates sleep, and due to improved blood flow, it may assist the brain in achieving essential rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Warmer, Healthier Skin
Healthy circulation improves skin quality and keeps the extremities nice and warm.

Gene Blasingame

Nutrient Delivery
When the circulatory system is working well, the body can repair itself faster by moving white blood cells, nutrients, medicine and platelets to the affected areas.

Sexual Health
Nearly 90 percent of erectile dysfunction can be linked to poor circulation, and there is some evidence that a percentage of female sexual dysfunction is related to improper blood flow.

Jet Lag
When the cabin pressure lowers, so does the oxygen in your blood. Beet juice has been shown to improve oxygen utilization, allowing people to get more use out of less oxygen.

Weight Loss
Nitric oxide may help improve metabolic rates, and a surprising study found that dietary nitrate could help change white fat into the
easier-to-burn brown fat.

Having sufficient amounts of nitric oxide can really energize the body. Additionally, one of the biggest symptoms of poor circulation is fatigue. Red Rush can provide natural energy.