Process vs. Destination

I think that I will continue where I left off with my last post and continue to help you get ready for the new year.  Don’t settle for making resolutions, review those priorities.

Then after that, recognize that everything is about the process.  It is not about the destination.  It is not about the weight loss, or the increases to your maxes in the gym.  It is and has to be about the process.  You have to find a way to embrace and enjoy the process.  There is so much to learn and beauty in the process.

I am going to try and frame it a little bit for you.  If you have ever gone on a hike or climbed any sort of mountain, you might understand this.  Did you take pictures along the way?  Did you see things that amazed you as you ventured through nature and on the path?  If you did, then you know what I am talking about.  You know that when you review the pictures of your adventure, there were moments along the way that stood out to you.  They might even be one or two moments that captured you more than the final destination.

We honestly cannot say how we will feel when we reach our goal, or if we ever even make it that far.  But there is always a process that we are a part of; there is always the moment that we are in right now.  I want to write a book someday, but there will be moments in that writing that stand out, sentences or paragraphs that have far more impact and style than the last phrase I put down (I hope that is true).  It is all about being caught up in the moment and embracing the most out of each and every piece of the journey that will get us to our goals.

Goals are great and visualization of achieving those goals is highly encouraged, but do not get weighed down by not achieving those goals at a breakneck pace.  Find the beauty, the wisdom, the truth in each piece of the puzzle.

If you are learning to lift, learn to enjoy the way that bar feels from the ground, from the hang, on your back, in the front rack.  Embrace how it feels to fight to stand out of a heavy squat, and enjoy the moments when what once was heavy, lands weightless in the receiving position.  Embrace the moment when an old max is now used for reps and the pain as you have an off day and the bar just doesn’t want to move.

Celebrate the new skills you learn and that work it took to accomplish them.  Consecutive Double Unders, handstands, levers, planches, snatches…they all are moments that teach.  Dig in and remember the story behind a bloody shin or a torn callous.  They make the journey.

The view from the top really doesn’t change over time, but each person’s journey is unique!

Own yours…take action.  Start today!

Success in the New Year

This one is probably one of the most important messages that I can pass along for the new year.  I hope that in some small way these tips will help you get ready for the new year and more than anything take the necessary steps to find success throughout the upcoming year.

In the past, I have put out multiple posts trying to outline steps to success, and while I still believe in those steps, I feel that what I am about to share are steps in my own personal growth and my own gaining of knowledge (maybe wisdom) this past year.  Consider this my year in review, as I do not like to look back on past successes and failures, but rather start with some lessons learned.

In order to do this correctly, I must take a minute before sharing and thank everyone who has helped me learn these lessons.  They range from big names like Travis Mash and the Barbell Buddha (Chris Moore) to the team  that I work with day in and day out at my home gym.  Special thanks goes out to my wife, she drives me crazy and keeps me sane at the same time…anyone who is married knows what I am talking about.  But everyday that I get to spend with her is like winning the lottery. Here’s to all of you!

Success in the New Year

The biggest key to success in the new year is to focus on getting your priorities straight.  This is the key that everything else will and must resolve around.  Whether it is a stronger commitment to your family, your work, starting a new business, your training, your nutrition, or your finances…figure out where everything in your life falls.  It is not about setting resolutions, but about getting your priorities straight from the start.

It doesn’t mean that other things are not important, but you must set up your frame of reference according to your priorities.  If you don’t, then it is too easy to get off track.  It is easy to be confused as to what you want to focus on and deal with.  I am not going to tell you what your priorities need to be, just encourage you to figure them out.  Then from there see how these affect the others in your life.

That is when you must talk to them about these priorities and help them see your vision.  Joe De Sena, founder of Spartan race tells a story about how family is his number one priority.  But he says that was not always the case…he talks about when he was starting Spartan Race, he put his family on the back-burner and his life revolved around this business endeavor.  He talks about how hard that was on his family life, but that they stuck with him and saw it through.

Learn this from Joe, if you are going to take on a huge task, let people know that it is coming and that it will affect them.  This could mean going back to school and needing to be able to study so you might be distant for a while.  Maybe you are starting a business and need to focus on that.  Let others into that dream so they understand where your head will be at and that you are not neglecting them, but focusing on something else.  If you are trying to focus on your family, then they need to know that as well.

Once you have your priorities in order, then it allows you to have a frame of reference for everything that you do.  If it is a matter of choosing between something with a low priority and something with a high priority, choose the higher priority and get after it.  By doing this, you also give yourself the freedom to choose and not feel guilty for choosing.  Success can come when we give ourselves the right to choose.

Still with me?  Great!

The next key to success in the new year is going to be get accountability.  Tell someone what your goals are or what those priorities are.  You have to build in something that doesn’t allow you to stop or change them.  Find accountability somewhere.  It doesn’t have to be shouting from the rooftops and telling anyone and everyone. Just get someone to help you because if you are honest with yourself, you have not been successful to this point.

Along with being held accountable, be open to criticism.  This is a tough one for me, but it is critical.   We all have to be open to doing things differently than we “want” to or how we think will be best.  We have to be open to criticism so that growth can actually happen.  So open yourselves up to someone questioning you, or suggesting alternate ways of doing things.

From these setbacks and rough times, be open to setbacks, but don’t accept or see them as failure.  Failure is quitting or giving up.  Setbacks are just that, something that sets you back temporarily.  Accept that setbacks are a natural part of growth.  If you are an athlete training an injury is a setback…if you stop playing or pursuing athletic endeavors altogether that is accepting failure.  For a real world example of this, take a look at Kevin Ogar…huge setback but he is an example of not accepting failure!

Once you do all the above make sure that you are giving something back to this world.  Make it better, start thinking about the legacy you leave.  Give something back.  Don’t just focus on what you have or can get.  Give something back, and when you think you cannot give anymore…try!  This world has gotten so wrapped up in me, me, me, we have forgotten how to change it through giving to others and the true joy that it can bring us!

That about sums up my best tips for this upcoming year and advice to help you achieve success.  A final small tip that I will recommend is that every day give up one hour and devote it to learning something new.  Whether it is reading a book, watching a how-to video, listening to a podcast…commit to growing everyday.  Disconnect from the smartphones and social media world and grow.  By giving just an hour a day, you gain 365 hours of knowledge and skills.  Think about that!

Here’s to you and your success.  If you need help, contact me and I will be more than happy to be your accountability!

First Half Marathon Completed…Lessons Learned

I completed my first half marathon this weekend and today I am feeling the effects.  Through completing this obstacle, I think that I can check it off the bucket list.  The verdict is still out on whether or not, I will take on another half or anything like this again.  It just didn’t fit into something that I truly enjoyed.  (Although I did enjoy getting caught up on some podcasts during the run).

That brings me to the first lesson that I learned:

  • Try new things including things not in your wheelhouse.  You have to.  They are a part of fitness.   If you want to be well rounded you need to challenge yourself in areas that are not the most fun to you.  Then if you try it and don’t like it, then you can move away from it.  But everything deserves to be tested and tried.  Who knows, you might actually learn that you like something you never thought you would.
  • Motivation is key. During this half marathon, you could not go less than 100 yards without someone cheering you on.  There were kids wanting high-fives and people coming out of their houses to cheer you on.  It made you not want to stop jogging.  You just wanted to keep going.
  • Don’t focus on how far away the finish line is.  There was a point in the run when I wanted to think about how far away the finish line was.  I saw a mother slow up to talk to her daughter who was struggling to keep up.  The mother told her, “we got this”.  The daughter  told the mother to keep going because “I am holding you up”.  I realized that I needed to change my focus in their exchange.  I didn’t need to worry about the finish line, but rather focus on the next step.  I just had to keep taking one more step and the rest will take care of itself.
  • It’s more mental than physical.  The truth of the matter is that your body is going to hurt at times.  You are going to feel pain and a lot of things physically but so much of this and what we do in our daily life is mental.  We must choose to not stop and not quit.  We just have to fight through the aches and pains.  (Don’t confuse aches and pains with injuries…stop when injuries happen).
  • Some people will be better than you.  Face it.  There is someone out there that is better than you are.  I watched a man finish his 26 miles before I finished my 13.  But the kicker is, I have no desire to be a great marathon runner.  I just want to be fit.
  • Realize what your reward is.  You define success.  No one else.  Crossing the finish line was all that I needed to be happy.  For others they were qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  You define what is going to make you happy day in and day out!

And with all things in life the biggest lesson that we have to accept is….wait for it…

It’s a marathon not a sprint! 

You knew that was coming!