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........


Sunday, January 7, 2018

25 Training Rules to Remember (Rehash)

As I am finally on the upswing from having the flu just before New Years the motivation is starting to come back as I slowly get back into the groove again.   With the start of a Performance Challenge at the gym today as well it got me thinking again about some of the rules I came up with a few years ago and thought it was time to revisit them as everyone is kicking off their 2018 training.  These can be applied to everything from running to the gym even though they are worded more running.  Enjoy!

25 Training rules to remember

Training
1. There is no perfect training program. In fact, very intelligent, very successful coaches often disagree with one another. That means you're going to have to learn a lot, think for yourself, and experiment a little and base it on what you have learned in the past.

2. Don't repeat past mistakes that did not work in previous training cycles.

3. The effectiveness of any training program is directly related to the effort you put into it. If a program "doesn't work" it's probably because you're half-assing it. Effort trumps everything.

4.  Stop using "research" as a procrastination method. Yes, read articles and learn as much as you can, but most of what you learn will come from dedicated work.

5. Training may not always be fun, but it will always be rewarding. Lifelong rewards beat temporary fun.

6. Balance brutal workouts with long slow walks, preferably outdoors with the dogs.  This works for me.

7. Apply your work ethic to your workout. Don't give anyone the opportunity to think of you as lazy, distracted, inefficient, or weak... and don't give yourself that opportunity either. Embrace the work part of your workout.

8. Don't be so scared of injury and so obsessed with form that you forget to kick ass both running, biking and lifting. But don't be a jackass about it either and ignore obvious warning signs.

9. When life gets hard, work hard. Fight back, kick your own ass before anyone else has the chance – you'll steal their power and build armor.

10. Are you in this for the long haul?  Average people look for any excuse not to do the work, like a minor injury. Dedicated people find a way to work around injuries... and snowstorms, and holidays, and damn near anything else.

11. Think like a machine, not an emotional wreck who needs permission and approval and happy feelings at all times in order to be consistent.

Diet

 12. If the way you eat is working – body, mind, and ease of effort – then ignore diet trends that complicate things further. Rely on the knowledge you've gathered from prior experiences.

13. Having flat, carb-depleted muscles may make you look smaller, but it'll also make you weaker and lower your work capacity. Being weak and unable to work harder for longer periods of time is a recipe for stagnation.

14. Start with the major stuff. Worry first about that package of cookies or chips you're killing every night instead of your Vitamin C intake.

15. Be picky about where your macros are coming from and what purpose they serve. Sure, you can make kid's cereal fit into your nutritional allotment before bedtime, but is it taking the place of insulinogenic workout nutrition that would've made you kick ass at the next workout?

16. Don't do a low carb diet. Don't do a low fat diet. Do a low shit-food diet. Lower your intake of the things you know for sure aren't helping you.

17. Organic junk food is still junk food, hipsters.

18. Don't obsess over scale weight. Lose 10 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle and the scale will say you made "no progress.” The mirror beats the scale.

19. To guarantee the greatest gains from training, fuel, protect, and reload muscle immediately prior to, during, and after training.

Mind Game

20.  Weak people face life's obstacles with an excuse in their hand. Strong people carry a hammer.

21. Get shit done. Period.

22. You know what's worse than a critic? People who tell you to be average – well-meaning folks who enable mediocrity. Be passionate. Be a freak.

23. Build your willpower muscle, but use it wisely. Anorexics have great willpower, but it is misapplied.

24. Realize that the moment you decide to better yourself, other people will often try to stop you. This is sometimes disguised as subtle behavior. Don't worry, after they try to sabotage you, dissuade you, or politely get you to stop getting better, they'll come to you for advice. Give it to them kindly. People are weird.

25. Sometimes when you think life is kicking you in the ass, it's actually just moving you quickly to a better place.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Quick 2017 Review & Photo Recap

As I am sitting here on my couch with the flu for the past few days wishing I was out playing in the hills I thought I would get this put together and out there.  This year started out strong with trips to HI, CA, Boston, AZ, and Bolivia.  After Bolivia it was pretty much downhill from there, I just got burned out.  For someone who historically has not traveled that much, this year was huge on that front.  If you don't remember in last year's review I shared that Ashley and I got divorced.  Well in the 10 years we were together she did all the traveling with her friends and family while I stayed home to take care of the house, kid and pets.  I think this year as an over compensation to make up for it a bit.  Either way it was much needed and I am thankful for all the friends and memories from these trips.  Anyways let's start the break down of the year with training and racing.

Training: Not my biggest year by far in the running mileage but the overall time is still up.  Trying to fit in different activities takes away from the jogging which everyone know is what truly makes me happy.  The bike was a non-factor this year and I did add in some skiing and increased the time in the weight room dramatically.    Here is how 2017 breaks down.




How does that compare to the past years?  Well this is an interesting view.  Now you can see what I mean by total hours still being up.  Three big years in a row, can the trend continue? Being a single guy with nothing better to do, I see the trend continuing.  This is comparing the last 10 years in total hours.



Races:
Solid year in the racing department for the most part but the ongoing joke in the GOMs is this was "Shad's Year of Mediocrity" with doing so many different things and not really focusing on one race like last year.  You can go back and read all the race reports on the year, I am not going to get into them all here.   Anyways here is the list of all the organized races and/or events from the year.  Lots of great times and memories this year, I look back at this list and it just brings a smile from ear to ear.  Of course the smile got even bigger when I started digging through all the photos on my phone (at the end of the post).  Damn, what a fun year it was and I am honored to have so many great friends.

2017 Races/Events


Books:  
Got in weak 23 books this year.  Of course a bunch of them were zombie apocalypse themed books again.  Not sure where my book list will go this year.  Just been a struggle to get my butt to read at night, I am so tired I fall asleep super quickly anymore.  

2017 Books Read
1. Hell or High Water: Surviving the Tibet's Tsangpo River 
2. Discover Your True North*
3. Extreme Ownership*
4. Road to Sparta*
5. Mastering The Zone
6. What Doesn't Kill Us*
7. Ego is the Enemy*
8. Maximus Body*
9. Exposed Tragedy & Triumph in Mountain Climbing*
10. Mountain Madness*
11. Alone on the Wall*
12. No Barriers: A Blind Man's Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon*
13. Bolivia: A Climbing Guide
14. Way of the Warrior Kid*
15. Abyss- Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse*
16. War Buds: Under Attack*
17. War Buds 2: On Alert*
18. War Buds 3: Overcome*
19. The Operator: Firing the Shot that Killed Osama*
20. Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual*
21. Unbreakable Runner* (Re-Read)
22. Arisen Book 13- The Siege*
23. Arisen Book 14- EndGame*

Review of Goals for 2017: This year was a hit or miss year on goals.
1. Finish or be super close to finishing the 14ers (6 left)- Completed
2. Leadville 100 MTB if I make it through the lottery- Did not make it through the lottery
3. Go outside the lower 48 states- HI and Bolivia
4. Read at least 30 books- Nope, see above
5. Over 2,000 miles running and 3,000 miles biking- Biking fell off big time this year
6. Travel somewhere new for a race that I have never been- Hurt 100, Miwok, AZ
7. Sky Dive- nope, cancelled due to weather, rolled into 2018
8.  Use my passport to leave the country- Bolivia
9. Attend at least one concert- Guns N Roses at Mile High
10. Be an active member on the MTB team I am on this year doing at least 4 MTB races- Started the year strong but fell off as the running took it's toll.  No MTB races this year, only a couple of cyclocross.
 
Now on to some loose top 10 goals for 2018
1. Re-qualify for the Hardrock lottery
2. Re-qualify for Western States lottery
3. Travel somewhere new for a race
4. Attend at least one concert
5. Read at least 30 books
6. Sky Dive
7. Leave the lower 48 states
8. Keep the Blog more updated
9. Throw my hat into donkey racing
10. Backpacking on the Colorado trail



HAPPY NEW YEARS AND MAY 2018 BE YOUR BEST YET!
Year in Photos
Boulder Ice plunge group

Kalalau Trail Campsite

Kalalau Trail
Hurt 100

Moab with Andy

Lake Powell in AZ
Star Pass during the Grand Traverse

Grand Traverse with Rebecca, 40 mile ski race
Boston Marathon
Miwok 100K trail run in CA

Some small Redwood tree in CA


Miwok 100K course views

Trail running in Fruita CO
Mountain Biking in Fruita CO
Murph workout at NoCoast

Gray/Torrys via Dead Rat with Bob

Huayna Potosi climb in Bolivia

Huayna Potosi in Bolivia
Sis and the kids at Don's funeral
Donkey love up at the compound
Pacing/Crewing Donnie at Hardrock

Donnie finishing Hardrock

Guns N Roses

Pacing/Crewing Clyde at Leadville
Train ride to Chicago Basin

Chicago Basin at sunrise

Mount Wilson
Bob joining me as I finished the 14ers on San Luis

Cyclocross love



Crossfit Comp with Terry Miller

Sucking at the gym

Stop #1 during Solstice Run
Council of Elders for the Solstice Run


Here is to another year of adventures!