The Leadville Journey

The dust has settled, a major goal achieved and what remains is the reflection of an epic journey.

Leadville is more than just a Colorado mountain town, it’s a place where a dream was created and achieved. Training for and running the Leadville 100 provided lessons that transcend many areas of life. The “race across the sky” is one of the toughest endurance challenges and 100 mile runs in the world. Running for nearly 28 hours start to finish and the months leading up to race day taught me a lot more about life than it did about simply putting one foot in front of the other. Here are a few lessons that stuck and resonate in my thoughts and life.

Enjoy the journey

Focus on the magic of today, not just the finish line. Preparing for a race like Leadville required countless hours training, sometimes with great friends and other times in complete solitude. I loved both. Being mindful of the present allowed me to connect on a much deeper level with each experience and person while working toward my goal.

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Small wins

Setting small, achievable goals and recognizing progress is critical to success. This ranged from distance covered, hours trained or staying in the positive. The byproduct of these small wins didn’t just mean I ran further or faster it meant I performed better at work, had higher energy levels and was genuinely a happier person.

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Find (or build) a tribe

The support of family and friends helped me get to the start and finish line. Many thanks to my Aunt Pam, Uncle Richie, cousins Lauren and Erin who never stop cheering for me. Being on the Mountain Peak Fitness team allows me to train with the kindest, most talented endurance athletes who are more like family than friends. This community provided both inspiration and accountability that enabled me to push through some long, grueling training days and a very punishing race.

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Believe in yourself

Heart, pure grit and determination can overcome any mountain or obstacle. Knowing you are capable of achieving greatness is the key ingredient. The power of a strong network will help you succeed but the only person who can achieve your goal is you.

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Never give up

The finish line didn’t come to me. Knowing I came too far to quit regardless of what my mind or body was telling me was a pivotal point that kept me moving relentlessly forward. Struggle and feelings are temporary, how I reacted during tough times ultimately determined the outcome. I constantly reminded myself that the challenges and barriers are what make dreams worth achieving.

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Do you have a lofty goal? If so, what are you doing to get yourself to that start and finish line? Only you can make your “impossible” vision possible, go achieve it.

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energy collected

This past October I attended a Dharma talk focusing on the global ethics of our future.

The 80-year-old global activist, humanitarian, teacher and author of Be Free Where You Are,  Thich Nhat Hanh challenged the audience to evaluate their thought processes, behaviors and collective energy.

Collective energy resonates with me: the environment we live in, our place of work, family, friends and the people we engage. These influencing factors define who we are, how we think and ultimately guide our journey in life.

What influences in your life inspire? What influences in your life feed the lizard brain

The energy we collect will result in the happiness, freedom and successes we experience.

live your dream

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t just have a dream, he lived it:

Dr. King kept moving forward by surrounding himself with people who mentored, motivated and encouraged his philosophies.  

Who keeps you moving forward?

The relationships we foster act as a critical ingredient for our dreams, actions and achievements.  Keith Ferazzi has researched and written about frameworks to establish these important lifeline relationships in “Who’s got your back” and “Never eat alone”.

Surround yourself with those who encourage, provide (constructive) feedback and hold you accountable… develop these lifeline relationships and live your dream!

mission (not) impossible

What’s your mission? We all have a purpose worthy enough to declare a mission.

Seth Godin frequently speaks of the lizard brain. This is the voice in our head telling us our work doesn’t matter, continually feeding off negative energy, feedback and criticism.

Everyone has purpose and is capable of driving change to make a difference. That little voice in our head telling us otherwise needs to be silenced. 

Whether it’s bringing people safe drinking watermentoring students in underserved communities or building houses for underprivileged and well deserving families…. People need you right now.

Choose your mission, it’s impossible.

ANYTHING you want to be

Don’t flinch, go for it, be a contender and get in the ring.

It does not require a holiday or culturally established start date.

Envision and create goals every month, week, day and on the spot. Go for it. Take the steps to get you there now not later.

People right now are waiting for you to raise your hand, lead and start a movement.

Your time is now… envision, create, do and be anything you want to be!