Getting Re-AMPed About Your Business

Sometimes my entrepreneurial motivation wanes and I need something to fire me up again.  On Canada Day I was listening to a podcast about how to harness your inner athlete while heading to the Grouse Grind® where my inner athlete thrives. That day I took 1:45 minutes of my personal best to set a new one of 37:13, this places me in the top for 15 for my age group. I am AMPed!
The Grouse Grind® is 2.9 km climb with a 2,800 feet elevation gain, a small mountain which I have climbed over 100 times. I am striving to be among the best at this and it is something I know I can be a master at, it is also something I can do on my own and the purpose it is to build confidence that transfers to other parts of my life. 
Why? It is both a mental and physical challenge that I can complete and feel victorious every time,  especially on Sunday. The rush lasts several days which gives me confidence to complete other activities especially those related to my business.
How do we find the motivation? How do I reignite the passion for my business? What does being AMPed up mean? The term comes from Mark Margolies,  a sports psychologist who has worked with over 2,000 people. The podcast was an interview by Beth Beulow of the Introvert Entrepreneur (yes, I am an Introvert); she can be found on iTunes.

Autonomous

Entrepreneurs have a lot of freedom to do what we want to do.  Yes, sometimes there are certain constraints that we might “THINK” are limiting us; however maybe there other ways to get there? I am not working for anyone who is telling me what to do on a day to day basis or how to do it.  I have the freedom and autonomy to make it up as I go along.
My business can shift, grow and develop as its surrounding do the same.  I can shape it to be what I want.   After a great deal of thought I decided that my definition of success is to get the two locations Lifemoves® has thriving such that I have more financial  and time freedom.  Lifemoves® does not need to be a national or global brand, nor do we necessarily need to have our own facilities, because with that comes a lot more risk.

Mastery

What are we good at? What is your Hedgehog? Last week I had a good discussion with one of my employees who agreed that I need to delegate more.  Business leaders  need to give people the opportunity to do what they are good at so that they can be great masters at it while the leaders focus on the path towards the vision. 
As a business owner and clinician there are certain things I am good at, while others I am not good at. It is time to harness my strengths and really master those.

Purpose

Knowing your purpose is really important. My purpose has been reignited while listening to several podcasts on business and strength and conditioning.  What is it? There several parts to my purpose:  to assist as many people as I can to lead physically active lives; to show them how to become physically and mentally resilient despite injury, disability or chronic medical condition; to show them what movement is all about; to provide others with the opportunity to do the same within my business. 
After all Lifemoves®’s purpose – is that movement is an integral part of life. I am AMPed about moving into the new space in North Vancouver. It will provide a more optimal environment to be autonomus, fulfill our purpose and be masters at what we do.
How are you going to get AMPed up about your business?
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Stopping a Childhood Bully with Pudding

February 29th, 2012 is National anti-bullying day, known as pink-shirt day. A day started several years ago by two kids who decided to stand up for someone who was being bullied because he was wearing a pink shirt. It has since become a National day of protest against bullies. 

I was bullied at the end of elementary school and well into high school. The psychological effects of these years of torment lasted me for years, which required counselling to rebuild a battered sense of self-esteem and overcome depression. It was only a couple of years ago that I stopped being stuck in the past and identifying with the self that was bullied.
Perhaps I was bullied because I was the outsider  or perhaps it was because I was smaller and what some called a “late bloomer” or perhaps it was because I competed in sports (cross country skiing and biathlon) that kids thought were wimpy (they were proved wrong during a trip to Cypress for PE 11) or perhaps it was all of the above,  but I am not sure.

In 1988 we moved to Vancouver from Regina and I started Grade 7 the following September. Even elementary students have built friendships and cliques starting in kindergarten which solidify by Grade 7.  To this day it is difficult for me to accept people who want to be friends or have me be part of their group as being genuine.

There are different ideas of how to stop bullying including having the tormented stand-up and push-back. It seems as though some people fold and commit suicide, believing that is the only way out or go on a shooting rampage to get noticed (both sad situations). On several occasions I did consider that ending my life was the only way for me to end the horror. Other times I would run home to lock the doors because I truly feared for my safety. 
 I am not certain what the solution is, though I do distinctly remember one day in high school when I stopped one of my childhood bullies with pudding.
In between classes I would sometimes go to the cafeteria to get a small bowl of chocolate pudding. After I would find the lockers beside the next classroom, sit down on the floor to enjoy it in solitude.  This bully decided that it would be fun to sneak up on me to flick my spoon.  With a split second reaction I hurled the entire bowl at him.  
It splattered all over his favourite sweater, the lockers across the hallway and the Chemistry room’s door.  There was this big streak of chocolate pudding down the hall.  This was the only time I was pulled into the Principal’s office for bad behaviour.
We were made to clean it up. I washed the bully’s sweater then hung it up in the boiler room to dry.  That was the last time that he bothered me. Bullying is often group oriented, so the bullying itself didn’t stop there.
Bullying doesn’t only happen in school it also happens in the workplace. There is a new private members Anti-Bullying bill to have the Workers Compensation Board pay for the psychological affects of workplace bullying.
What are you doing to take a stand against bullying? It is great see kids taking up arms against it.

I commit to a bully-free life. Do you?

Finding Confidence Climbing a Mountain

The trails and mountains in North Vancouver are where I go when I need a boost of self-confidence which was soaring after setting a new personal best on the Grouse Grind on Wednesday and then receiving the bag check No. 111 on Friday, just before attempting my second triple multi-Grind.

Businesses have their ways of measuring growth and success often in sales or profit. Even those of us who complete athletic events have our own measures. What we measure is usually what brings us personal intrinsic meaning while keeping us striving for our goals.

In business circles it is well know that what is measured is managed”. A business can only change, adapt and grow if it is measuring itself against some type of standard.

Confidence is built each time a goal is reached, however we often end up lost if we don’t know what that next goal is, especially after major accomplishments.

I remember the months of dedicated training to complete the Vancouver Marathon as vividly as the mixed feelings of elation and disappointment as my finisher’s medal was placed around my neck. The standard of finishing the marathon was achieved. The Marathon was a way to prove to myself that my previously sore knees (which took years to rehabilitate) were strong enough to endure 42.6 miles of running. I had forgotten to set the next goal; it took several years to find another athletic endeavour. A couple of years ago I discovered the Grouse Grind’s timer card.

Each climb renews my sense of accomplishment while each descent on the tram reminds me of the beauty of Vancouver. Trail running is often a way for me to reconnect with nature on my own. If there are any days I am in need a boost of self-esteem I know the mountain is not far away.

One thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that my fitness level is increasing on an easy to measure standard which my self-confidence.

Between my second and third ascents and during my second gondola ride down on Friday a woman asked “why do I do the Grind? Am I training for anything?” I replied “to keep the comb webs out.” I kept thinking of Fuaja Singh who finished the Toronto Marathon at 100 years old, surprising himself with a time of 8:26 hrs. It is the active agers who keep me inspired to keep moving and challenging my own abilities as I age. My tram conversation also inspired further reflection and analysis.

I am training to be the fittest I can be and in comparison to those in my age group. My season goals include single climb time, average heart rate reductions for the climbs, total number of climbs in a day and 100 climbs for the season. Every outing I wear my Garmin Forerunner, both as a back-up to the timer, but also to measure my heart rate and set quarter interval times for my pacing and motivation.

Each outing I measure the duration for each quarter, total duration and average heart rate for the entire climb; this is then compared to previous days with similar times.

Last week I accomplished three milestones:

Personal Best – 37:58 minutes (top 30 in my age group)

95th Lifetime Climb

Second Triple Multi-Grind

Wednesday was just one of those days when my body felt fluid and like it was moving fast. After looking at my second quarter time of 9:11 (a new PB), I knew that if I could do the same for the third quarter in a similar time I had a good chance of getting under 38 minutes. Looking at my watch it was 9:15. Yes! Now it was time to push to the top.

From that point it was about going as fast I could and repeating to myself that I could do this. Swiping the card then pressing the lap button my watch – I carefully looked at my watch. There is a notice of the last lap time to covers the current time – I could see it was 38, “did I do it?” The timer is the official time. Flying up the stairs I cautiously looked at the computer screen as it scrolled towards my name – 37:58! Yes, with a fist pump. Even with having to tie my shoes once I broke the 38 min barrier three weeks before I hit 38:04 in 2010 so, clearly there is an improved level of fitness.

Looking back over the season I found out that Friday’s triple was accomplished in 9 minutes less than my first one and each ascent was on average was 3 minutes faster than my first triple and a slightly lower average heart rate than on September 3rd, 2011. The third climb on Friday even felt stronger than my third one in September. I started out pretty fast, but then remember – the goal for the day was really about crossing the finish line.

Next was getting up on Saturday morning to finish my 95th climb. Maybe the fatigue set in, I am not quite sure but I forgot to double knot my shoes again – so there I was pulling off my magic gloves to tie my shoes in the cold, twice, once for each shoe. I clamoured over the top in 40:05.

What does it all mean? The rest of Wednesday I was elated. This confidence spilled over into the rest of the day at work and with clients. Saturday’s climb left me confident that I can finish the remaining five to reach my one hundred and most in less than 40 minutes each. It is also really motivating to group my times and look at very similar times to see that the average heart rates are dropping for those times. The confidence on the mountain flows over to the rest of life. It builds self-belief and self-esteem.

I climb the Grouse Grind because it reminds me that I am getting fitter and how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful city with mountains and forests in our backyard. Each climb I know that I that I am making some progress and that with diligence there will be the occasional breakthroughs. This week there were several. After last week’s successes on the Grind, I am feeling more focused to tackle what needs to be done in my business this week.

If you are struggling with confidence in your business or feeling unsure of yourself go out and do something that you know you can complete – big or small. Keep doing the day-to-day things that will lead to success and greatness.

What do you do when you are looking for that extra little bit of confidence? For me, it is climbing a local mountain.

(photos top to bottom: Grouse Mountain Grind Timer and bag check card; West view of the Lions and tram tower; north view of Seabus docking at Waterfront Station)

Grouse Grind Triple: Brought to You by the Numbers 47 and 80

Over the last two seasons of the Grouse Grind I have met some wonderful people who are also in the unofficial multi-grind group. The over forty people of all ages who are in this group complete at least two grinds in one day or more on a regular basis. I was inducted into this club when I finished my first double grind last year.

The support and accomplishments of this group inspired me to take on a “Triple Grind,” or three climbs in one day. September 3rd, 2011 I challenged my mind and body to this challenging task which would also mean finishing my 80th of all time.

Preparation

I have been talking about this day and planning it for several weeks. Letting others know of my plans really meant that I was accountable and couldn’t shy away from it. A massage therapy session on Friday calmed my nerves and helped loosen up my hips, lower-back, legs and diaphragm in preparation. The day before I set out my strategy and made sure I had one energy gel every to ingest at 30 min for each climb and one cliff bar in-between. To hydrate I filled my water bottles with water, one Nuun tablet and glutamine to replenish my electrolytes and reduce any muscle breakdown.

Due to a later night I had to start one hour later than I anticipated, sunny weekends, especially long weekends are busy times at Grouse. While chatting with some tourists on the bus up they asked me how fast I do the Grind and how often I do it in a week. Though they seemed impressed by 40 minutes and three times per week, little did they know my plans for a triple!

Wishing them all the best for the day, we parted ways so that I could go to the washroom to change and put my heart rate monitor on.

Transition

It was nearly go time when I ran into Oliver and Mark, two other multi-grinders as I was dropping of my bag to the back check (one benefit of using the timer card). They gave me words of encouragement which helped bolster my belief that I could actually do it.

Grouse Mountain staff have a large drawer full of bag check cards with a couple of hundred of numbers on them, today they pulled out no. 47!



I am not usually superstitious, however 47 is my family’s lucky number. I smiled and thought excitedly to myself “this really is going to be the day to finish three.”

Climb Number One

What limits us more in physical pursuits, our mind or our body? Knowing that this was my first climb of three I didn’t set out on a blistering pace, but went at what I thought was a moderate pace that I could sustain. Every once in awhile I checked into my breath to make sure that it wasn’t out of control and looked at my heart rate to ensure it was around 160 bpm, which is 15 bpm below my anaerobic threshold. The painted quarter markers provide a good sense of pace and a place of encouragement. Passing the first one in 10:30 min, I felt pretty good. Near the half you point a I passed this guy who decided to be my shadow all the way to the top, despite giving him every opportunity I could to pass me, including staying as far right as I could, he just couldn’t manage it.

When my timer chimed 30 minutes, I tore open the pack of Cliff gel vanilla and gradually sucked it empty while still keeping my feet going one in front of the other. These a couple of swigs of water washed some of the sweetness away. Despite really wanting to push and shake this guy off, I was able to clear my head enough to stay focused on a steady pace finishing in 43:52 minutes; just a little bit slower than my average time. So far on pace for three sub 50 minute climbs.

After retrieving my bag I head to the washroom to change my shirt. In between climbs I had about 4oz of Nuun water and one cliff bar. I knew that if I had too much rest time between each ascent I wouldn’t make it number three. Also, leaving my bag up top added a little extra incentive.

To view climb #1 – click here

Climb Number Two

This was one the one where I wasn’t sure of how to pace myself because I really didn’t want to empty the fuel tank and not have enough for the third. There is a 3-4 minute section from the gate to the big warning sign that I use as a gauge to see how my body is feeling. Words of self-doubt started to creep in and I wondered if I was crazy to be attempting three. Then I remembered all those people who would be asking if I had done it and how great it would feel to accomplish this goal.

The trail was more crowded than on the first climb, but still manageable. There more tourists stopping at the blue signs to take photos and few people sitting in the middle of trail resting. Just like the little engine that could, I was the “mountain goat that could.

I broke this mission down into manageable parts, thinking that once I hit the ½ mark, I would be only 1.5 more climbs. The count down in time, elevation and ascents really helped. also figured that since I finished Seek the Peak (16 km and 4000 ft) in just over 2hrs that I could easily finish today. The second climb of my first double I felt quite dizzy and almost needed to stop. This time was different. I crested the top to see the finish timer and sprinted to swipe my card – 48:24, average hear rate 151 bpm.

With the sun out I decided to some dynamic hip, low-back and leg stretching on the grass before my last climb. Sometimes if I stretch or shift in the right way I can get my scarum to release, which actually gives me some relief and little more movement in my hips, Theses stretches are important to reduce any joint compression and length any fascia and muscles that have been shortened during the previous climbs. It turned out to be the pivotal break my body ns seeded.

To view climb #2 click here

Climb Number Three

I was eager to start because I knew it was my final climb of the day and I could push my pace in some places. At 11:40 AM, the trail was really starting to get busy with many groups starting. My legs felt light at the beginning and my mind was all fired up ready to get my body to the top. Even though I wanted do this one for time, I also wanted to finish. Time takes care of itself, we don’t have any influence over it. What do have influence is on the process of whatever we are pursuing.

This last one was all about getting to the top, the rest was gravy. Hitting the timer after first quarter, I noticed 11:14 minutes, on pace for around 45 minutes at that time. As I continued to climb the trail became more congested. Long weekends around noon are not great times to be trying to set personal records that are time based. There were people littered all over the trail, sometimes not unknowingly stepping right in front of me; just like driving – stick to the right unless passing. There was one younger gentleman who looked like he was going to pass, then held back.

After about a minute of this, I decided to accelerate just to get passed him. There were several places where traffic jams almost put me at a complete stop; if I stopped, I might not get going again. The trick was to find a safe path around the gaggle of people without forcing them to move suddenly, which would make it unsafe. I saved the Hammer Espresso with 50mg of a caffeine for the 20min mark of the last climb. Delightful.

There were moments of speed that lasted only 30 – 40 seconds then my legs wouldn’t pick up anymore. Surprisingly there were only a few spots where I miss-stepped losing my footing momentarily. The second and third quarter were completed in 11:55 and 11:56 minutes, respectively; these were very even times. When my watch chimed 40 minutes during the fourth quarter I knew I could finish this one in less than 50 minutes.

It was only the last 5-10 minutes where I really felt my body getting ready to give in. The last set of stairs before the rocks, where you can either go steeply up or around to the left then right arrived more quickly than I chuckled and smiled to myself “you have to be kidding.” When I step on the rocks, I know the finish is really close. My excitement rose as I bounded through this next section, scrambled over the rock face to see the finish time in my view. Pushing myself a little bit more to the finish timer I swiped my card and stopped my watch. Astonished I read “47:24.”

To view climb #3 click here.

Celebration

All three climbs in less than 50 minutes and one of my season goals completed. Yes! Yes! Yes! Booyah! Now it was time to get a chicken burger and a chocolate milk to enjoy the glory on the deck overlooking Vancouver. One of the things I really enjoy about Grouse Mountain is the view of the city from the top as well as on the gondola ride. There is nothing quite like it to help you appreciate where we live.

What is next? A business coach asked me once, “What is the goal beyond the goal?” I still have a 35 minute single climb and 100 climbs overall to finish by the end of the season. Happy trails!

How to Build a Thriving Health and Wellness Practice: Review

Building a thriving and growing health, wellness and rehabilitation business is something I am always striving for.

As a Kinesiologist I know that we graduate from our Kinesiology or Human Kinetics programs with very few business skills; they all learned as we practice. During the last ten years I have had to learn through weekend workshops, business coaching , reading and watching videos or listening to podcasts as well learning from what succeeded and what didn’t.

This weekend I attended an all day workshop on how to build a thriving wellness practice at the Vancouver Yacht Club, organized by Lotus Counselling Services and Chasidy Karpiuk & Associates. This series of seminars started with accounting and bookkeeping, progressed through business planning and finished with building and branding. We also had the unexpected pleasure of having our headshot photo taken. I think it was well worth going to as an opportunity to network with a variety of health and wellness professionals including another Kinesiologist from Fort St. John. This was really a quick business bootcamp which gave wellness professionals a kick start and some of the tools to build their practice.

I remember being in the same place as some of the participants who were starting to transition from being employees to being the self-employed. This was when I was having great difficulty finding work in my industry so I decided to start my own business. This business struggled even after I participated in a Small Business BC Self-Employment program. I still didn’t entirely understand what it was going to take to succeed. Lifemoves® is my second business which I am very focused on making it a success. I folded my previous one I rebranded in 2007 the company brand no longer met my current personal brand’s needs.

Whether or not they stay on their own or build to multiple practitioners is up them and what they want to get from being self-employed. Building a thriving practice is a continual process of trying different things, searching for new knowledge and continually making changes as you progress towards greater success.

Keys to Building a Thriving Practice

  • Pay attention to your financials, in the beginning every month. This enables you to make adjustments as needed.
  • Maintain good bookkeeping habits. This helps your accountant at the end of each year to complete your taxes.
  • Set Goals, create a business plan with strategies to achieve them. Re-evaluate.
  • Be clear on who your market is and isn’t.
  • Save money by doing a waste audit. Sometimes it is time to pull the plug on a project that is draining resources
  • Be aware of your billable and non-billable hours. Earnings / Non-Billable + Billable Hours = Hourly Rate
    • Look for ways to be more efficient during your non-billable hours
  • What are your political, environmental, social and technological constraints?
  • Define your strengths and weakness. Play to your strengths.
  • Understand key threats and opportunities.
  • Build a story around your business which is the core of your business brand. Communicate that in as many ways as you can, but stay consistent.
  • Ace customer/client service – this is how you gain long-term clients as well as referrals.
  • Use social media as one portion of your 7 touch points: Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, YouTube, Twitter are just five ways to contribute to the conversation and communicate with your clients.
  • Have a website and blog at a minimum. Referred clients will search for you and evaluate your level of professionalism and whether or not you can provide the appropriate solution for them. This is part of brand a reputation building.
  • Use images that are appropriate to your market and that create emotion and connection. Ensure these are consistent with your brand’s story.

As an entrepreneur I always set goals, create a plan, evaluate progress and then redefine the goal or the plan. During these sessions we shared our goal and suggested different strategies to meet them, mine is develop a team of 5 Kinesiologists at the Steve Nash Fitness World in North Vancouver. This weekend’s workshop helped me to identify some areas where I can focus to take Lifemoves® to the next level. I do recommend that this workshop to anyone who is trying to start/build a wellness practice; click here to find out when the next one will be held.

Did you attend this workshop at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club? Can you think of any other ways to create a thriving health, wellness and rehabilitation practice?

How to Motivate Yourself with a Yearly Life Review

Many people have difficulty appreciating themselves or being proud of what they have accomplished. Each birthday (today) I conduct a yearly review. It is important because it helps me take stock of where I was at the start of last year, get a good sense of what I achieved and set a new path for the year to come.

I was amazed at what Lifemoves and I achieved in the last 2-3 years when I filled out the business profile for the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Business Excellence Award Nominees. This profile didn’t even include my personal life’s accomplishments.
Achieving a goal is fleeting, however the journey is ongoing. Enjoying the journey and celebrating the victories is where happiness is found. While writing university papers, I learned to accept a level of completeness that received a decent grade when I hit deadlines before feeling “done” with the paper. When there was more time, I would continue to tweak and edit until I thought it would achieve the maximum mark.
One project, a periodized training program for a boxer, actually received 100%! Perfection is a moving target, rarely achieved and not profitable (Business Coaches -Fiona Walsh, FMWalsh; Steven P. Hill, Focused Management Solutions). To prevent a downward spiral back to depression, I focus on the progress I make, the lessons I learn while continuing to smile, laugh and enjoy the journey I am on.
Significant Accomplishments of 2009-2010
  1. Personal credit card debt significantly reduced – completed
  2. Business in a more sustainable financial situation – completed
  3. Being the fittest I have been in 5 years – completed
  4. Having enough cash flow that I am not living month to month – completed
  5. Personal best on Grouse Grind 39:56 2009 – completed today new PR 39:13, this puts me in the 90th percentile of Grouse Grinders!
  6. Business growth of 30% – not complete – we did grow by 15%
  7. Run the Seek the Peak Grouse Mountain – completed
  8. International professional recognition – completed
  9. Healthier nutrition habits – 1/4 of the way. I am more conscientious of my choices and aware of the choices I need to make. I have had weeks where my nutrition habits were excellent. progress
  10. Give back more to the community – hosted a Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser, participated in Movember, contribute regularly to the Grouse Grind Facebook group. completed
  11. Write a book – I have several ideas which I am testing with the blog posts. This year I am looking forward to actually doing the research and putting something in writing. I have great ideas for multimedia books. progress
  12. Write at least twice per month for my blogs. – completed
  13. Volunteer at the 2010 Olympics – shared with my Father completed
  14. Participate in more outdoor activities on the North Shore – progress, I have the Garmin and I have completed the Grind twice per week since June 12th.
Goals for Sept 10, 2010 to be completed by Sept 10, 2011
  1. Complete Seek the Peak in under 2 hrs – benchmark is 2:24:00
  2. Complete Grouse Grind in sub-36 min – benchmark is 39:13
  3. Compete in two additional trail running races.
  4. Publish an e-resource that includes videos.
  5. Retire my personal credit card debt.
  6. Grow Lifemoves more organically, but again by 15%.
  7. Eat 70-90% of meals at home.
  8. Cross Country Ski again at least twice this winter.
  9. Snowshoe biweekly during the winter.
  10. Participate in or create more fund raising activities.
  11. Get at least 30 minutes more sleep per night.
  12. Strengthen and deepen personal relationships.
  13. More in depth implementation of Getting Things Done method (GTD)
I believe that my birthday is the start of my life’s next fiscal year. What have you accomplished in the last year? What will you accomplish next year? Please share. It will help you realize and acknowledge how amazing you are, help you visualize your next goals and make you more accountable.
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Learning to Adapt: Troubleshooting the Garmin Heart Rate Monitor

Using the Garmin Forerunner 305 for the first time up the Grouse Grind came with a little troubleshooting. In business, I often find I have to do this because most often something comes up that we didn’t anticipate or plan.

The Garmin looked like a “plug and play” unit that, like my previous Polar, I would be able to use easily. Training for Biathlon, I had always depended on my heart for training intensity. I had a great deal of difficulty using the new heart monitor. Once I returned it to the Running Room, they fixed it by exchanging the receiver.

My original plan was to purchase a Polar HR monitor with splits. However, I was convinced that for the price and the features, the Garmin was my best option. Saturday night I had difficulty sleeping because I was so excited to use my device after uploading the laps for the Grouse Grind. I tried all the steps I knew to troubleshoot the heart rate monitor before I started, including dousing it in water and using my own saliva. It just didn’t work.
After 10 minutes I resigned myself to not having the heart rates and to make do with what I did have. I did a quick warm-up as part of the advanced workout I created. My pacing has always been done by using my heart rates, but I still roughly knew where I needed to be at each section to get my desired time. I managed to get a heart rate of 153 bpm somewhere along the way for nearly a minute and then it went silent again. Keeping a quick pace was difficult without the heart rates because of the slower crowds and the fact that my legs didn’t have the turnover they needed to go quickly.
At the top I scanned my Grind Timer card and then looped around to the back-side of the chalet just like in the Grouse Mountain Run finishes. Even though I didn’t have heart rates, I do have a better sense of split times and I still managed a 43:54 time. This is 5% faster than the same time in 2009. One thing I noticed was that when I completed the Grind with a day in between, the second day was one minute slower. Hint: Going after your record time? Consider more rest days in between Grinds.
My history comes in handy as I complete more training activities and become more comfortable with using the Garmin.
I am looking forward to using the Garmin for many activities including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. This is the start of my chronicle as I aim to reach the top 5 in the 30-39 age category on the Grouse Grind.

Seeking the Peak: Staying on Track with 80/20

Staying on track with the 80/20 rule to maintain my Seek the Peak Training has not been easy. I work right down the road from the North Shore mountains and in a gym! Imagine my excuse being, “I don’t have enough time.” What will our clients think?

As an entrepreneur, I will do anything I need to in order to ensure that my business is successful. Sometimes that means putting in extra development, administrative and clinical hours. These past three weeks have been very full with interviewing, hiring and integrating three new Kinesiologists and one part-time administrator, while managing new and current clients. Once these new people are integrated, I will have more time to train.
In the meantime, July 4th is fast approaching. Here is where the 80/20 rule comes into play. When you have limited time, what is the 20% that will get you 80% of the way? Eighty percent is still very successful.
For me, the 20% that will give me an 80% return (an excellent investment) is being able to run for 2 hours or sixteen kilometers and have the power to stride up to the top of Grouse Mountain. My training sessions have dropped from six days per week to three: one power-endurance session, one Lactate Balance session and one endurance day. I am keeping my head on straight by focusing my attention and intention on improving my key performance indicators, just like I do in my business.
Today I came close to sleeping in, but instead I rolled out of bed and ran 11.2 kilometers in 65 minutes with an average heart rate of 15o bpm (approximately my MaxVO2), before training four clients. Including a two-week taper, I will still reach the 16 km distance before race time. What are your excuses? How do you stay on track towards your goals and stay confident?

Seeking the Peak: Growing Your Business While Maintaining Fitness

I am finding that growing my business while maintaining my fitness and training for Seek the Peak is the toughest thing I have done in a long time. May brings spring flowers and university students looking for work after final exams.

In April, I had several applicants seek employment as Kinesiologists at Lifemoves. This is exactly what I want – to be an employer who is sought, not one who is constantly having to advertise. While trying to interview our applicants and determine whether or not we wanted to add them to our team, I was still managing a client load of 140 sessions in April.
This meant that some of my time that had been dedicated to fitness training was taken up by business development and team building, as were my weekends and evenings. At first, I was worried about not getting enough training in. However, I have become comfortable with the fact that I have to figure out the 20% that will get me 80% of the results in my training.
As a strength and conditioning coach, I know that if I am training three times per week, I can still achieve my goal of finishing Seek the Peek (though, maybe not as fast as I want). Besides, my “A” goal this year is the Grouse Mountain Run in September. As an entrepreneur, I know that the past three weeks, and perhaps the next two or three, will be very busy as I get three new Kinesiologists and one part-time administrator integrated and orientated. I am comfortable knowing that the guidance they need will be temporary, and I will be able to get back to 5-6 days per week of more intense training soon.
This short term investment in our new team members will pay big dividends in the next 3-6 months. Even though there is a lot to be done in this next phase of Lifemoves, I am very calm and very focused. Sixteen kilometers uphill is going to be a challenge; my first step back to my program was to run 10 kms in 59 minutes. There are six weeks left of training and two weeks to taper before Seek the Peak 2010. Tomorrow, even with our Move for Health Day event, I will complete my strength training program.
When your life moves and suddenly your schedule or the demands on you change, remember to be a little flexible with how you manage your fitness and health. To reduce stress, find creative ways to fit it in. Here is a great article written by my friend and fellow Kinesiologist, Nicole Yamanaka, for entrepreneurial moms (and dads too): Fitting Fitness in With Kids.
How do you keep on track with your fitness despite the constant demands of being an entrepreneur?

Seeking the Peak: Race Your Own Race

As we aim for our peak performance or being the best at something, many of us get wrapped up in comparing ourselves to others. But, when it comes down to race day or the day we are making an important presentation, we can only manage what is under our control.

This is a lesson I learned competing in Biathlon. Each competitor trains for months and then prepares in his own way on race day. Whether or not we end up in first, second or last really is not up to us. What we can do is go out and set ourselves up to do our personal best.
I clearly remember my strategy during the B.C. Winter Games in Comox, where I won two golds and one silver. It was to “race my own race.” This was still about pushing myself and wanting to be the best, but the focus was more on my own performance. I knew that my training and pre-race preparation were both excellent, as was my confidence in my abilities.
During most of the race I saw a competitor a head of me, but not once did I decide that “I had to catch him.” I could see that I was gradually reeling him in and eventually I passed him. I think that if I had switched my strategy, I would have exhausted myself trying to catch him instead of having my best race.
With Seek the Peak in July and the Grouse Mountain Run in September, I am aware of what my top physical condition was before I retired from Biathlon and what the top times are in my category. On race day, if I am fitter than I was when I competed in Biathlon and I reach my own performance goals of under 2 hours for Seek the Peak and 31:00 minutes for the BMO Grouse Mountain Run, I will have succeeded; placement is secondary.
Through years of various competitions including the Vancouver Marathon, and in my decade as a Kinesiologist, I have always defined my successes by asking, “Did I do everything I could? Was this my best performance?” Please leave a comment and let me know how you run your own race.
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