Getting In the Mindset

This past weekend I ran the Colfax 10 miler. There’s a marathon and half marathon distance as well, but due to minimal training and schedule, I opted for 10 miles instead of 13.1 miles, which is what I had originally planned to do. Sometimes when I’m right on the edge of doing something like this, part of me says “Nope. Not yet. Just wait till you are better prepared.” Then there’s another side of me that I listen to more often that says “Sure, you might not do it as fast as you want, but you need this to check your head space and see how your body responds. Go for it. Take the chance. This isn’t the time to be normal.”

So I gave in and did the race.

Did I mention part of the running route went through Mile High Stadium?? Go Broncos!

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The day was awesome. I had a good plan going in and felt confident with the plan. At any time I knew that if I got injured then I could grab a cab, go to my truck and go home. But the plan was simple. Run easy, listen to your body, take time to evaluate where you are in your head and most of all… have fun!

And that’s what I did! I had a blast and ran injury free.

You see, I’m walking into a season where everything with meeting my 2015 goals for triathlon get more intense – right now. I have one year to be in a much different place as an athlete and I will get there. Part of running the race this past weekend was all about me getting my head in the game.

Getting my head in the game is all about changing my mindset. I’m going to be writing on Getting in the Mindset more often as it pertains to so much of what we do in life. I use this thought process when I’m spending the day going over social media strategy and strengths with people. I will unpack the process in later posts.

For me, getting in the mindset to train for some big races next year takes totally immersing myself in the experience. Running this most recent race was one way for me to dive in. As I ran, I watched all of these runners who have been training day after day to beat their personal record. I watched as friends and family cheered them on. I watched as some people ran the one race that was on their bucket list. I got it. I saw it and I experienced it just like so many other times before. I caught the vision even more for what I want out of this and I can see it in my sights.

Getting in this mindset takes on the roll of being part of my every day life. Not something “I have to go do”. Not something that is an add on to my day or my life. But it is part of my life. What I eat, when I sleep, how I schedule my day and how I travel. It’s all part of the mindset.

You know what this is like right? When you have your eyes on a goal. It’s stuck in your head weaving it’s way in and out of your life right? It’s where getting in the mindset begins and for me, the mental side of it is the foundation to achieving the goals I want to meet.

When you know you need to get mentally ready for something, how do you get in the mindset you need to accomplish your goal? 

The Road To Crockett Park Is Paved With Change

Last week, while in Nashville for meetings, I went for a run on one of my old running trails. This one is special. It starts at the soccer fields at the Brentwood YMCA and goes all the way back to Crockett Park.

You see, when I first started running here it was 2005. I was going through one of the most difficult parts of my life and I needed to find a way to rebuild my life and rediscover who I was and who I really needed to be. Little did I know that this same little route would be the place that helped me start that journey.

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I ran this route every tuesday and thursday morning for almost two years with the same group of people. At the time, I had only competed in one half marathon and wouldn’t even call myself a runner. But I seemed to really like it and I loved how I felt after a run. My mind was clear. I felt focused. I felt energized and ready to conquer anything that came my way.

It was on this road I took time for me. I took the time to process my life and the direction I wanted to go. It was here where I regained confidence in myself and changed the way I thought about life. It was here where I set goals and met goals. It was here where I learned more about my failures. It was here where I started to redefine me. And yet… I didn’t start out running this route with any of that in mind. I just wanted to run and get healthy.

What I didn’t know about getting healthy was it had less to do with the physical part of my life (although my body changed a lot) but affected the health of my mind and soul more than I could have ever imagined.

It changed me. Forever.

This road was also where I decided to get into swimming which led to triathlon and started the road to Ironman. A journey and accomplishment that took redefining me to a whole other level.

Sometimes we walk into situations thinking one thing and never expect to walk out with a completely different and better outcome than expected. It’s one of those little nuggets in life we get from time to time to inspire us to keep going in the right direction.

When I come back to Nashville and run this route, it’s always filled with great memories. Even the hard stuff I had to work through while running this route ends knowing I’m on the other side of it now.

Have I stopped changing? no. I continue on making small changes here and there. Always looking for places in my life to improve. I still have a long ways to go, a lot of miles to run and will continue to look forward as I go, but I never forget my past and where I’ve come from.

The Struggle For A Healthy Life Is All In My Head

The struggle for a healthy life is all in my head. It’s a mental game. At least that’s what I think it is.

I have some goals fitness goals for myself for 2014 that lead into 2015. As some of you know, when I was blogging a lot more, I would throw out my goals on my blog so that my friends who read this blog can help keep me accountable.

For years I have always been just a little heavier than I would like to be. Granted. Not a lot by comparison to some. At different times in the last few years I’ve been anywhere from 10lbs to 25 lbs heavier than I would like. Yes, I would be heavier even while swimming, biking and running. But the problem is I love to eat and when you are exercising like that, the end result is you want to eat anything put in front of you.

Healthy_LifeWell, at 43 I can’t do that like I used to. So the real struggle here isn’t getting the exercise. That part is easy. It’s choosing to eat the right foods and the right amount.

And yes, it’s a struggle for me. I grew up in the south where all things fried and fattening was the norm.

I’ve tried just about everything you can imagine to lose weight, but it does really all come down to me taking control and saying no to some things and yes to others.

Last year, I trained for the Boulder Half Ironman (70.3 Miles). Now, know that I had already raced in Ironman Louisville (140.6 Miles) in 2009. It was one of the greatest days of my life. Having had that experience, I’ve been mental tough enough for any race to come my way. However, training for Boulder 70.3 was a different story. I put in just enough training to get across the finish line… and that wasn’t enough.

When I crossed the finish line at Boulder 70.3 I had decided to change everything I was doing and start over. Yes, I was mentally tough enough to finish. But physically – even though the race was half the distance of Ironman Louisville – I felt worse than ever before. I had a better race doing a full Ironman of 140.6 miles than doing the half Ironman of 70.3 miles.

There were several factors involved in my lack of training. But the biggest is I didn’t take myself seriously enough to be where I needed to be.

So for now, no more long course ( Ironman and Half Ironman Distance ) triathlons until I’m in the place I want to be physically.

My goals for 2014 are small in number.

  • Drop my weight to below 190lbs. I’m currently at 215lbs.
  • Focus on running.
  • Compete in several 5k’s 10k’s and half marathons to improve my race times for running.

Why this combo of goals?

Of the three sports in triathlon, my worst is running. I used to hate running but now I love it. The problem is when I have this extra weight on me, it’s much harder. I am running faster in Colorado on average. But the facts are simple. I will be a more efficient and faster runner if I drop some pounds.

I will continue to swim and bike throughout the year in my training. As I drop weight, I will actually improve in these other sports as well. I’ve been at a point with swimming and biking that if I improve just a little and get faster on my run I will be set for something I want to do in 2015.

In 2015, I will start back up with racing in triathlon. But for the first time since I started doing triathlons in 2007, I will race for time and position in my age group. I want to compete on a level that will take me to USAT Age Group Nationals in either Sprint or Olympic distance races.

Those distances are really fun and by that time, I will be where I need to be to get to that goal.

It’s all a process and I’ve recognized the process has to start in my head first so that the body will follow.

It’s a great reminder that whenever we have goals or want to overcome something in our lives, it starts with wanting to do it, deciding to do it and planning out the boundaries and criteria that will help you do it.

And the body will follow.

It’s in this struggle that we can realize the power we have to do something great in our lives. I really believe that.

It’s all in my head.

Is it all in your head?

Re-Connecting People To Life

I’d say it’s been a little while since I’ve written on this little blog. I can’t say that I’ve worried about it, but I would say I’ve missed it. A lot.

What I’ve missed most about it is how simple blogging can be. Think about something you want to say and just write about it. Right?

Oh no.

Purse_Life

I mean. It used to be that way for me but then people actually paid attention to what I was writing and they did that thing called COMMENTING!!! They responded and I suddenly felt to pressure to actually use punctuation and grammar sort of and use spell check. Oh the pressure.

SO I wrote and I wrote and I wrote some more. I wrote so much that I became somewhat known for being a blogger! Kind of cool right?

It is.

But then I wanted more. I wanted a more focused blog. I mean why wouldn’t I? I was starting to consult and teach people about all things blogging and social media. That was fun. (still is actually).

But today… I’m done thinking about blogging and ready to get back at it. Not ready to go to the next level. Not ready to focus on any one subject. Just ready to get back at it.

A while back my blog tag line was Connecting People To Life. I changed that line a few times to make it more focused on different subjects. But the reality is, that was too much for me.

So I’m going back to the basics. I’m re-connecting people to life again. Re-connecting me to my life again and writing about it. I’m going back to the basics when blogging was simply just about writing what I experienced in life and hopefully… hopefully, I might be able to encourage a reader to get off the couch and run their first 5K or attempt their first triathlon or buy some new music they hadn’t heard or find an easier way to travel. Heck, I hope they even learn that having a life in social media can be really fun if all they do is play by their own rules.

So… here’s to the future of blogging in my life. Hope you enjoy the read and I enjoy the process again of just writing and re-connecting to life.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

I’ve come to know this phrase as a daily part of my life.

I used to hear it all the time in my twenties and one day I decided to actually pay attention to what it really means.

So wait a second, I went to college, got a degree and you are trying to tell me it’s not what I know, it’s who I know? Whatever.

Well it’s true. Don’t get me wrong, I think getting a degree is a necessary experience and comes in handy when you least expect it. But what knowledge you have in the business world most times only takes you so far. It’s the relationships you develop along the way that help get to where you need to go with that well earned knowledge.

Friendship

Working in the music industry for the past 20 years has taught me a lot about building and maintaining relationships. The do’s and don’t’s and everything else that comes with it. I’ve made major rookie mistakes when I was younger thinking I was all that and a bag of skittles. I’ve learned along the way that treating people with respect and being authentic is key to getting the job done.

I will be the first to tell you I’m not a detail guy. I’m a big idea guy and a connector at the core. I can get things done when the task at hand calls for it but knowing who to go to get a problem solved and to get a task done is key for me.

Any time I’m talking to people getting started in the music business about how to do well in Nashville. I always tell them this story.

When Big Tent Revival was one the road, along came a recent Belmont University grad named Mike. Mike’s first job in the music industry was being our merchandise guy. He was a great guy. Hard working, looked professional, a great hang and most of all he had an incredible attitude. We became fast friends with Mike. Mike eventually became our road manager. Because he was so good, he got snatched up by Jars Of Clay and eventually landed a job with another management company. Today he manages Casting Crowns.

Why is this important?

Because along the way, Mike and I have worked together with other artists he has managed and the partnership served us both well.

What’s the point?

You treat people who work for you and with you well because one day you might actually need to work for them or work along side them in a completely different capacity. In the music industry, people move around jobs like it’s going out of style. And learning how to treat people well is huge.

Right now, there are a good number of guys who worked for our band in the beginning stages of their careers who went on to start management companies, production companies and handle some very great artists from Matthew West to Taylor Swift.

When you walk into a room where people know you. A good end result is that they know they can trust you and that you are the guy they want to work with when the time comes.

An even better part is that they are actually your friend and would do anything for you because of it.

But be careful, the tricky part is to never use a friendship business gain in a way that makes your friend feel used. I will cover that in another post.