How to Achieve Business Goals Like an Olympian

Throughout the London 2012 Olympics, which are heading into their second week we have witnessed feats of extreme dedication and human drive. These athletes have not become overnight successes, many toil  for a decade or more in their sports before finishing on the podium. What they do have in common is the intense desire to achieve success and the knowledge that this is their time to shine, to lay it all on the line.

How can we harness the same dedication, perseverance and patience to achieve our own entrepreneurial goals?

Start with a Long-Term Plan – Finish with Today’s Plan

I remember starting my business with plan which had the next 3-5 years outlined with specific steps and performance measures. This is very similar to the way high performance athletes train. Each Olympic cycle is called a quadrennial, which is broken down into smaller and smaller segments until the details for each training day are specified. Do the same with your business. How often are you taking the time to sit-down, review, adjust and plan?

Find the Internal Flame

Find an intrinsic reason to reach your goal. This will light the fire within that will burn no matter what others say or which obstacles you come across because it can’t be put out! It took Brent Hayden three Olympics to stand on the podium, that is 12 years. Since he was young double leg amputee Oscar Pistorius has had an intense desire to run in the Olympics; Friday he did and reached the semi-finals of the 400m in Track and Field! Having a meaningful reason for reaching your business goals keeps you motivated.

Set Performance Goals

Athletes set performance based goals, not results based.  To reach the Olympics athletes must meet specific performance criteria to qualify in events preceding. In a business goals of $X income or $Y profit (which are results) need to be broken down into what needs to be done on a daily basis to achieve them. For example how many widgets do need to sold or how many clients need to booked or called?

Be in it for the Long Haul – Celebrate Everyday Wins

Olympians don’t step onto the field of play without years of dedication to their sport. Entrepreneurs need be in it for the long haul. Starting and growing a business is not for the faint of heart, but it has been the most enjoyable part of my working life.

Sure, some businesses launch and have tremendous success early on, then they burn and crash like those rockets we made as kids. Instead ride a the wind like a kite. Keep your hands on the string, but as the winds change learn to change strategies with it so that you can soar for as long as possible.  Each day has at least one success; smile and celebrate it! Be patient, long-term success is much more rewarding.

Do Just Enough with Appropriate Volume and Intensity

Olympians do put a lot of effort into their training, however there is always a balance between stressing the body enough through training for it to both physically and mental adapt and incorporating appropriate recovery strategies. Entrepreneurs need to do the same to avoid mentally breaking down; they are notorious for neglecting vacation time.

There will be times in business when you have to do more work to get a project completed or launch new producted but, with appropriate planning you can add periods of recovery after these intense and volume laden times. Pushing too hard each day in training often leads to over training or injury which sets athletes back weeks or even months. The art is to do just do enough to keep the momentum rolling so that the joy remains.

 

Keep it Simple

Business growth always adds complexity. Greater complexity adds to the mental strain so, keep examining your business to create more simplicity.

Thriving in Competitive Rehabilitation and Fitness Market

Moving from the confines of a large gym,with lots of foot traffic to  a smaller independent training studio has presented many challenges. A recent article in the Vancouver Sun “Vancouver’s Sweat Equity:  Facilities vie for their share of city’s multi-million dollar fitness industry” has reignited the entrepreneurial fire within while helping me become aware of  the opportunities for and threats against my business.   Much of the $2-Billion Canadian fitness and recreational sports centers industry is in B.C. which has grown 30% from 2006 to 2010 (Statistics Canada). 
 There have been some major changes since 2000 when I joined this industry in 2000 when I volunteered at a local community center to provide Personal Training for a client with a cervical spine injury.  Changes include a few new big name players, GoodLife Fitness and Club 16 as well, the 50 year old local chain Fitness World which sold to a U.S. based company in 2009 hoping to cash in Fitness World’s longevity and the celebrity name of Steve Nash.   There have been some smaller studios which have flourished while others have come and gone within a couple of years.
Personal Training has become a career that many people are pursuing, so smaller boutique studios and independent training studios (where trainers pay drop-in fees per client) are popping up across the lower-mainland.  Some trainers are even moving out the big box gyms to pursue independent opportunities. It takes a lot of effort, risk and over $100,000 open your own facility, so many trainers choose the shared competitive space of an independent training studio.  If Industry Canada stats show that 30% of business don’t make their 5thanniversary and the competition becomes fiercer, how can we thrive?
Kinesiologists are stuck in the middle between the rehabilitation and fitness industries. Physiotherapists are doing a great job of marketing their profession and businesses, they are also stepping further into the realms of providing more exercise therapy which includes active rehab.  As Lifemoves reaches its 5thanniversary what perplexes me is how do we maintain our differentiation and gain a bigger market share of this large industry?  Vancouverites have a lot of choices and the number is only growing, so how do we get them to choose us? 
Another question I have is how can this business be structured and operated in ways that we are able to provide uncommon service that is for the greater good, but is also profitable? There are several societal benefits to growing a business that exclude more profit.  These include being able to provide more people with employment as well assist more people in their pursuit to return to work and improve their health and quality of life.
The basic answers to these questions is first to relentlessly pursue excellence for the greater good while making the right decisions in the right context. Secondly, it is really know what your business is about and what solutions you really provide. Thirdly, it is to find creative ways to market our services so that the values and benefits we provide our clients remains top of mind so that they do talk about us to others.
There seems to be room for growth in the fitness and rehabilitation industry? How are you going to grow your business?

References

Vancouver Sweat Equity

Being the Best: Helping the Hedgehog to the Other Side of the Dip

It always seems that a book or way of thinking is brought to my attention at just the right time when I need my thoughts redirected. Recently Dr. Susan Biali introduced me to Seth Godin’s “The Dip” which helps readers discover when they are in a Dip or a Cul-de-Sac and decide whether or not it is appropriate to quit or stick it out. The other book that is one of my favourites is “Good to Great”by Jim Collins.

The last two months have been challenging for my business and myself. Fitness World was once a place of growth, but it had become my cul-de-sac or dead-end.   After weathering the sale of our strategic partner for eighteen months we decided in June of 2011 that it was time to quit and find a new home.  Even though I had become lost and unmotivated, unclear of why I started Lifemoves others still knew what Lifemoves is about.

When I created Lifemoves I wanted to build a brand and company that stood for something, made a contribution to society and that had a unique selling position. Until recently I had forgotten how to articulate this.  It took speaking with a Physiotherapist, an outsider who believed in my business to help me reconnect to how unique and wonderful Lifemoves is, what we can be the best at and how much potential we do have. It is also clear from the enthusiasm from our clients, employees and her that the growth and changes are positive. Thankfully all of our clients have stayed with us.

The Dip is that period of time when whatever it is can be a bit of a slog, but there is greatness on the other side. During the Dip you might feel like quitting, but if you did you would be missing out. There were times over the last couple of years I thought of folding, however I knew that this was my calling and I still had a lot to contribute (I also couldn’t see myself working for someone else).

Godin explains that there are the serial entrepreneurs who love the rush of the start-up, but jump from opportunity to opportunity without building something truly great. Some companies try to be everything to everyone. I have seen this when Personal Trainers who want to cater to ALL clients with ALL goals; it just leads to mediocrity.  Godin believes there is no point in being mediocre.
Collins’ book delineates what differentiates Good Companiesfrom Great Companies and one of those things was the Hedgehog Principle (Collins, p. 90). Great companies were able to figure out the intersection between what they were best at, what they were passionate about and what could sustain a robust cash flow and profitability. The hedgehog realizes what is innately simple – being able to curl up in a ball of spikes to ward of attackers instead of being the fox that is chasing at things at multiple levels.

Clients value companies who are robust, who have been around for awhile and who deliver a clear simple message. Moving our flagship location in North Vancouver and opening a new clinic in Coquitlam created a Dip where I was lost in the transitions. Several conversations have helped clear the fog. To push us through the Dip we have to be consistent with our hedgehog message:

We are a health and rehabilitation company founded by

a Kinesiologist which is focused on getting clients with

medical conditions, disabilities and or injuries moving for life.

We are diverging into new markets, because our brand awareness is growing. I have often spoken to store owners who have heard of Lifemoves.  People and opportunities come to us because we have been around for five years and our message is clear. Everything that we do, we believe in, we breath and we deliver has to embody the above message. Now is the time to really push forward.
The Dip can be a long process or it be getting to other side can be accelerated. I decided to accelerate it now that our move is completed. Coquitlam is going to be phenomenal. We are not thinking of this as a start-up. We are a maturing organization. This is our opportunity to be GREAT
We all have it in us to be great at something (for me it isn’t being a mathematician). Are you stuck and in cul-de-sac or is this a Dip? Figure it out and make some changes.
What can you be great at? How can you simplify and stop being mediocre? What are you going to do differently right now and tomorrow?

Further Inspirational Reading

Collins, Jim “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t,” Harper Business, 2001
Godin, Seth “The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick),” Penguin Group, 2007
Rufus, Anneli “Stuck: Why We Can’t (or Won’t) Move On,” Penguin, 2008

Persevering Through Rain to Reach 100 Grouse Grinds

On Saturday morning I woke up to the rain and the prospect of it not letting up. It did not matter what the weather was like when I awoke because it was my mission this weekend to finish my quest to reach 100 lifetime Grouse Grinds. This is to honour of Barbara, who in her lifetime completed over 100 climbs despite a brain injury that made it challenging to walk. When she passed away earlier this year I knew that reaching my 100th climb this season was how I could pay tribute to her admirable courage and perseverance. I had pushed through a dark soggy climb on Friday morning and had reached number 97.

As winter approaches it becomes more likely that Metro Vancouver will close the Grind due to safety concerns. The unpredictable closing date made completing my goal this weekend even more urgent. Learning my lesson from Friday I remember to pack additional clothes including socks. It was still dark out when I left the house because the sun rose at 7:42 AM.

Finding a positive outlook is important when it’s dark, raining and cold outside. Part of the beauty of the Grind is the wonderful canopy that the trees provide so you don’t get that wet. My body started to warm-up once I started moving as well. The trail was wet and full of puddles, but also silent in the darkness. There weren’t very people on the trail in the morning; being on my own gives me sometime to be quiet and listen to my own body and breath.

Number 98

Three minutes after starting the battery power drained on my Garmin. I was truly on my own without technology. Could I finish in less than 40 minutes? What does that pace FEEL like? I searched through my memories of previous ascents to find the right speed. As I continued to climb the trail became clearer as the sun rose in the morning sky. My favourite part of the Grind came upon me quickly – the last stairs before the rocky climbs. It was there that the wind shook the trees to nicely shower me. Clamouring over the last bit where many people stop – I reached the timer hoping my card would produce that satisfying long beep which signals that it scanned properly; it did.

Out of breath I waited for my name to scroll on the screen – 39:58! Under the wire! Triumphant! Two more climbs to reach 100. Coming down on the tram listening to the rain fall didn’t inspire me too much. I really wasn’t looking forward to another climb in soaked shoes. Refuelling with a couple of carbohydrate gels and some electrolyte fluid I reframed my thoughts by realizing I had been smart this time by bringing a second peaked cap and t-shirt.

Number 99

After changing my clothes, setting my bag in the bag check I was feeling warmer and ready for climb number 99. By this time the rain had stopped. The trail was still wet and on several sections it was cascading over the rocks to create mini-waterfalls. With the wet trail, roots and stairs one needs to be judicious about each foot step. There was a moment when one foot went sideways and I had to catch myself before straining my groin. Even though I really wanted to push the pace my body kept telling me that I need to maintain a steady rhythm while my mind kept reminding me that today wasn’t about time, it was about completions. The second climb was finished in 43:41.

I really wanted to stay for a third, however I had booked one client that day and had to head to work. It was going to be difficult to wait until Sunday to finish that ascent and feel the victory of crowning the top for my 100th Grind. Also, I knew there might be some other activities planned on Sunday that would force to wait until next weekend.

Number 100

Looking outside after my session was over I noticed that the weather had cleared a little bit more. There was time in the day to finish that 100th climb and complete my third triple multi-day. Another inspiring factor was that a friend completed his 500th climb on the same day.

After having a bite to eat, hydrating and doing a little stretching with self-myofascial release I set out to find a bus. I could feel the excitement build as I approached the gate to swipe my timer card. The third climb was completely by feel. Another goal I had set was to finish ten climbs in less than 40 minutes each, I was at nine. With the first few steps my legs were feeling free, so was this also the 10th? I decided to let my body set the pace. There were times when I was dragging and had to mentally give myself a kick, while others times I felt like I was flying at a speed that would earn a personal best.

As the trees started to thin out I passed a few people who had stopped. Some smiled as I encouraged them to keep going because they were literally almost at the top. Feelings of joy, relief and elation began to overwhelm me as I crested over the top to the final timer post. My time was 40:12. I strongly believe that part of success is being able perform at a consistent level – so just over 40 minutes is still successful for me. On the way down we could see the snow on the Lions.

While everything worthwhile usually takes quite a bit of investment of effort and time remember the rewards are well worth it. Be patient and keep striving towards your goal. Ensure that each step or action, no matter how small takes you closer to your goal. When you want something enough, obstacles are only challenges. Find your way through them and keep preserving.

These 100 Grouse Grinds are dedicated to Barb Burton. Rest in Peace.

A Breakthrough Grouse Grind: 90th Climb

Today my motivation was waning and I didn’t feel like going to Grouse Mountain, but I did. I ascended the Grouse Grind for the 90th time in my life (that is with the Grind Timer, which makes it more official). Now, the official count down from 10 begins on my quest to reach 100 by the end of the season to honour a client who passed away this year. This is a big audacious goal because the most I completed in one season was 35 (last year) and when I reach 100 it will be 49 climbs for the 2011 season.

The weather forecast for today was 90% chance of rain and sure enough, someone had posted on Facebook that it was like a monsoon in North Vancouver. I decided to get going anyways, because that is what Barb would do and because I always know that I enjoy myself once I am moving along the trail. Finishing one climb today is alson what was needed to stay on track.

My routine is to first release my hip and lower-back muscles, especially around the pelvis with a little trigger point therapy then had some myofascial release with a foam roller called the Grid, next are few upper and lower body fascial stretches to make sure that my body feels loose and ready to roll. If I don’t do this I will inevitably find that my lower-back fatigues around the 3/4 mark.

Missing the Seabus on a holiday is always annoying, because you have to wait for another thirty minutes. Finally arriving at the mountain around 10:00 AM, I noticed that I left my timer and pass at home – was today meant to be? Part of being an entrepreneur is being able to problem solve on the fly and sometimes make quick decisions. Guest services are great, they have all my information and they are able print a downloading ticket and manual input our Grind times. People forget to bring their gym pass every day at Steve Nash Fitness World.

After setting my watch for 10:30 intervals, a 42 min finish time I pressed the start button to begin my ascent. The time it takes to get from the start to the big warning is usually where I assess how my body is going to perform on that day – 3:00 minutes. Not to slow, but not super-fast. During the first quarter I felt like my legs were feeling loose and turning over quite well. That quarter flew by in 9:20 minutes, my quickest is 8:16 – today wasn’t fast, but it was still well under my daily goal.

My mind started to figure out how much extra time I had due to the first quarter cushion so, I begun to speed-up. The second quarter mark approached in a blistering time of 9:37 (best of 9:36). Alright, “Could I finish in less than 40 min today?” Pacing on this gruelling climb is very important. My hips, legs and lower-back were feeling great, I knew I could go a little faster. I learned the lesson of going off pace during Seak the Peak Relay ’11 in July when I had to slow down because of calf-cramping, which meant I nearly missed my sub 2 hour finish time.

“Keep a steady pace,” I repeated to myself.

To go faster the trick is to turn-over the legs more quickly, by taking advantage of the terrain by changing your tactics. One example is to sprint wider flatter sections. I knew I was on track for a faster time when finished by the 3/4 in 9:38. Now could I push even more get another season’s best on the last quarter? Only time would tell. Feeling charged-up I knew I had a little bit of extra energy, the faster I went the less time there was left to the finish line.

It took a lot of will power not too look at my watch. Technology is great, however there is tremendous power in also learning to run by feel. There is last set of stairs, where you either go left and it is longer and not as steep or you go steep and more intensely up. I chose right. The rest of the climb is scrambling over rocks – which is the most fun part of the Grind for me because I know I am almost finished and I can leap from rock to rock, even using my hands sometimes.

Since the last interval of 10:30 min had not gone off, I knew I was really close to finishing in less than 40 minutes. Sprinting up the last part of the gravel to the timer, I tapped the timer and pressed the lap button. The last lap is a cool-down; it is a measure of my recovery which can be 1-2 minutes. The point is to see how long it takes my heart rate to drop below 120 bpm.


Q1 9:20
Q2 9:37
Q3 9:38
Q4 10:32
(rounded)

Stunned I read my elapsed time of 39:07!

Follow heart beat by heart beat at TrainingPeaks.com- click here or my 2010 Personal Best

The last quarter was nearly 30s faster than my previous time. My official published time starts at 12 am because it was manually entered and is just shy of my season’s best.

This was an outstanding time for my 90th climb. Keeping reading as I go for 100 by the end of October. The Grind closes when the snow hits the ground and it becomes unsafe.

The lesson today is that you can gather all the data you want, but the decision is really completed with instinct and feeling. Some days are break through days while other are steady as you go. Either way keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep climbing.

Related Posts

  1. 2011 BMO Grouse Mountain Run
  2. Paying Tribute to a Client Who Loved the Grind

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!

As Seen in Impact Magazine! Writing as a Local Expert

It took a little perseverance and patience, but I am now published in the Canadian magazine IMPACT and can officially call myself an author. Impact, is a multi-sport magazine published in Vancouver and Calgary which recruits local health, fitness and sports medicine experts to write articles for their bi-monthly magazine. I am honoured to be able to now say “as seen in Impact Magazine.”

This article took awhile to get published. I first noticed Impact a couple of years ago because it is distributed to major gyms, fitness events and medical offices. The idea of writing for them came about because many of the articles were written by local experts and I wanted to write more often to share my knowledge.

Lifemoves has advertised with them in the past. In April 2010 we were invited to attend a fabulous client appreciation party at Monk McQueen’s near Granville Island. There I had the pleasure of meeting their publisher and editor at the time.

It wasn’t until I attend my first editorial meeting in November that the ball got really rolling. The evening turned into a fun time of sharing and pitching ideas to the Editor, Chris. The challenge was making each idea relevant and relative to the reader.

I was really excited when an email request came in for TWO pieces. One was a book review in the and the second was a more complete article published in the July/August issue. Thank you to all who assisted with the fascial stretch therapy article including client Liam Firus, Athlete Model and Canadian Jr Figure Skating Champion; Dr. Carla Cupido, Baseline Health; Graham Stamper, RMT; Chris Frederick, Stretch to Win Institute.

If you missed the hard copies:

Stretching for Recovery and Performance: How Fascial Stretch Therapy Can Raise Athletic Performance



The Runner’s Edge Book Review (scroll down)

Avoid a Mental Tantrum: Persevere and Be Resilient

On Christmas Eve I TRIED to go snowshoeing, some things that were out of my control got in my way, but I did not throw a mental tantrum. Resiliency and perseverance are traits of successful entrepreneurs. Every day we are thrown various curve balls that might also be on fire. How you handle them changes your perspective, outlook and feelings of success. What do you when your plans don’t work out? Do you have a plan B or C? Or do you adjust your goals? I chose to do both on Christmas Eve.

Heading up to Grouse Mountain with my new snowshoes in hand I was eagerly anticipating what the fresh snow would feel like under my feet. For the first time would I feel like a penguin, a duck or like I going for a regular everyday hike? It was drizzling, about 1° C and slightly windy in North Vancouver which often means it is snowing on the North Shore mountains. The resort was operating the blue gondola Christmas Eve because the red one “acts as big sail during high winds,” as quoted by a friendly Grouse Mountain staff member. He also informed the long line of Japanese tourists, locals and myself that there was a possibility of us being “stuck” up there for a couple of hours due to high winds.

This I didn’t mind, all I wanted to do was get up there – even if it was a bit wet; I didn’t have anywhere to go afterwards until later in the evening. Several gondolas later, it was now my turn; six minutes later I would be putting my snowshoes on. Just as the gondola doors were opening, they closed again. They announced that the mountain was now closed. Yes, I was disappointed, but why get stuck in this emotion? I turned around, thanked the staff, wished them a Merry Christmas and set a new goal of completing my 30 – 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise that day in the gym, after an early lunch.

However, when I tried to open up the doors of the lunch place at 10:40 AM, the owner said they were closed until noon. Not wanting to wait around I decided to console myself with a wonderfully sweet hot chocolate at Brazza then head to the gym. So, just like water flowing around a boulder in the river, I too went with the flow without throwing a mental tantrum. I finished with a solid 45 minutes on the treadmill and feeling great that I had moved my body during the holidays – a time when most people abdicate responsibility for their own health, chalking it up to “the way the holidays are.”

I didn’t mind not going snowshoeing, there would be another day. I managed do the second part of the plan for the day which was 30 – 45 minutes of physical activity, just on the treadmill instead of snow. Success!

Resiliency gives you the ability to bounce back and feel successful, while perseverance gives you the capability to accomplish great things!

(Author note: mental tantrum was coined by a Grouse Grind friend)