Tag: attitude

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.

Fat Loss with New Years Resolutions

Got Fat Loss?

Like much of the civilized world right now you want to know about fat loss. It’s the very edge of 2013. You are probably thinking up some new years resolutions. If you’re like most people, you also are making the wrong resolutions. Or your resolutions are poorly formed. Here are some ideas to help you make better resolutions.

Reward your fat loss goals with treats if that works
Mt. Fuji in Japan with my wife. I had lost nearly 20 lb at this point in my fat loss journey.

1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
2. A resolving to do something.
3. A course of action determined or decided on.

The definition of “resolution” implies a firm determination and decision. Many people tend to think of it in black/white terms. Either/Or. Fat Loss or … Fat Gain? That’s the catch here. If it’s total opposites, the only failure option available is to gain fat. Don’t get stuck in that trap.

Group activities with a deadline make great fat loss goals
American Fork Canyon Half Marathon 2011 finish line

Let’s begin by thinking of a Resolution as a Goal. A goal is a target. You either hit it or miss it. That simple. First of all a goal should be easily defined. Easily written down. Studies have been cited that people who write down a goal are more likely to achieve success than those that do not. Even if they never ever read that goal again. If they read that goal over and over and over they are even more likely to succeed. Your fat loss goal deserves the best chance of success. Write it down.

Fat Loss Goal? Write it down

for best success in your fat loss goals build a support team of family and friends
My kids at the Steamboat Half Marathon. Get the kids involved in your family fitness adventures.

Your goal has to be measurable, controllable, and achievable, with a starting point and an ending point. It must be a statement of fact as though it were true. Not a wish. Not a desire. Not a want.

I want to be a size 6. That’s not a goal. That’s a dream.

I am a size 8. I will be a size 6 in 10 weeks with carefully controlled nutrition and exercise. Now that’s a goal. It’s defined. It points to the process. It has a starting and ending point. It’s achievable in the time given for many people. It’s even measurable.

Measure your fat loss goals and succeed

track your fat loss goals with apps and software
Tracking software or apps can help you achieve your fat loss goals

There are at least a few ways to track your goal achievement. One way is to set a group of subgoals. Break down your fat loss milestones into smaller and smaller parts. It’s easier to do a little thing several times a day and see if it works than to do one thing every six months or so and just not know. I have a screenshot above from my PolarPersonalTrainer.com Web App. It syncs with my Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor Watch that I wear for most workouts. I can track to be sure I’m not coasting in my workouts. I can also see if I might be overtraining. I highly recommend one of the many different heart rate and fitness tracking apps.

Some people can handle daily or weekly weight checks. Others can’t. For body composition goals I don’t recommend weight-based goal numbers. As you work out your muscles might grow a bit, and muscles weigh more than fat. They also can store water better than fat. Your intestinal contents, what you eat on a daily basis, can also hold varying amounts of water. Weight isn’t always the best way to measure fat loss.

You an get a bodyfat percentage measurement on a regular basis from health departments, fitness facilities, trainers, and several others. It’s a good way to measure your fat loss, and in general it adjusts itself to the amount of muscle you have. You can also just go by how your clothes feel. Count the empty holes in your belt. When your pants fall off. Clothing sizes can vary quite a bit from the different manufacturers. One company can have you at a size 32″ pants and another at a size 36″ pants.

body composition improvement evident in fat loss
Upper back development at 12% bodyfat

You can also track yourself with a diary or journal. Keep track of your daily accomplishments. Keep track of every single food item that goes into your mouth. Weigh it, measure it, note it. Keep track of how you feel when you wake, when you train, in the evening. Keep track of every ounce of weight you lift or push or pull. Keep track of every minute you do cardio of any type. Look back on previous results to compare and establish progress. You can eliminate a lot of fat loss excuses this way.

Reward your fat loss goal accomplishments

Some diet plans include cheat days. I’ve seen some pretty good math to show how you can totally sabotage your entire fat loss nutrition plan in a single meal. Just avoid it. After a while, if you think about it, it just seems desperate. Instead find things that you love to do. Things with your family. Things you love to wear. Things you consider luxurious otherwise. Go ahead and reward yourself. Just not with food. It’s like rewarding a thief for not stealing things for a year by allowing them free reign in a jewelry store.

One of my favorite rewards is a hike in the mountains with my family. I like to try a running event, like a half marathon in beautiful canyons. I know people who like to buy a clothing one size too small and work their way into a perfect fit. Do what works for you. Just don’t use food as your reward for fat loss success.

fat loss nutrition is healthy eating
Fat loss nutrition, not diet, will be key to your success

Take Fat Loss Goal Setting to the next level

When you first start setting goals, they should be easy enough you can hardly fail. Set microgoals that are easy and well defined and well measured. Here’s an example of one of these daily sets of microgoals.

Today I will wake at 5:00 AM, take my vitamins with a large glass of water. I will do 10:00 minutes on an elliptical at Level 4 as a warmup. I will do full Back Squats with 135 lb for 30 total reps in 15 minutes. I will do Leg Extensions with 60 lb for 50 total reps in 15 minutes. I will get on a treadmill and do 30:00 minutes at 6.0 mph and 3% incline. I will eat a high-protein, moderate carb, moderate fat meal. I will take a very hot shower and get ready for work.

Each of these little microgoals are an element of this daily goal. Each of these little chunks of action are simple enough to do, one after the other, to achieve this part of a larger fat loss goal. Aside from the weights and reps involved, which could easily be adjusted for anyone, these microgoals would be very difficult to fail at. When you first start, you need lots of success. As you become an expert at setting goals, you can make more and more advanced goals, with a higher probability of failure and it will not deter you from keeping on the path you set out on in the first place.

fat loss makes your muscles stand out more
Leg Muscles appear more obvious when your skin is thinner from fat loss

Fat Loss Goal Failure?

Yes. Sometimes it happens. You fail. Say that for some reason or other at the end of the 10 weeks you’re not a size 6. Now what? For one thing, if you’ve been keeping accurate measurements and a diary or journal, you probably would have noticed this a while ago and made some microgoal corrections. For myself I have recently had an issue that when I looked back on training journals from two years ago suddenly made sense and I was able to address it and possibly avoid a year of setbacks. Refer to your journals frequently.

You can also evaluate your goal and see if it was realistic. For some people 3 pounds of fat loss a week is possible. For others that might take six weeks. You find out what you can do or get away with by evaluating your failures.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison

I think people probably need to fail to figure out their own success. Don’t let it get to you. Re-evaluate. Set a new goal based on your failure. At 185 lb and over 50 years of age I will never run a 4:00 minute mile. It would be silly to set a goal based on that. I will never have a 28″ waist. I will never do a triple-axel. But that doesn’t detract from any goals I set, so long as I avoid those exact goals. I can set a goal based on a 7:00 mile. I can set a goal based on a 32″ waist. I can set a goal based on a waltz jump combo. Find what you can do and focus on that. Not on what you can’t do.

Trail running is an excellent activity for fat loss
Top of Mount Olympus outside Salt Lake City Utah, a favorite trail run

I want you to explore the full range of setting goals and making achievements in your own fat loss program. This article is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning to set goals. If you can, read books on goals. Listen to audio books on goals. If you can afford it, hire a trainer who has success with goals. Hire a life coach. You can get quite inexpensive online and phone life coaching. Some people are strong enough to do it on their own, some need help. If you want success, do what works for you. It’s your future. What’s it worth?