The Vestibular System

The Vestibular System

By Jennifer Davis

image from Science is beauty; tumblr


What is that?!

This is your vestibular system. Still confused? This very small but extremely important system supports us in everything that we do. It basically keeps us upright. Let me break it down for you.

Where is it located?

The vestibular organs are embedded in bone deep inside the skull.

Image from www

Anatomy of the Vestibular System

  1. Semi-Circular canals (Horizontal, Superior, Posterior)
  2. The otolith organs (Utricle, Saccule)
  3. The vestibulocochlear nerve

Its Job

1. To let us know which way is up and

2. To let us know which way we are going

So we know the vestibular system exists to tell us where we are in space. It tells us which way we are going. It
helps us keep our balance and communicates with our postural muscles so they know what to do whether that means to relax or to tense up.

The vestibular system is so important that it is the first system to develop for a baby when it is still in the womb.

Semi-Circular Canals

You have three of these canals as a part of each inner ear. Each canal has a name based on its position in relationship to the other two canals:

1. Horizontal

2. Superior/Anterior

3. Posterior

These canals are oriented at 90° to one another. As a result, they can signal head movement in any plane or combinations of planes.

These Canals have an important job
1. They Sense Head Motion and how fast the head is moving

2. Enable the VOR (Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex)

(if you are a client at the fit life fusion gym you are familiar with us having you do drills that involve gaze stabilization. We are checking your VOR.)

Did you know that the function of your eyes is closely connected to the function of your inner ear and vice versa? So poor visual skills or function can be damaging to inner ear function while inner ear injury or poor skills can be damaging to your eyes.

3. Each canal is formed by bone and filled with a thick gel something like Jell-O called endolymph. At the bottom of each canal, because they form a loop, there is an bulb called the ampulla. Sitting inside the ampulla is a sail shaped structure called the cupula. Attached to the bottom of the cupula is a nerve. When the head moves, this causes the fluid in the ear to bend the sail in one direction or the other. Depending on which direction the sail bends, the nerve either fires with greater or lesser frequency.

No single canal is designed to work alone. They all have partners on the opposite side of the head, and they work in what is called a PUSH/PULL arrangement.

  • Horizontal Canals: when we turn our head from Left to Right.
  • Left Anterior and Right Posterior Canals: When we move our head down and to the left diagonally.
  • Right Anterior and Left Posterior Canals: When we move our head down and to the right diagonally.So this is what happens when we rotate our heads.
  1. If you turn your head to the right, the fluid in your RIGHT HORIZONTAL CANAL bends the sail (cupula) in a direction that INCREASES the firing rate in the RIGHT vestibulocochlear nerve.
  2. At the same time, the fluid in your LEFT HORIZONTAL CANAL bends its sail in a direction that DECREASES the firing rate in the LEFT vestibulocochlear nerve.
  1. Your brain INTERPRETS this change in signaling from each ear as, “I just turned my head right.”
  2. Your brain will ALSO COMPARE this vestibular input with input from the visual and proprioceptive systems to make sure that all three are saying the same thing.So why is this information important for you? Let’s say you have had small injury (even if was extremely small) to your right inner ear. The injury causes the firing rate to be CONSTANTLY DECREASED. What this would mean over time is that the brain would be getting mixed signals and your brain now is viewing a natural movement that should be easy to do as a threat. As a trainer I will see decreased range of motion, lack of strength, issue in watching your gate, and very common enough you might be feeling pain somewhere.What if you don’t notice some of the symptoms mentioned above… Have you ever dealt with Vertigo, Motion Sickness, or maybe you notice you like to walk on your tippy toes a lot. These are some of the signs of a vestibular issue. In my next blog I will be doing a video showing certain drills that we like to use at the #FitLife Fusion gym that will fix vestibular issues. I hope this Blog was educational and interesting for you, please feel free to e-mail me with any comments or questions you may have about this blog.

Jennifer’s E-mail:

Hypothyroidism… what the $@%^ is that?


Hypothyroidism seems to be the new catchy phrase people like to use to sell you MORE STUFF.  Doctors and pharmaceutical companies want to sell you meds.  Chiropractors, trainers and nutritionists want to sell you “all natural” supplements.  For those of you who follow my work and know me, you know this bother’s the hell outta me.  I just don’t trust anyone who sells a product that will cure you of all of your ailments. Many conditions out there used to scare people into thinking they need these products and medications are usually, as I said before, catchy marketing phrases, BUT… Hypothyroidism or a slow acting thyroid gland is very, very real.

Holiday Special!  Click Here to see the offer.

“Am I Hypo-whatever that is?” 

Most likely you are.  There are many things that can contribute to having a low acting thyroid.  Here’s the logic:

If you have a weight problem then you have a metabolism problem, right? and so…

If you have a metabolism problem then you have a thyroid problem, and here’s why!

Your thyroid controls your metabolism by acting as the foreman on the construction site that is your body.  It regulates the hormones your body produces and the rate at which they are produced, but weight gain isn’t the only symptom.  More and more people are suffering from symptoms of hypothyroidism and being diagnosed with some sort of thyroid issue now a days.

Symptoms can include:

  • fatigue
  • depression
  • rheumatic pain
  • low body temperature
  • brittle nails
  • dry & coarse hair
  • hair loss/thinning hair
  • decreased stamina
  • low libido
  • sleep disturbances
  • cold extremities (hands, feet, nose, or maybe all over)
  • puffy eyes/face
  • decreased sweating
  • PMS
  • infertility
  • constipation
  • possible autoimmune disease

Now that’s a lot of stuff and you may suffer from one or many of these symptoms, but that doesn’t mean the root of the problem is any different!

“Hey Peter!  I eat healthy!  I exercise regularly!  Don’t accuse me of not treating my body well!”

Look.  I’m not accusing you of eating poorly, or not exercising enough, or correctly.  There’s much more to it, in fact.  Here are a few causes of hypothyroidism:

Causes of Hypothyroidism:

  • Nutrient Deficiency – not enough protein, quality of protein,  soils depleted of minerals and vitamins.
  • Types of Foods – like soy, grain (whole or not), PUFA, food additives,
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity – fish and mercury, FILLINGS and mercury, cigarettes smoke, environments if you work with or around paints and metals.
  • Liver Damage/Toxicity – the liver is a magic machine, and responsible for most of the filtration system.  Leaky gut.  Stress on the liver can inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3 conversion.
  • Increased Cortisol/Low Cortisol (if fatigued)
  • Hormones: Increase/decreased testosterone cause thyroid disfunction.  High Estrogen, Low Progesterone.
  • Medications – like Lithium blocks conversion of Thyroid hormones. Antidepressants, Birth Control, Statin drugs.
  • HPTA problem – Gonad, gut, adrenal all work on the Hypothalamus – Pituitary – Thyroid – Axis.

It seems like EVERYTHING causes hypothyroidism!  No, that’s not true.  It can seem complex as there is no one-way to heal everyone of this issue, but there is a path for every individual to achieve their own optimal health – the path to EFFICIENCY.

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When you describe a machine that works “efficiently” you would think of a machine that works well at a high rate taking the least amount of energy to do so.  If you were to envision a machine does not operate efficiently it would take a lot of energy to operate, break easily, and have a short lifespan before it broke down completely.

I was taught by Dr. Eric Cobb of Z Health from a neurological standpoint how important efficiency in movement is for success in strength training, pain rehabilitation and the development of many other valuable fitness attributes.  In my year of experience applying this to my clients I have found it to be the best, most advanced method of training athletes and non-athletes alike.  Nutrition can be looked at in the same light.

Energy production in the body down to the very smallest form of life at the cellular level should happen very efficiently.  Our cells combine oxygen and glucose within the mitochondria and through an oxidation process create energy.  When in a stressful event (of any kind) there is a higher demand for energy.  If there is a lack of good, immediate fuel source (glucose) from the foods you eat then you’re body will have to begin releasing adaptive hormones in order to break down parts of your body in order to  continue to produce energy.  Not only does this method of producing energy break down fat, muscle and bone, it’s also a very in-efficient way of producing energy.

This is a very useful survival mechanism int the body that can save your life if you were in a life threatening situation.  The problem is, in the American society we live in today there are so many stresses affecting our bodies that we end up living in this survival state where our bodies are constantly having to break itself down to produce energy.  It’s no wonder America is the fattest country in the world with one of the highest rates of mortality due to degenerative diseases!

Heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, alzheimer’s, diabetes, nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis (degenerative kidney diseases), suicide.  These are all leading causes of death in America and all duet to some sort of degeneration of the human body.

“Ok, well what can I do about it then!?”

Duh!  Fix it with diet!…  Oh, wait a sec.  It isn’t just that easy.  How do you know what’s right for you? Who should you listen to out there preaching about their “scientifically proven” method of dieting. What kind of diet should you follow?  Paleo? Atkins? SouthBeach? WeightWatchers? Vegetarian?  Well, everyone’s individual and different things work for different people, right?  But how do you know which one is really working for you?  Is weight loss the only key to better health?  These are the questions capable of causing so much confusion and frustration that giving up seems to be the one and only thing within your control.

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Paying attention to your body can make the difference.  Knowing what to look for can set your experience apart from all the other’s you may have had with crash diets and personal trainers of your past.  Here at The Fit Labs we help our clients monitor all the the symptoms listed at the beginning of this article, along with heart rate, temperature and blood work in order to deem wether what your eating or how your training is right for you.  Every time you put food in your mouth your body responds with physical signs telling you how the food is reacting.  Every time you perform an exercise there are ways you can tell if your body finds it to be safe and productive or too stressful and threatening.

Why hasn’t anyone told you about this?  Well, it’s not something taught in mainstream medicine or in the average personal training certification.  It took me over 10 years of deciphering studies and research along with the help of the brilliant coaches I have been very fortunate to find and work with such as Dr. Eric Cobb, Coach Charles Poliquin, Dr. Freddys Garcia, Z-Heatlh Master Trainer Zachariah Salazar, Josh Rubin and others to discover the truth about the ways in which our body communicates these things to us.

Why trust me?  Well, you don’t have to.  Allow me to prove it to you.  I am a coach.  I help people become healthy, get strong and enjoy a higher quality of life and that is why I established The Fit Labs along with my partner James Wong here in Las Vegas.  I am not selling supplements, cleanses, or magic products that promise you will lose loads of fat in no time.  We offer a philosophy and a path that will only move you forward using the information your body is providing in response to the starting points we provide at the beginning of your trek to optimum health.  And that is what shapes your individual program.

Again the symptoms of Hypothyroidism are:

  • fatigue
  • depression
  • rheumatic pain
  • low body temperature
  • brittle nails
  • dry & coarse hair
  • hair loss/thinning hair
  • decreased stamina
  • low libido
  • sleep disturbances
  • cold extremities (hands, feet, nose, or maybe all over)
  • puffy eyes/face
  • decreased sweating
  • PMS
  • infertility
  • constipation
  • possible autoimmune disease

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms CALL TODAY @ 702-220-8222 and schedule a FREE, NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION over the phone or in person with me.  Recognizing there is a problem and reaching out for help is the first step on your path to better health, weight loss, more energy, better sleep and an overall greater quality of life… and in my opinion, it’s the biggest.

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Peter’s Fit Labs Vlog: Kids’ Athletic Development and Bad Coaches

The way coaches are training youth athletes makes it nearly impossible for kids to reach their full potential. Their intentions are normally good and learning to push yourself to your limits is a good quality to have at a higher level, but the kids get overworked! Kids are pushed too hard at practice and the exercises they are doing are designed to get them tired instead of improve specific skills.

Watch Peter’s video and learn why what we do here in The Labs can change everything for your son or daughter.

Click here to learn more about The Fit Labs Kids Athletic Development Program!

What is Holding Your Child Back From Their True Potential.


What do you really want from your kids athletic program?

For over 15 years I have trained kids to get better at their sport, learn muay thai, develop athletic skills such as speed, strength, agility, balance and coordination.   I’ve also worked with kids on developmental issues that kept them from playing the sports they love with their peers.   The largest obstacle in my way as their coach is…


The way coaches are training youth athletes makes it nearly impossible for kids to reach their full potential.   Their intentions are normally good, but the kids get overworked.   Kids are pushed too hard at practice and the exercises they are doing are designed to get them tired instead of improve specific skills.

To give you an example, I met with one of my ten year old athletes not long ago.   He’s a young stud on the soccer field who broke his foot last year and making progress on his foot speed isn’t as simple as it was prior to the injury.   On this particular day his legs were so sore he hobbled into the gym asking me if he could just train his upper body.   Now, I understand when you work hard you can get pretty sore, and that’s fine if the exercises and drills the athlete has done are building specific skills he or she needs to become the best player on the field, but being so sore you can hardly walk is only a sign of one thing… being over trained.

So I asked him what he did.   He said he was at running practice for soccer and he was “doing a lot of these”.   He proceeded to demonstrate some skier-type motions with his feet together hopping side to side with hands up and behind his head.   After making him do that until his calves began to burn, his coach would have him react to a whistle with a full sprint across the field.

This is the kind of stuff that drives me absolutely, off the wall, CRAZY!   I just want to approach these coaches and say, “Hey!   You’re an awesome soccer coach.   TEACH HIM HOW TO PLAY SOCCER, DAMN IT!”

Youth athletes are trained to “Work hard!   And then work even harder!”   They’re trained as if the best quality a kid can have on the playing field is mental toughness or maybe perseverance.   Of course, it’s a necessary part of the game and this mentality isn’t something new.   It’s been around for a while, even when you played high school sports.   Yet this is exactly what will keep a young athlete from ever finding his or her true potential.

In The Fit Labs we teach every athlete young and old (and we consider life a sport so everyone is an athlete in our eyes) about one core principle the human body always follows no matter what:   the S.A.I.D. Principle.

Adaptation to

This means your body is ALWAYS learning EXACTLY what it’s doing.   If you are performing high quality repetitions of whatever it is you are trying to get better at then you will get better at exactly that, but if you are doing something incorrectly, you will get better at performing that movement incorrectly.

To bring this into perspective in relation to my 10 year old athlete, his coach had him do what he believed to be a useful agility drill combined with a sprint.   Now just think a bit about the game of soccer.   You don’t have to be a seasoned soccer player or even a soccer fan to know that at no point in the game of soccer does a player of any position put his feet together and hop side to side down the field with his hands interlocked behind his head.   Maybe this might be closer to something an angry coach might do on the side line when his team is losing, but again, doesn’t even relate to something one of the players would be doing.

Instead, the only thing this “agility drill” did was make him tired before he performed the truly important part which was running.   His form was affected due to the fatigue set in by the agility drill and not only was his form off, but his run was slower than it would have been if he hadn’t performed a useless exercise before hand.   So the end result was my ten year old soccer player spent a good portion of his soccer practice practicing to run less efficiently and slower!

And when the kids seem slower than what they are normally capable of, what do you think team coaches do?   They make them do it over and over and over again, getter better at getting WORSE.   Anyone who has played team sports or has a son or daughter in a sport has experienced this.

This is the sad reality of what is happening to so many kids who are trying to be the best young athletes they can be.   Young athletes who may want to play at a higher level one day in college or professionally are stumped in their development because the focus is on just working hard and putting your time in, but the quality of the repetitions is neglected.

The kids who don’t seem to be affected by this are usually saved by their good genetics which are able to resist the negative effects of what would be detrimental training techniques.   These are the kids who were always the faster, stronger, “gifted” ones who seemed to be better than everyone else without even trying.   But what about the average child who loves the sport, wants to compete and spend every moment in practice sharpening their skills, getting better, growing stronger and faster?   They should have their fair shot at the big leagues if they want.

This is what inspired us to open a kids athletic program.   If there’s one thing in the world of youth sports that really bothers me, it’s watching these young athletes get stripped of their opportunities to play at a higher level or even just be the athletes they could have and should have been by coaches who just don’t realize their lack of attention to detail in the quality of reps their athletes are performing is just the thing that will stump the athletes’ progress.

So what do we do in the lab? We focus on exactly what your child needs to improve on and break it all down step by step. We focus on training the NERVOUS SYSTEM and it is broken down into 3 parts:

1.  Visual System  (much more that just 20/20)
70% or more of everything that we do is in some way dependent on our visual system.  It ranks up at #1 in importance in the neurological hierarchy and training your eyes can have lightning fast results in speed, strength, and improving movement patterns.  This type of trianing is commonly overlooked and may be what is holding your child back fro being the athlete they are meant to be.  Eye training includes, near-far recognition, lateral tracking, hand-eye coordination, foot-eye coordination, convergence and more.

2.  Vestibular System (balance and coordination)
Imbedded in the skull behind the ear canal is your vestibular system.  It is the organ responsible for telling your body what is level and works very closely in conjunction with your visual system to keep your body aware of where it is in space.  This can be sharpened and help your tremendously increase your child’s balance, coordination and reaction time.

3.  Proprioceptive System (body mapping)
This system is your brain’s 3D map of your body.  Through the peripheral nerves in throughout your body it is providing all kinds of information like movement reception, touch/feel, hot/cold, chemical reactions within the body and combines this information with the information it is receiving from your eyes (visual system) and “inner ear” (vestibular system).  This is where we focus on efficiency of movement and training kids proper form for things like  jumping, running, linear speed, lateral movement, etc.

We focus on integrating these systems and this is exactly what will give your child what we like to call “The Unfair Advantage”!  So don’t let your kids get jerked around by coaches who try to teach them things that are outside of expertise.  Seek a real professional who understands body mechanics and sensory integration!  Click the link below for more information about The Fit Labs Kids Athletic Development Program!

For pricing, scheduling and more information on The Fit Labs Youth Athletic Program CLICK HERE!

They’re Lying to You! Vlog: Motivation (part2)

vlog motivation part2

This is part 2 of the Vlog Peter did on Motivation and 2 BIG reasons why people don’t achieve their fitness goals.  Peter discusses how the brain is fed and what most people think is healthy dieting is actually getting in the way of energy production!

(Click on the picture to see the video!)

2 Big Reasons Why People Don’t Achieve Their Fitness Goals (Part 1)

Click here here to WATCH!

What if you were able to achieve your all of your fitness goals?  What if you could see the warning signs your body gives you that lead you down the path to failure?   If you knew what was really going on inside your brain when you attempt to make big changes in your diet and lifestyle you would be able to recognize when your body wants to quit and instead of giving in you would be able to overcome those stresses!

Watch the Video for part 1 of 2 of this Vlog in which Peter discusses the 2 big reasons why people fail.

Cure Diabetes… with SUGAR???

i love sugar

I wanted to share this quick story with you that most people at first don’t like to hear, but always ask me to repeat.

“Wait…. what did he do to get that result?” they’ll ask.

So here goes…

One of our clients has been dealing with what doctors love to call being “prediabetic” which is some new, catchy medical term that is being used everywhere to scare the hell out of people, in my opinion.  People with high blood sugar levels
The doctor told him he needed to lose weight and eat like most of you consider to be healthy now a days; No sugar, more protein, tons of veggies, little to no fruit, lots of fiber…. oh and here, take these pills, these pills and this shake.

At the beginning he’d lost a few pounds and his blood sugar levels began to drop as he exercised 3-5 days per week and eat how the doctor prescribed.  Then it happened…
The PLATEAU!  The weight began to creep back up, the blood sugar levels began to climb, and so the frustration set in.

One day in the gym he approached me and told me what was going on.  I gave him some information on how diabetes used to be treated BEFORE the pharmaceutical campanies came to power in the medical world and boom!!  Within 24 hours of taking a bit of my advice he had experienced a 40 point drop in fasting blood sugar levels and woke up 4 LBS lighter.

… and he did so by eating SUGAR.

“Wait. What did you say!?”  This is normally the point in the story where I realize people weren’t listening and request I repeat how he did it.

I want you to understand this as much as possible.  My father just called last week and told me his doctor diagnosed him prediabetic which in turn inspired me to chose this topic to write about this week.

Diabetes – “The Wasting Disease”

In the late 1800’s, early 1900s we called diabetes the “wasting disease”.  One day a doctor discovered, interestingly enough, that their sick patient’s urine tasted sweet. (Yeah, I know what your thinking, but let’s get past this for a moment and stick to what this discovery led to.)  In testing the urine, the doc realized this person was excreting glucose because his body wasn’t able to utilize it well.

Back then doctors attempted to replace the sugar that was lost in these patients’ urine by feeding them sweet fruit, glutenous breads and even plain white sugar and they had good results.  This I’m sure would surprise most people today because we know diabetes to be a high sugar problem, right?  Too much sugar leads to spikes in our blood sugar levels which leads to tolerance to our own insulin and in the end our body can’t store the sugar and we become diabetic… That’s it, right?

Well then how did those doctor’s way back when get good results from feeding their patients who were dealing with diabetes more sugar?  Pharmaceutical companies have made this a very confusing topic for us in recent years.  Sugar has become demonized, proteins scrutinized, and veggies and fish oils glorified.

Here’s something you probably never heard of.  In 1963 the discovery of the “glucose-fatty acid cycle” was made and since then more and more evidence has linked dietary fat with diabetes.  What we found was fat (primarily unsaturated fats like fish oils, seeds, nuts, seed oils, vegetable oils, etc) inhibit glucose oxidation.  Glucose is what our bodies create when it breaks down carbohydrates and it is what our body uses as its primary source of energy.  This forces our cells to have to turn to things like fat cells and lactic acid as fuel to burn to create energy.

Now that may sound like a good thing, but it’s not.  Fat and lactic acid as sources of fuel, suck!  This is why when people go pure Paleo or Atkins they’re energy is never consistent, their moods swing and their sleep gets all off.

You should sleep 8-9 hours per night uninterrupted somewhere around the hours 10pm-6am. (you know, when it’s dark outside)
You should be calm, curious and mild tempered.
You should not feel like you could take a nap somewhere in the middle of the day.
You should have a sex drive.
You should not deal with pain issues on a daily basis like migraines or sciatica.

If you are not all these things, YOU HAVE A FUEL ISSUE!

Glucose must to be the primary source of energy, especially for brain function.  This is one of the main reasons why people “yo-yo” so often.  It’s super stressful to try to lose weight, get in better shape and maintain that state when you’re body is begging you every waking moment from within to eat the things you love, but are trying to avoid.

Dieting isn’t the easiest thing in the world, yet everyone out there wants you to believe it is.  Other trainers would like you to believe that just because they are are lean and muscular they have it figured out.  Just eat like they do and you’ll be healthy and lean.  Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.  You can’t just pick up a meal plan and cure yourself of diabetes or expect to magically transform into someone in muscle magazine.  It’s tricky, individual and you need the right information.  Types of foods and amounts can vary for each individual.

So what can you do?

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE CONSULT in person, over the phone, or via Skype.  Whether you are dealing with diabetes, trying to lose a few pounds, or even if you have tried and failed multiple times in the past we offer life long, guaranteed results here at The Fit Labs.  We genuinely care about your well being.  It’s too easy for other fitness companies to set you on a path for fast weight loss results to inevitably have you yo-yo back to where you were (or worse) just to get you back into the gym to buy more training.

Let us show you the path the life long health and happiness.  How nice would it be to know what you’re doing to look good, feel good and eat healthy is the right thing to do?

Bonus article: “How to Chose a Personal Trainer”  Click here to request this free download!

Peter’s Thailand Photo Gallery

Sityodtong ninja pose

Click HERE to visit Peter’s photo gallery of his last trip to Thailand!

Peter’s Fit Labs Vlog: Thailand, Z-Health and the Rules of Training

Vlog 8Mar13

Click the picture above to watch!

The Vlog is back!  Peter was away for a while in Thailand paying his respects to one of the greatest men Muay Thai has ever seen, Kru Yodtong Senanan.  Kru Yodtong had passed away just a few weeks ago at the age of 75 and was the first person to ever receive a doctorate of Muay Thai from the King of Thailand.  He was the founder of the famed Sityodtong Muay Thai Camp in Pattaya, Thailand.

Here is the first Vlog episode since his return and Peter discusses his background a bit and the rules of training which we at The Fit Labs call the “elements of efficiency”.

Don’t forget to check out all the links provided in the description on our YouTube channel!

Peter’s Fit Labs Vlog: Protein & Milk

vlog cirque

Peter’s Fit Labs Vlog Ep. 4:  Protein & Milk

Be sure to check out all of the cool articles, websites and the new recipe this week in the description below the YouTube video!  Comment! Like! SUBSCRIBE!

Thanks guys!