Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Is it Addiction?



So I get this random email from a previous co-worker a few weeks ago and it has been eating at me since:

Hi Shad,

i hope you are doing well and that life in 1480 is good!

Also, I wanted you to know that a couple of year's ago I talked to this guy and it has been a game changer for me..  I would encourage you to do the same.


Of course my response was: 

Thank you for thinking of me but all is well here, in the mist of a break before getting back to it soon.  Hope all is well and take care!

His response back:

Hi Shad,

things are great. .. i can tell from your response you aren't interested in dealing with the addiction (which is the standard response i get when I discuss it with my exercise addict friends)..however, i would encourage you to reach out to Dan and I think his first consult is free...
you might be surprised when you get un-addicted  of how much happier your are.. 

and, he is in boulder which is a lot easier!

Take care, 


It’s hard for me to reconcile in my mind that something I love so much can actually be hurting me. I fell in love with fitness really not that long ago, for I have only been running since 2005 or so and riding bikes and lifting regularly for only the past 4-5 years.  I turned 43 in November and nowadays it's Crossfit classes, running, more weight training, riding, running donkeys, Skimo, mountaineering and more of everything.  There is just not enough time in the week to get it all in.

But, most mornings getting out of bed is not only a practice in patience, it's one of resolve. I hurt everywhere at times: My hips are sore most days and my left shoulder has become the most troublesome thing about me lately. My left shoulder is throbbing most of the day and night. People in my gym joke that I sandbag because my shoulder injuries prevent me from doing a lot of movements, fine then game on.  But the thing is I give into my ego and do the workouts anyways and deal with the consequences later which usually means not being able to lift my arm above shoulder level for a few days (this is being addressed as we speak, more on that in a later post).  There are days I know I should stop but I don't, there are many classes or runs I should just skip but I don't.  My ego gets the best of me.

Why? Because I like reaching a peak and knowing it's not the top of the mountain; I relish the pain as much as I do the pleasure, and failure is one of my greatest turn-on's: If I fail today, you can bet I won't do the same next month. It is all my therapy, and I would feel lost without it. You may be thinking: Shad, do you do this every day? No, not exactly. I have sat on the sidelines when I know a particular injury will only heal with rest, and I've skipped out on a workout to sleep in instead of being at the gym at 5:30am Monday through Friday or missed a mid-day run due to a work meeting. So does this still mean I'm addicted? Maybe or maybe not, I don't know.  And if I am addicted is it really such a bad thing?

Addiction is a strong word, and when we think about what that definition means it's natural for our minds to go straight to drugs and food. It's when we add exercise into the mix, it starts to get controversial. For the most part, research on the topic is minimal, and most experts will say that only roughly three percent of the overall population suffers from an exercise addiction.

Now am I in that 3%?  Who knows, I guess in my mind it is defined by the company you keep.  How do you compare to your peers?  I have no issue taking the day off and sitting on the couch all day to read, but of course I have to be in pretty rough shape to do so.  Yes I may feel guilty for a bit but the bigger issue for me is not letting taking a day off turn into a habit, that is more likely to happen with me.  With all that said I think it is more of a lifestyle to me verses an addiction.  A lifestyle that I have worked hard to create. This includes everything from training, food, sleep, race, ect...   How about you?

Now this has hit home more than anything with this topic... If you can't tell from my previous posts, I have been a fan of Jocko for a couple of years now.  Enjoy..........

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Bad Training Days


Bad training days happen. For my own training, they are maybe a weekly occurrence on average, as a guess. That doesn’t mean I always have one bad day a week, sometimes I have a run of great days. Sometimes though, I have a run of bad days. Sometimes a bad week or even month. The session or a few sessions just suck, especially right now with the left shoulder issue that I have been dealing with for the past 60 plus days.  It is even starting to keep me up at night which the lack of sleep does not help but I digress.

Maybe I will be slow, tight, unable to demonstrate the pace during the run or the technique I am capable off when lifting, I will feel flat, fatigued, or maybe I will just feel banged up after the session.  Bad days are normal and something that comes with the territory of training and "The Grind" as it is called.

I know a few people that get into training, whatever the type of training is, because they have an idea in their head that it is going to be a wonderful and enjoyable experience. Maybe they do one session and get a sudden rush of endorphins, expecting this feeling to continue every time they train. Maybe they have a New Year’s Resolution and find themselves full of enthusiasm to make some real positive change in their life.

Just look to social media to see some Instagram model eating some random “health” food or doing some random exercise and telling you how great they feel because of it. They are energized, happy, or some other positive feeling.  Maybe you buy into it and don’t feel the same way every day. Maybe you think it’s you, that you it’s your fault, or have some other negative feeling. I actually love social media for the connections that it allows, but it is full of a lot bullshit too and this is nothing but a pile of bullshit.

I love the daily grind of training.... Hell I like it more than the actual races or events I do.  The events are just the rewards for the daily grind and I need to keep on reminding myself of that fact for the bad days can take a toll on the psyche after a while.

Just some food for thought and yes I finally quit being stubborn, made a doctor's appointment to address the shoulder next week.



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Someday

One of the reasons I decided to jump on the trip to Mexico to climb some hills.  We only live once, make it count.

An excerpt from The Book Of Bobby Maximus (Verse 5, Chapter 4): 
There are seven days in the week. Someday isn't one of them.

If you really want something there needs to be a sense of urgency otherwise you may end up in a situation where any effort you make is too little and too late.

Stop waiting for things to happen. Go out and make them happen.

We fall into a trap of thinking we have all the time in the world to get what we want done.

One day you will wake up and there won't be any more time to do the things you've always wanted.

Remember that sometimes 'later' becomes 'never'.

Don't do it later, don't do it tomorrow, don't wait for one more day to pass.

DO IT NOW.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Intentions

To build off of the last post about finding your drive and based on some conversations I have had the past week with a friend there is another aspect that has to be explored a little, intention.

Intention matters. Doing something is great, but the WHY behind it is what will often dictate whether it is a true success or failure. I recently read a great quote by the Jocko Willink that goes, "If you are doing something for the right reasons you are going to win in the end.” Do you believe this? I do. It seems to me that the intention behind the action can find many ways to work when you step back and look at a goal from the big picture.  For example there are many times that I have trained hard for an event only to have a horrible day or to DNF a race.  People would often consider this failure but when I  look back at my “why” or my intent we see that these were only going to be vehicles behind it to push myself even farther and to make myself better, not the end purpose themselves. With that considered true, my  “why” remains unchanged while I’ve had to find different ways to have reach my goals and had to keep trying,  both of these things were never my intention but have been causes of me pursuing things with all my heart which is the way I can most efficiently express my “why.”  
I write this to challenge you to find your true “why” or your intention behind your goals. Keep asking yourself “why” you are choosing to do something. Literally keep asking it as many times as you can, have a real conversation with yourself, you’ll learn something. And also the conclusion will be that you’ll see that your task/reward/trophy you are in pursuit of is actually a very small part of the equation in something much greater. When you get to the root answer you’ll also see failure isn’t always what you assume. We often look at choice points in our lives as I’ve failed something and now I must choose something else. I’d argue that if your intention is deep enough, if it is meaningful enough you will continue to find ways and outlets to express your heart, to find your meaning and to impact your world.
All of this is why Jocko’s quote rings so strongly in my mind. If the reason you set out to pursuit something is right, you’ll never stop even if that means finding new avenues to make it happen.

Intention matters.

Now go get some as Jocko would say.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Find Your Drive When You’ve Lost Motivation

In life we all eventually face a familiar cycle but I am going to use a training example that is happening to me right now to make my point. You’re crushing your eating healthy, your meal prep is on point, you’re PRing in the gym or running and motivation is at an all-time high. Then, something doesn’t entirely go as planned. The weights are starting to feel heavy again or your normal 7:00 minute running pace starts to feel really hard for no reason. It’s becoming a challenge to even get the work and training in. 

Why? Because you’re human!

It’s natural to go through days or even weeks when motivation is low. Lack of motivation doesn’t mean you’re chasing the wrong goals, or that you don’t care about the things you thought you did. It just means other life forces are coming into play that makes motivation a bit harder to conjure up. Think about it. Maybe:
  •      You aren’t sleeping well because you have a stressful deadline coming up.
  •      You got stuck in traffic or at work and missed the gym or run.
  •      Your body is feeling run down and needs an extra rest day.
  •      You’re going through a tough emotional situation.
There will be days when it takes a little extra push to get get it done. There will be days when you have to dig deep. So, what sets successful people apart?

Drive.

Motivation is based on external influence, so it comes and goes. You can find motivation in social media posts, a great day, a change on the scales, or a friend who gives you a pep talk. These are all circumstances that depend on others and on your environment, which are things you have relatively little control over.

Drive is fostered internally and requires you to connect back to your why and what inspires you every dayno matter what the outside circumstances may be. Those who find success in their goals are the ones who come back to that drive when motivation isn’t there. They do this by focusing on what they do have control over, like nurturing loving relationships, fueling their body, hydration, recovering and doing the best they can every day. Then they use motivation as a springboard when they’re lucky enough to come by it.

So, if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, come back to your why. Grab a piece of paper and write a list of things that you can’t control. Then, let those things go. Focus on what you do have control over and be in the now.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Win or Learn?



After a weekend of self reflection on the trails and racking my brain I have pretty much come to this conclusion below.  Funny how the quote below showed up in my email Sunday night as I was laying in a bivy on top of Kenosha Pass at 10,000ft with no cell service staring at the bright stars, it just sums it up nicely for me.  As many who know me well, know that I have "lost" a lot in my life. Every single loss has helped me learn more than any of my wins....  
As Jocko would say, "GOOD".  (video at the bottom)
With that said..... 

An excerpt from The Book Of Bobby Maximus (verse 4, Chapter 16): 

In life you either win or you learn. 

You can't be a winner every single day. 

But that doesn't mean that on your unsuccessful days that you automatically lose. 

The reality is that you're going to have good days and bad days. It's part of life. 

There will be days when you feel on top of the world and days when you feel you can't sink any lower. 

What you do on your bad days is what will really define you as a person. 

You can choose to take the loss, blame others for your misfortune, complain, and do nothing to better yourself, OR you can choose to learn from your failures, rise above, and come back as strong as ever. 

Remember that everything you do in life is a learning experience and valuable in helping pointing you to your own greater good. 

Smile at all of your victories and take all of your defeats in stride. 


If you are willing to learn and evolve then you never really lose.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Mediocre is Bullshit

Seems about right and worth sharing.....  One of my favorite dudes to follow on social media, along with Jocko of course. 

What is on your agenda this weekend?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you are always comparing yourself to mediocre people, that's exactly what you will be mediocre.

A lot of people think that they are at the top of their game in life because they are the best among a group of people who don't even give a fuck.

Mediocrity feels so fucking good. If you wake up and don't want to workout, all you have to say is “fuck it, I don't give a shit!” And if you're mediocre, you are probably hanging around other mediocre people, so they are happy that you don't add pressure to their life! One big happy soft ass family!


People don't like hanging around that dude who makes them feel uncomfortable or like an underachiever on a regular basis. People stay away from the fucking savage who wakes up at 0330 regardless the weather, if they got a good night’s sleep, if their life sucks and times are hard. People stay clear of them. Those kind of people make you question yourself. They also let you know where your life ends and their life begins.

Don't hang around with people who say “it's ok, you deserve a day off.” Hang around people who make you uncomfortable because they are on a quest to find more.

Comfort is a fucking drug and once you get used to it, it becomes fucking addictive.

Don't be an addict and live your fucking life the way it should be lived.

--- David Goggins

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Negative Emotions

When you feel a “negative” emotion what do you do? Do you ignore it? Try to think of “happy” thoughts to try and make it go away? Do you fill your head with stories making it worse?

We have all of these and many more strategies to try and NOT feel negative emotions. This never works as well as we’d like it to. Bottled up emotions lead to other problems. Bottled up sadness might lead to depression. Bottled up anger might lead to resentment.

By pretending these emotions don’t exist or by distracting ourselves from them, we make them more powerful and persistent.

The fastest way to move through any “negative” emotion is by feeling it fully. Get in touch with the emotion on the most basic, physical level.

Where do I feel it in my body?

What shape is it?

Is it light, heavy, sharp, dull?

Give it as much detail as possible.

When we avoid and distract ourselves from these feelings, they get stronger and stay longer. The absolute fastest way to get through them is to become aware of them and let them pass over you like a storm. It may be painful, but not nearly as painful as it will be if you don’t deal with it right now.

The same goes for our relationships with others. If we really want to help someone feel better about something, then saying things like “don’t feel bad” or giving advice isn’t always the answer. Sometimes people have a good reason to feel sad, and we can help by giving them permission to feel it.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Integrity

Integrity is doing what you say you’re going to do when you say you are going to do it.  It is doing the right thing even when it is difficult.

Integrity is wiping the toilet seat in a public restroom after you just got some of your piss on it, knowing that no one would ever know it was you if you left it there.

It’s NOT throwing trash on the ground when you are walking through the park.

It’s calling your friend back because you said you would.

It’s getting up early enough to make yourself a balanced meal because you told yourself you would, rather than grabbing a banana on the way out the door.

It’s NOT hitting the snooze button because we committed to waking up at a certain hour.

It's about being honest when the truth hurts.

It's about standing up for your convictions when there is nobody watching and nothing to gain.

We MUST do all of these small things, and we must do them consistently if we ever want a chance of following through on the big goals we set for ourselves.

Never sacrifice your integrity.

Every time we break a promise we made to ourselves or someone else, we destroy trust. Loss of trust in ourselves leads to self-doubt, low self-esteem, and a further lack of follow through. Nothing destroys relationships with others like the loss of trust. Get in the habit of doing the small things every time and watch your self-confidence and relationships grow.

Character is much easier kept than recovered.  You can have everything in the world but without integrity you have nothing.  Always take the high road.

Be honest and sincere.  Live with a purpose.

That is a enough of a brain dump for today..... Go get some.... 
 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Make time....

GOM rant time, again......  This may sound like it is fitness related which it is but it also applies to work, relationships, family, ect......  Just a gentle reminder for myself.

Don't tell me you don't have time.  Just tell me you don't want it badly enough.

I'd much rather hear a person be honest and have them admit something isn't important enough rather than hear a list of excuses.

Excuses are designed to help you feel better temporarily but they don't change anything.

If you are interested in progress, change, and success then drop the excuses.

At the end of the day you have two choices.  Make progress or make excuses.

So cut the bullshit, quit blaming everyone but yourself, make your words consistent with your actions, go out and get what you want or just shut the fuck up.

Choice is yours..........

Go out and get some......


Monday, August 6, 2018

Changes

This quote that I saw online over 3 weeks ago has been rambling over and over in my head since.  "If you want to be something you've never been, you need to do something you've never done." 
How often are you stuck in a rut? 
How often are feeling alone or lonely?
How often do you look back at things with regret? 
How often do you look in the mirror and don't like the reflection you see staring back at you? 
We have all had these feelings at one time or another. We have all wished we could change the circumstances we are in.  Those feelings are just part of life, but you can change your circumstances and you can change your life. You have the power to do anything you want to do, you just need to be willing to do things differently than you've done before. 
You need to be willing to take risks. You need to be daring, which is something that I am not normally known for.
If you're willing to step out of your safe zone, if you're willing to stand at the edge of the abyss and jump,  if you're willing to do what you've never done, you'll give yourself the power to become what you've never been.  


I have taken a few of those jumps the past 2-3 weeks with the biggest one being this past weekend.  Sometimes with the biggest risk comes the biggest reward.  Even if the reward doesn't last at least I now know I won't be looking back at it with regret.  We all only have one life to live so live it.  More to come for that is all I am willing to share right now.  Just needed to get some thoughts out of my head and onto paper since this blog has been dormant for a while now. 




That is enough of a GOM rant for today, my brain hurts now.... Go out and get some!  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Social Media Trap

As I waste time scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Google+, or whatever other social media platform there is out there at 4am this morning waiting for the gym to open I came across this gentle reminder that is worth sharing.  Yes, everyone struggles now and again.  Life is not what you see on Facebook, imagine that!  Of course I am not saying that I wish people would stop for that is the greatest use of social media, to bring a little joy or wonderment into someone else life by sharing what they may or may not ever get to see.  https://semi-rad.com/2013/06/please-continue-instagramming-your-amazing-life/

That is enough of a GOM rant for today.  Go out and get some........

An excerpt from The Book Of Bobby Maximus (Verse 6, Chapter 13):
No one is perfect, no one wins every single time, and we all fall down at some point or another. 
When we look at successful people we often say they are lucky, or they must have the best life, or things must have come easy to them, but nothing is further from the truth. 
Successful people are successful because they've earned it, they've worked for it, and to become successful they've likely had more than their fair share of failures. 
As you look through other's social media feeds and view their personal "highlight reels" remember that you're only seeing a limited glimpse into their world. For all the positive posts, happiness, accolades, and successes you see they've probably had to endure hardships as well. Nothing in life worth having comes easily. 
So remember that the struggles you face are normal, they are a part of your journey, and other people face them too. Keep up your faith and trust that like those you see with the "highlight" reels that you'll be successful too.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Tonka Photo Montage

I miss Tonka aka T-Dog a lot.  After almost 2 weeks since saying goodbye, I still wake up at 4am thinking he needs to go out to the bathroom and look at the sliding backdoor thinking I left him outside by mistake a couple of times a day.  Sigh....

Some photos over the 10 years he was with me.  Love and miss you every day old man.

Photos are in no certain order, just happens to be how I pulled them from my phone. But are generally oldest to newest.





































Good Bye Old Man.....

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Sourdough Snowshoe Race

Another weekend equals another Colorado adventure.  It is that time of year again for the annual Sourdough Snowshoe race.  This year with the upcoming Georgia Death Race in April I needed to do 8 volunteer hours so not only was I racing but also flagging and removing flagging around the race.

Went up Nederland on Friday with Gemma aka Baby Girl and we marked the loop for the 30k racers.  With Tonka passing the day before I did not want to leave her home alone yet.  She is very confused to where he is and acting somewhat depressed like myself.  Course marking GPS: https://www.strava.com/activities/1376718207

Baby Girl in her cold weather gear ready to go do some flagging!
Someone worked so hard flagging the course!

Saturday morning I ran the short race (11.5 miles) just cruising along and enjoying being in the mountains again.  Hiked/jogged the first 2 miles with Clyde catching up since it has been a while since we have talked or seen each other.  After leaving Clyde I caught up to Harsha and his wife around mile 3 and spent a mile running with them for it has been a few years since we have seen each other as well.  Great catching up with others!  Anyways decided to treat it as a progression effort and picked up the pace heading back.  Ran a 1:31 the first half of the race and a 1:04 the second half to end up in 5th place.  Fun morning out there.  Tracks: https://www.strava.com/activities/1378587332

After finishing I quickly changed into dry clothes and drove around to the Lake Brainard road to hike the loop for the long race and remove the flagging.  One could say I was pretty wiped out and ended up paying the piper for the rest of the week.  First time on snowshoes in a few years and I cover 23 miles in 2 days, yeah my hips were shot.  Tracks for flag removal: https://www.strava.com/activities/1378588026

Such a great event, give it a shot someday!

Moose!!! Baby is in the trees

Views on the loop when removing flagging


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Motivation is Bullshit

So we are now 4 or so weeks into the new year, how are those "resolutions" you made doing?  How are all those memes you are posting on Facebook and Instagram working out for you?  Are you still hitting your goals for 2018 as far as activities, diet , work or whatever it is?  What if you can't find motivation to workout and get in shape, what do you do?  It's not about finding motivation.  motivation is bullshit.  You are measured by the amount of accountability you have to yourself.  You and only you are responsible for what you do and what you don't do.  Don't always count on being motivated to get shit done.

We live in a world where a lot of people need goals, motivation and a lot of other words to get started.  It is all an excuse to be lazy.  Rarely am I that motivated but I still do all the workouts, eat somewhat clean, read the books that may help me, ect....  Why?  Because I have a responsibility to myself to be best version of myself that I can be, and when that time comes when I find that motivation/drive, I will be ready.  This is a lifestyle, not a resolution.  It is not always fun.  Matter of fact, it is hardly ever fun....  The fun comes later when all the work you put in gets you to the goal that you are reaching for.

As ultra-endurance athlete and self-improvement guru Rich Roll says, "Mood follows action." In other words: Don't think. Do. 

That is enough of a GOM rant for today.  Go out and get some........