Category: Motivation

Slapping Motivation Upside the Head with a Wet Noodle

Recently a friend of mine posted in a social media site something about how food is the fuel that runs your body and you don’t want to be starving your body of the nutrition it needs. I thought this was pretty good motivational commentary, so I added the following paraphrase of a Brian Tracy classic:

“Imagine you’ve just spent $500,000 on a race horse. What would you feed it? Would you cut corners? The cheapest stuff you can find? Your body is even more valuable.”

Almost immediately there were a few demotivational comments. Something along the lines of crippled old horses needing good food, something along the lines of can’t afford good food, something along the lines of a calorie is just a calorie. etc….

So I came up with the following:

If we break down the analogy into the smallest simple parts with the intent to destroy it and excuse our lack of progress, then yes, if you were to use aviation fuel in a Lamborghini, it would fly down the road. If you were to pour that into your 1978 Ford Pinto, it would explode when you turn the key.


Eggs, brown rice and salsa. Inexpensive healthy meal choice.

Sometimes motivation is hard. So is eating good simple healthy food. That doesn’t make it untrue. It also doesn’t excuse you from some simple facts. Yes, donuts and diet coke are the nutrition of choice for the Pintos out there. But you do have a choice. You can choose to spend your money more wisely and eat good healthy foods. Even Walmart has good inexpensive organic and natural foods, made by the same companies as those trendy very expensive stores that hold their employees under the guillotine of profit. Not that that is bad or anything …

Jim Whittaker Quote – On the edge

“Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn and grow the most.” — Jim Whittaker

"Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn and grow the most." -- Jim Whittaker
“Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn and grow the most.” — Jim Whittaker

I took Todd Gilles out ice climbing at Lincoln Falls – story HERE and HERE. I led the first pitch and ran it out to the end of a 70M rope. That left about 25M of route that I offered to him as his first lead. It was awesome being his mentor and helping him to learn how to lead.

Best of all was inspiring the confidence in him that he could lead, and was ready. He did a great job, and like the quote said, that’s where you learn and grow.

How about you? Are you going to go to the edge and beyond, risk everything and learn and grow to achieve your success?

Inspirational Quotes: Hills to Climb

Inspirational Quotes: Hills to Climb…

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
Nelson Mandela

I have a notebook full of inspirational quotes and this is one I reflect on frequently. I’ve been to the top of so many hills in my life. From that lofty vantage, I realize that there are indeed many more hills to climb. I’ve gone from success to failure to success so many times and so fast, that I’ve begun to enjoy the uphill journey as much as the time on top. I wrote about one of the lowest days in my mountaineering life in my book “Elbrus My Waterloo” CLICK HERE.

Inspirational Quotes: Poster

Inspirational Quotes: Hills to Climb
Inspirational Quotes: Hills to Climb

My good friend and climbing partner Todd Gilles is featured in this photo, from our recent snowshoe attempt on Quandary. This is one of my favorite mountains, a Colorado 14er I’ve been up many times. I have been to the top so many times now that I don’t mind at all not making the summit. We had high winds on the ridge above a wind-loaded slope with no small risk of avalanche. In the back of my mind I saw the reality that there are many more hills to climb. We retreated and had a great day discussing our plans for the upcoming running and climbing season. Those too are hills to climb.

I am alone most of the time on the mountains. When I do climb with friends I enjoy the camaraderie and fellowship. I enjoy having our goal, the summit, shared for that brief period of time as we ascend. I know what it’s like to have a good partner, at least in spirit, to help you along the way with moral support. Inspirational quotes can be a source of support in our daily lives. We can reflect on their meaning in our own moments of sadness or failure and go forward.

As you become more advanced in your goal setting skills, the chance of failure should become higher and higher until the chance of success is maybe only 50%. With that level of failure potential you should enlist the assistance of another skilled goal setter to give you the boost you need in accountability and helping you to never give up. Even if you’re only a beginner, with your first goal, you should consider getting help in setting and keeping your goals. Give it a go. Every day you don’t pursue your goals is one more day you’ll have to wait to enjoy them.

If you truly are alone, and have no one to assist as you reach for your summits, please, consider letting me help you. CLICK HERE for info on how you can sign up for the most affordable accountability partnering program today. You don’t have to be alone.

Inspirational Sayings: Man on Top

Inspirational Sayings are one of my favorite “down-time” activities on Pinterest, like MY INSPIRATIONAL SAYINGS BOARD which is one of my favorites.

Inspirational Sayings: The Man on Top of the Mountain Didn't Fall There - Vince Lombardi
Inspirational Sayings: The Man on Top of the Mountain Didn’t Fall There – Vince Lombardi

The photo I used to create this inspirational sayings poster was from my summit of the Carstensz Pyramid on 30 April 2013. At the time I thought I had a cracked rib, but it was damaged sternum cartilage and torn intercostal muscles (as diagnosed by physicians in Tembagapura, Papua, Indonesia, and Orem, Utah, USA). It was a tough upward battle of mind over muscle as each pull upward with my right arm, and each downward rappel braking motion shot waves of agony through my chest. I wrote about it in my book Carstensz, Stone Age to Iron Age CLICK HERE.

Inspirational Sayings in your life

Several people have consulted with me on success topics, from money to health to fitness to athletic goals. I have encouraged some to create their own Pinterest boards of inspirational sayings that are especially meaningful to their situation. One of the cool things about being human is that we have the wealth of the wisdom of all of our ancestors available to us. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we want to go anywhere.

It’s the law of cause and effect at work. If we empty our bank account, the effect is that we can’t pay our bills. If we don’t work out the effect is that we don’t improve our fitness. That could lead to a more long-term effect like poor health and an early demise. Inspirational sayings are one way that we can exploit that wisdom.

The Man on Top of the Mountain Didn’t Fall There
– Vince Lombardi

If you want to be on top of the mountain, you don’t fall there. You climb there. It takes work. It takes effort. It takes training. It takes skills. If along the path you do fall, you get right back up and regain your ground and keep moving till you reach the summit. I’m available to offer support.

Speaking of support, reaching the summit, and training, do you remember my “Couch to Colorado Fourteener” ebook sample? After getting some feedback from some of the more vocal readers I have made several revisions and am almost ready to publish it as a training program. If you’re interested, drop me a note in the comments section and I’ll get some more details up for you.

The Secret of Life: Conquer Some Fear

An awesome quote drifted past my desk today, and I had to share it with you.

He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life - Ralph Waldo Emerson
“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In climbing and training and in all of life, we have to face fears every day. Or live in denial. Sit down with a beer and a bag of chips and watch some WWE on pay-per-view. It’s a lot easier anyway. Not a lot of risk. When I first began climbing, I was really afraid. I couldn’t go up more than 15′ on my first few toprope climbs. I struggled and worked and overcame my reaction to my fear, but allow the fear to exist as a constant reminder to stay safe in the mountains.

Conquer Fear: the Tyrolean Traverse over 2000 foot drop on Carstensz Pyramid
Conquer Fear: the Tyrolean Traverse over 2000 foot drop on Carstensz Pyramid

Carstensz Pyramid was the fulfillment of a dream. I climbed one of the most difficult of the Seven Summits in spite of constant pain from my Costochondral Separation (diagnosed separately in Tembagapura, Indonesia, and Orem, Utah) and torn intercostal muscles from a serious fall early in the trek to base camp. I could barely breath and lifting and pulling with my right arm was agonizing. I gathered my courage and faced the fear of pain and failure and permanent disability to make the 2000′ ascent on jagged limestone cliffs to the summit of Oceania, the continental plate of Australia. [Read about it HERE]

“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What kinds of fears do you have when you are contemplating your future?

  • Are you wanting to lose weight?
  • Are you wanting to look good naked?
  • Are you wanting to climb a mountain?
  • Are you wanting to win a race?

All of these things carry the risk of failure, and with it the fear of failure. Sometimes that fear is so strong you can’t even begin the long road that eventually leads to success. What kinds of motivation do you need? What kinds of inspiration do you need? What can I do to work with you to help you take those first steps on that long road you should be on?

Inspirational Sayings: Never Been Before

One of my favorite inspirational sayings, and the one that I am most stoked about at the moment as I sit in the hotel room in Ouray Colorado for the Ice Fest, is in this image I put together quick.

Inspirational Sayings: Do things you've never done before
Inspirational Sayings: Do things you’ve never done before

It’s a photo of my wife, who is a great figure skater reaching out of her box with this great stemming move in the Scottish Gullies area of the Ouray Ice Park. In my life she’s like a living breathing inspirational saying. I took a lecture session with Steve House, who spent almost three years writing a book on Training for the New Alpinism [Pre-Order HERE]. As a former certified personal trainer, a lot of the more technical details of the book were good solid basic information.

Inspirational Sayings: Never let go!
Inspirational Sayings: Never let go!

What appealed to me most were his thoughts on specificity in training and the various training zones, and his motivational goal setting suggestions. I loved that, and am contemplating ways to incorporate those snippets into my own life and training. It would be tough at this time to narrow it down to any inspirational sayings and make some more of these posters, but I totally have a slew of them in mind if you want to drop by or subscribe to the blog to get them as soon as they are published.

The Power of Inspirational Sayings

Do Inspirational Sayings have power, in and of themselves? If you don’t believe in magic, then no, it would have to be the power you give them through repetition and belief. As a coach I don’t advocate any type of magic, but I have seen the benefit, even in my own life and training and expeditions, of repeating simple inspirational sayings like a mantra in times of need.

Inspirational Sayings: I can do this, I am responsible
Inspirational Sayings: I can do this, I am responsible

In my bleakest moments, trekking in a downpour on steep wet slippery muddy boggy almost invisible trails through the Indonesian jungle, I kept repeating the Brian Tracy inspirational sayings:

I am responsible
I can do this

And it worked. I did Carstensz Pyramid in spite of a serious rib/sternum injury because I believed that I could, I knew that I could, and that gave me the power to do it. Check out the book [HERE] If you need help with setting and keeping your goals, let me know and we’ll see how I can help with coaching and accountability services.