Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela influenced and changed the world. He is a personal hero of mine. His life and work will continue to transcend and inspire many generations. This post is dedicated to Madiba.

Dream big

 I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. ~Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela on Robben Island

If it doesn’t evoke fear it’s too safe. Starting a new chapter in life, traveling to places less traveled, going back to school, pursuing a big goal or changing jobs is scary. If we aren’t doing things that scare us we aren’t learning. Dream big and go after big dreams.

Give back and help others

To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. ~Nelson Mandela


Prisoners of Robben Island

Empowering and helping others brings purpose and a mission. My work with the Peace Corps, and Achilles International provide me with new perspectives, higher levels of empathy and passion to keep giving back. Our work matters.

Don’t stop

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

Every big dream has hills to climb and each hill climbed brings us closer to success. The hills test our commitment and stop others who don’t want it bad enough. Don’t stop when it gets tough.

Forgive and let go

I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison. ~Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island

People will wrong us in life. We cannot control how others act but can control how we react. Disengage from the anger, bitterness and anxiety for a life filled with happiness and freedom.

Time is limited

We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right. ~Nelson Mandela

How do you spend your time? Is it spent on things that matter? Our timeline is unknown and limited. Each day is a gift and opportunity to better ourselves and the world. Take advantage of the moment; pursue lofty goals, help others and never give-up.


Robben Island


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.

LT100-Twin Lakes LT100-Hope Trail

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.


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.

LT100-Phil LT100-crew LT100-Mile 99

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.

LT100-Hope Summit

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.

LT100-Marilee LT100-Aunt Pam & Lauren LT100-Uncle Richie

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.