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Well, it’s been awhile (sometime in 2017 to be exact) since I’ve last logged anything related to my journey. So here’s a quick recap / state of the union.

At the end of 2017, I completed my personal athletic goal of competing at Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in Canada which was an absolute blast. It was the first time I ever did three back to back to back races in one weekend.

In 2018, I also took a step back from building my business with LifeVantage — to be honest, the flame sort of fizzled out. I believe it was caused by a combination of misaligned vision between me and the corporate team, as well as the target market that I envisioned myself leading versus the reality of the target market the company actually acquires. So I found myself in a transitional period which brought a lot of new opportunities in for me to grow my software consulting business. I was able to bring on three long term clients and a handful of one-off projects.

On the fitness side of 2018, there was no more enthusiasm for me to continue growing in the sport of OCR. Being able to compete at OCRWC was my pinnacle achievement as a casual mud runner. I’m also not a huge fan of running in training, so if I can’t enjoy the process, there’s no point in continuing. I felt as if setting a new goal in OCR would only happen because that’s what my OCR friends would expect from me instead of what I actually want to do. However I will be forever grateful to OCR and the community. OCR gave me a target goal to reach during my initial weight loss journey — it became less about just losing weight and more about doing things I never thought I could have before with people that share the same obstacles.

So in the transition period of my fitness life, I wanted to explore and try different training regimens. I even started a Youtube channel that would document me visiting different gyms around the country where I could dabble in different fitness domains. However that quickly ended, because I found something to satisfy my thirst for constant novelty — CrossFit.

First I fell in love with the sport of CrossFit. The CrossFit Games moved to Madison in 2017 where I was exposed to the sport for the first time. I had no idea what or who I was watching when I went to go check it out, since I was still focused on OCR at the time. Then I dug into all the documentaries, Youtube vlogs, and other media, and I immediately got hooked. The 2018 CrossFit Games rolls around, but this time I’m a fanboy. Right after the games, I decided to actually start doing CrossFit (August 2018).

After falling in love with the sport of CrossFit, I then fell in love with the method of CrossFit. I’ll explain in a later post why CrossFit fit me so well. However that passion for the method led me to the theory and the reason why CrossFit was created. Fast forward eight months, and now I’m doing everything I can to develop and grow my knowledge base to help others achieve their own personal goals through CrossFit.

And that’s my brief synopsis on what’s happened since where we last left off.

At the beginning of each year, everyone’s taking off from the start line towards their New Year’s resolutions with the majority of them being health related goals. Often we’ll see all of the Facebook posts complaining about how packed the gyms are and how all of these people will fail within a few weeks.

Instead of being one of those negative Nancys, I want you to take a different approach. Instead of tearing down all of these people and their goals to get their summer body, I want you to encourage them and wish for them to succeed instead of fail.

People that want others to fail are coming from a state of jealousy and comparitis.

They’re either afraid of people becoming better than them or they fear that they’ll get left behind because others are progressing in life. These people also just may want to be the “I told you so” guy. They’d rather be right than to see you succeed at your goals.

This doesn’t just apply to people and their New Year’s resolutions. This also applies to situations like the recent election and the new president with whom you may or may not agree with. Either way, President Elect Donald Trump is now our president and to hope that he fails is like hoping the pilot on your airplane fails and crashes. Everyone INCLUDING YOU on that airplane will die.

Is being “right” worth the suffering of everyone else? Instead of hoping that others fail, hope that they succeed.

The first week of any fitness challenge or journey is one of the most important weeks, because it sets the tone for the entire adventure. It’s the most challenging week physically, but it’s the easiest week mentally. It’s when new habits start forming, bad habits start getting weeded out, and baselines get established. It’s the easiest week mentally, because that’s when you’ve got the most excitement, and you haven’t been burnt out or worn down by the difficulties of the challenge yet.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

~Jim Ryun

This first week for me pushed far out of my comfort zone for running. Because 1) I hate running (for now), and 2) I’m not a great runner (for now). My workouts that we’ve got set up for me consist of P90X3 and a mixture of different runs: intervals, long runs, and hill repeats. I had never done any kind of training for running before so this was all new to me!

Based on my current running experience (almost none), Jay set me up with some running paces.

  • Easy Run (can hold a conversation and run): 11:00
  • Threshold (TH): 9:35
  • Long Run: 11:45

So here’s what I did for Week 1 of my 48 weeks until OCR World Championships!  (starting on Monday, November 7, 2016)

Day 1: Rest Day + X3 Total Synergistics

Rest day?! One of my favorites! I’m an expert at napping, so that was a fun start to my training! The last few months, I’ve really fallen behind in my workout routines. I went from six workouts a week to two a week. From a mix of vacationing in Cancún to business all over the U.S., I’ve been a bit out of balance. So this delay in training was nice for me to just get back into the flow of having a workout routine, because although I didn’t have to run, I still had to workout!

Total Synergistics is a full body workout using both body weight and free weights. It’s a combination of strength, core and balance training. It’s one of my favorites from the P90X3 program.

Day 2: Easy Run (2 miles) + X3 Agility X

My first scheduled running workout is an easy run for 2 miles! I did the run on a treadmill with a 2 degree incline to make up for not running outside. I think it’s time for me to move down south because it’s getting cold up here in Wisconsin!

Agility X, one of my least favorites because I’m just not a fan of doing agility/cardio exercises by myself. Definitely way more fun with other people. However, Tony Horton does crack me up, so that helps. And laughing adds an ab or two right?

Day 3: Easy Run (4 miles) + Hills (8x) + X3 Yoga

Ran at a nice park called Elver Park in Madison, WI. The hill there is also where the Wisconsin Men’s Basketball Team likes to go train, so I thought that if it was good enough for them that it was good enough for me. Unfortunately, it’s that time of year where the sun sets way too early so after I ran my first two miles, I saw that it was getting dark. So I headed for the hill which was enormous! I was only able to run up the full hill once. For the rest of the hill runs, I was only able to run up half way and walk the rest of the way up. By the time I was done with the hills, it was too dark to even see my feet, so I didn’t run the last two miles.  Logged those 2 miles at a 10:16 pace.

X3 Yoga is the bee’s knees! It’s great for stretching out those tight muscles while also training your core and balance.

Day 4: Easy Run (2.5 miles) + X3 The Challenge

I ran 3 miles on a 1 degree inclined treadmill at a 10:31 pace. Notice that I’m not great at following instructions…

The Challenge is a workout that is filled with different variations of pull ups and push ups. This is going to be a key workout for the obstacles in the races.

Day 5: Rest Day + X3 CVX

Rest? You don’t have to tell me twice. I’ve never in my life run this many days consecutively, so this was a nice breather for me.

CVX is cardio with weights. Add this to my list of workouts that kick my butt.

[easy-tweet tweet=”When it comes to working out, I’d rather get my butt kicked than to always kick butt.”]

Day 6: 5k Race + Ninja Gym!!

I had never run a “normal” 5k race before, so this was all new to me! I was invited by Lisa Nondorf to come run this 5k/10k race for Lung Cancer Awareness in Chicago. There I met some awesome fellow OCR racers and had an awesome time at the race, even though it was a little chilly. I finished the race with a 28:28 time w/ a 9:11 pace, so Jay’s predictions about my training paces were spot on!

The race overall was pretty flat, and I spent most of the time trying to dodge the ten year olds that were zipping by me. How do they have so much energy?! Halfway through the race, I started wishing that I didn’t put on so many layers, but at least I was pleasantly distracted by the elk that we ran by. Yes, elk (we ran in a forest preserve for elk). I ended up placing 2nd in my age group (Men’s 21-40). Sure there wasn’t a huge competitive turn out for my age group, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to take this W for my first 5K!

If you can’t enjoy the small wins in life, not only will you not be able to enjoy the big success, you’ll never even reach it.

After the race, we grabbed a hearty brunch and headed to the Chicago Ninja Academy. I’ve been meaning to go to this ninja gym for a while, so I was super pumped to finally go, and I was blown away! It was essentially a playground for adults! From different kinds of swinging grips to balance beams, ninja steps to warped walls, climbing ropes to a spider wall, it had everything! The best form of working out is play!

There I finally figured out how to lache, which is a full launch from one monkey bar to the other with both hands releasing simultaneously. That’ll definitely come in handy for the obstacle rigs with larger gaps, especially since I don’t have a large wingspan. Day 6 was an amazing training day; I wouldn’t even call it training. It was a play day with awesome OCR friends.

Day 7: Long Run (5 miles)

Following the trend of not doing what I’m told, I ran 6.1 miles instead. It’s hard to tell entrepreneurs what to do, that’s why we don’t like having bosses. Although to be successful in life, we still have to be coachable and have mentors, so we do listen…sometimes. Fortunately, Coach Jay is also an entrepreneur so he completely understands! I did however run this at an 11:45 pace like I was supposed to. I’ve never run 6 miles nonstop in my life so this in itself is a personal accomplishment!

 

The first week of OCRWC training is in the books! I had never run this many miles in one week either! The most I had probably run prior was 7 miles, and that’s because I ran a 6 mile OCR! In week 1, I logged a total of 16.1 miles! Holy crap!

Like I said before however, the first week of any challenge is the easiest, because it’s when we’re most excited. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this crazy journey, and I’m super excited to see what the next 47 weeks has in store for me!

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or you’re trying to improve your performance, we all will hit a wall at some point during our journey. I’ve personally rode the roller coaster of weight loss and it’s not fun. I’m sure many of you can resonate with that struggle of losing weight and gaining it all back.

When we hit that wall or undo all the good we’ve done, we start to question if what we are doing is even the right way to do it. Or our friends just say, “Come on, you can treat yourself just this one time. “Or we forget why we’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle and just stay in bed for 5 more minutes.

I had the honor of being a guest on a national conference call with hundreds of my partner company’s business partners to share my fitness journey. I talked about the three crucial puzzle pieces that most people are missing when they start chasing after their health goals.

1. You’re missing a coach.

Trying to tackle this journey on your own is one of the more difficult paths. You’re where you’re at because of the knowledge you possess or lack thereof.

This person can be someone you hire such as a personal trainer, or this can be a friend that is living the lifestyle you desire. They don’t have to be a complete expert on the subject of health, but they do need to be performing at a higher level than you. They are someone that has to know more than you and someone that you can go to when you have a question or get stuck.

2. You’re missing accountability partners.

Aside from your coach, you need a group of people to help keep you accountable. The accountability partners that work best are the ones that are on the journey WITH you. Having friends cheer for you on the sidelines is great, but there’s something to be said about the power of when you’re in the game with your friends.

I recommend daily check-ins with your accountability partners to discuss what went well, what didn’t, and provide daily encouragement so that you can push through this journey. The power of accountability partners isn’t what you get FROM them. As their partner, you have to keep them accountable and continue to push them forward. And in order for you to do that, you have to hold up your end of the deal first which causes you to take action too.

3. You don’t want it bad enough.

It doesn’t matter if you have the best coach and the best accountability partners. If you don’t want it bad enough for yourself, you’ll find an excuse. If you do want it bad enough, then you’ll find a way.

When you have the burning desire to succeed in taking control of your health, that’s when you’re willing to do whatever it takes. That’s how the consistency, good habits, sacrifices, and commitment all come into play on their own.

When times get tough where you want to give up, you’ll need to remember how bad you want it. You must remember your WHY. Why do you want to take control of your health? Is it to live your best life? Is it to be around as long as possible for your family? Is it to inspire others? Is it to prove to others that you can do it? Is it to prove to yourself that you can do it? Whatever your reason may be, it has to be strong enough to push you through the difficult times.

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.

~Eric Thomas

If you’re struggling with your fitness journey, look to fill these three missing puzzle pieces so that you can take your health to the next level.