Friday, October 30, 2009

Trial and Error

My sister has taken pictures of tourists on Virginia Beach, sold jet skis in Miami, worked in a café in France in exchange for French lessons, learned massage in Thailand, and has worked as an extra on a movie set in Italy.

She has studied Criminology, looked into getting her real estate license, decided she wanted to be a Model, then applied for Journalism school, and most recently has figured out that she would like to write documentaries, and design eco-friendly clothing. And, each time she believes she has found what she wants be ‘when she grows up.’

Growing up everyone else is in control of your life, your parents, your teachers, your coaches, etc., and they all demand and expect something from you. Then you hit a certain age, and are left to our own devices with the expectation that you will be able to take charge of our life and lead it in the direction you want to go. But which way is that? How do you know where you want to go when everyone else has been taking you there?

In my sister’s case, she has decided to visit a Life Coach to help her make order out of her life and find direction. I think that the most important word in the previous sentence was ‘decided.’ You need to make a decision about where you want to go, it may not be the right one and may lead you farther away from whatever it is you are looking for, but somewhere along the line you need to take control back over your life and start making the calls, good or bad.

It’s through this process that we are able to learn about ourselves – what we like, don’t like, what we can, and can’t live with. Life is trial and error and the only way to learn is to make a decision.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hallow's Eve trail run 2009

There is something exhilarating and intense about trail running that drives people in droves towards it. Compared to the steady, rhythmic pace of road running, the twists and turns, the ups and downs, the hopping and falling of trail running keeps the mind more alert. For those of us that grew up climbing trees, jumping off of rocks and swinging off of jungle gyms, trail running offers us an excuse to revert back to our youthful nature and conquer these obstacles once again. Most people can confess to jumping in puddles as a kid and having complete disregard for getting dirty or falling down. Dressing up like a ninja, or like a princess or to become Batman while running through the forest would be the finishing touch in completely becoming a kid again!

On October 25th a handful of IF customers and coaches did exactly this as we dressed up in our Halloween best to participate in the Hallow’s Eve 10k and 22k trail run. The morning started out at Lynmour Jaycee House in North Vancouver with a crisp, overcast setting to stage the morning’s run perfectly. The mood was lightened with many people’s outrageous costumes and it helped relax the nerves of many nervous participants. Both the 10k and the 22k run started up Lillooet Rd before ducking into the North Vancouver Cemetery. As an eerie morning fog rolled up the hill along with us, the Halloween atmosphere couldn’t have been replicated any better. After a quick hill climb up the street, both courses duck into the trails of Lynn Canyon Park.

The North Shore offers some of the most beautiful and most challenging trails that BC has to offer and sometimes it’s hard to believe that all of this is right in our own back yard. These trails have everything from mildly undulating graveled paths, challenging switchbacks, bridges crossing creeks and trails running through towering forestry. Not to mention enough puddles to jump in to fill your heart’s content! There were a number of steep stairways that definitely ramped up the heart rate and slowed a number of runners to a slow climb. But no one said that the Hallow’s Eve trail run was an easy race.

The course was lined with amazing volunteers who sported their festive costumes as well and kept everyone motivated with great humor and loud cheers. Aid stations of juice, water, gels and Halloween candy kept everyone fueled and hydrated and this race wouldn’t have been the same without those volunteers who made this happen.

The final leg of the race was a nice downhill trot through the same cemetery that we ascended through earlier that morning, back down Lillooet Rd to the finish line at Lynmour Jaycee Community Center. Like any race, it’s always an amazing feeling to cross the finish line and be done and share your stories of the journey with your friends, like how Mike Fugman forgot to wear body glide and chafed his nipples bloody, for example. After a complimentary coffee and hot chocolate at the finish line, everyone went home to rest up. In November IF will be coming back to the North Shore as we will be taking on the Phantom Run on Saturday the 14th, and we hope to see everybody there!

story by Cory M.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Run 2009

The Great Pumpkin Run –Doing it for the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation! by Martie H.

                   On Sunday October 25th IFers came out in droves to lend their support for their local hospital. The morning was brisk but that didn’t stop participants of all ages from dressing up and showing their pre-Halloween spirit.

With so many family friendly options there was an event for everybody to get involved in whether it was the 1k walk/run or the 5 k walk/run.  A local band got us and warmed up and ready to run. We all lined up under the orange and black balloons on the grounds of the hospital to begin our race.  A quick and hilly route took us through beautiful White Rock providing gorgeous ocean views along the way.  We ran with hippies, a muscle man and various heroes.


Upon our return we were greeted by family band, delicious healthy snacks and story time for the kids.  What a great opportunity to get active with the whole family and lead by example. A great time was had by all and we helped contribute to foundation funds new life-saving equipment and health initiatives for our community.

 Can’t wait to see you all next year!

Monday, October 26, 2009


With so many dating shows, reality TV "of Love" shows, it seems that so many people have some very bad misconceptions of romance, love, and beauty. We have novels such as Twilight by Stephanie Meyer which basically says that love = stalking, controlling spouses and a romance based on obsession rather then actual chemistry or affection. We also have a somewhat recent drama between Chris Brown and Rihanna, where she basically shows the world that it's okay to stay with a man who beats the hell out of you.

Such messages corrupt and harm those who do not know any better. When I hear about a couple that goes through such hardships where the man is punching and biting his girlfriend, yet she humbly comes back to him because she loves him, this makes me wonder what goes through the minds of these people. We've seen it before on shows like Jerry Springer, and for some people this is a very ugly reality and something that occurs every day in their own homes. But because it's on Jerry Springer, where the "white trash" of America go up on stage and make complete fools of themselves for the world to see, we only associate such behavior from the stupid and unattractive people we've seen on the program. We immediately look down on the act, and we shun those people for going back to ones who abuse them, and we think to ourselves "that couldn't possibly happen to someone with more than half a brain".

But what about when it's Chris Brown and Rihanna instead of the Springer guests, and because it's Edward Cullen and Bella Swan instead of the white trash, the message changes. What is even scarier is that this sort of behavior, this neglect, obsession, abuse, and harm is being pushed to the side (and in some cases, even glorified) because the people in question are nice to look at. Say what you will about their personalities and characteristics (or lack of), but Chris Brown, Rihanna, and Robert Pattinson are not bad to look at. We would describe them as attractive, hot, and sexy. So we ignore their wrongdoings because of their beauty and good looks, either forget or condone the violent acts. With this, we are basically telling the world and our children, "It's okay, because they're hot and they love each other."

This message is displayed even strongly in today's media, but this time around the targeted audience are adolescents and young adults. Since we're already brainwashed since our toddler years to associate beautiful looks with happiness, the TV advertisements, reality shows, movies, television shows, the music industry, and most importantly the fashion industry do their best to reinforce this theory.

It is not only a broken record, but most of the time very hypocritical to say that "looks don't matter" and "it's what's inside that counts." When you really get down to the logical aspect of this argument, looks are temporary anyways. That hot guy you pick up in high school will not look quite the same when he's thirty years older, especially if he parties hard in his school years. That pretty girl may look smoking in that bikini when she's 18 but will she look that great when she's 50?

For the high classed/rich demographic, plastic surgery and spa treatments may help you with your aging process, yet how many people in the middle and lower class can afford such things? Many of us are lucky (especially in this economy) if we're able to make enough money to keep our homes or fill our refrigerators. Getting a liposuction, tummy tuck, or acupuncture once every two weeks is really a trivial matter that we can't bother ourselves with.

I'm not saying that women and men should not put time and effort into making themselves look good. When you wear something that you look good in, you'll feel good. When you feel good about yourself, you gain confidence. And when you look presentable, you'll look approachable. What I am saying, however, is that making your exterior as beautiful as possible and staying attracted only to the people who "look good," is not all that it's cracked up to be. I'm also saying that pardoning the sins of those who are easy on the eyes when you would have condemned anyone outside of that statistic for the same crime is ridiculous, unfair, and sends a harmful message.

Life isn't a fairy tale. It's time for a reality check.


Friday, October 23, 2009


“Boundaries make a child feel safe.” Dr. Deborah Langenbacher

Children naturally experiment and push boundaries in their quest to mature and learn to be a part of society. Not everything they try will be right every time. Parents are part of their lives to correct them and teach them appropriate child behavior.

Being a friend to your child is one way to sidestep the conflict, responsibility and pain of being a parent. It's also a good place to hide if you don't know how to parent. But your role in your child's life is to be their parent. Being a parent is not an adversarial relationship, but one in which clear lines are drawn about who is in charge. When you find yourself and your child thinking alike, or spending a lot of time hanging out together, it may be time to rethink your role. If you are not creating a solid, secure base from which your child can explore the world, you are probably being a friend rather than a parent.

Think about what kind of relationship your child has with their friends. Friends are equals. Each feels free to tell the other what they think, and to be a confidant. Childhood friends drop each other and move on to other friendships, experiencing all the different personalities that life has to offer. Friends don't guide, nurture, and protect each other; they don't set boundaries and limits for each other.

You may wonder why I am writing about being parent when I have no children of my own. It’s simple, if you were to re-read this blog and substitute ‘leader’ for ‘parent’ you would understand the association. Professional boundaries are important because they define the limits and responsibilities of the people with whom you interact in the workplace. If everyone on your team understands what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, then team members will feel safe in their roles. An effective leader (or parent) understands that failing to define boundaries, having no boundaries, or having inappropriately rigid boundaries can have an unfavorable impact on their organization, employees or family.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fear or Opportunity

Today I was asked how people go from fear of their challenging workout sessions to actually looking forward to the workouts. The answer is very simple, and very difficult (for some). It is quite simply a choice. A choice between being fear-based or opportunity-based.

When we are fear based, we exist at low levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs: reward and punishment are our motivators. "If I get through this wall sit I get a rest" and so on. Fear is about survive. Opportunity, on the other hand, is about THRIVE.

People who are opportunity-focused ask themselves, "what am I capable of today?" "Can I do more than last time?" "Maybe I can beat my own record"
Opportunists see the forest through the trees and are able to perpetuate opportunity out of challenging circumstances. For example, today during the same hour customer in question posed the axiom to me, another customer was able to, while working their tail off - shout encouragement to another customer who was struggling with their workout. The opportunist combined helping others with helping themselves and improving their fitness into the same hour.

Opportunists move themselves (and others) forward at almost every juncture. Fear-focused people often fail to move themselves forward even during something as positive as exercise. If fear is the driver - the 'little extra' required to push new fitness levels and actually observe what's going around you during moments of adversity- is buried beneath the fear.

We must realize that while the above example pertains to exercise, the lesson applies to our social lives, finances, business, everything. We either maximize by focusing on (and thus seeing and capitalizing on) opportunity, or we are consumed by and thus paralyzed by fear.

It is literally a series of choices stemming from our mental focus that separates the most successful people you know - from the cautionary tales.

What's driving you?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Moab 2009... What a trip! by Meyrick Jones

I just returned from Moab, Utah where I spent three days mountain biking with an awesome group of riders from Innovative Fitness.

Cool little town in the midst of seemingly endless amounts of awe inspiring red rock, desert-like terrain. TONS of world renowned mountain biking. If you like to ride, you should DEFINITELY put Moab on your "list" (you do have a list right?)

We spent three 4-6 hour days riding mostly intermediate to expert level terrain - some awesome downhills, some technical, rocky trail, plenty of "ledgy drops", lots of slickrock.

The final day was the highlight for me. We drove to 8,400 ft, rode to about 9,000, then descended to about 4,000. That, my friends, is about 10 minutes up and a couple of hours down, in other words, a ratio that = FUN. We were blasting down Hazard County, Upper and Lower Porcupine Rim, and Kokopelli until my rear tire couldn't handle the fun anymore and punctured about 3/4 mile from the end.

I know many Innovative Fitness customers and trainers read this... if you are looking for a fun destination that is manageable for almost every skill level GO TO MOAB!! Our local guides (Rim Tours - Brooks and Sylvie in particular) did a great job of splitting groups up when appropriate, so everyone got to ride to their ability and enjoy every minute.

It was totally awesome. I may be able to procure some video from a friend who sported a helmet cam. We'll see...

In the meantime some more pictures:

This was Day 2 at Bartlett Wash - an awesome area for enjoying the Slickrock. 

These next three I call Unnatural Van Fixation... I just love vans (esp. vw) and bikes and the two together meant I had to take a lot of photos...

On Day 3 I had a minor tumble and smacked my shin on a rock.... have a look (go ahead, click to enlarge.) It was visually disturbing to say the least... but not that painful (thank goodness).

Day 1 at "Baby Steps".

Day 2 at Bartlett Wash. (I need a new pose...)

Brooks (our lead guide) - 62 and a damn good rider. He made everything look easy. Powering up slickrock sections that I swear are 45°+. Unbelievable... hat's off.

These trees are beautiful... don't know what kind they are...

It was an awesome group, a spectacular location, unbelievable weather, and tremendous riding by everyone.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 19, 2009


An idea is a thought, a stimuli and a catalyst for action. Each and every day we generate countless ideas and one of the great things about human beings is that we have the ability to express our ideas to others. How good does it feel when you tell your idea to someone who then supports it by saying “great idea”? It is empowering yet compare that to how you feel when you speak an idea only to have it immediately shut down. Obviously there are good ideas and bad ideas and bad ones should be recognized before they turn into action but too often we dismiss our own and other peoples ideas before as soon as they are voiced. It is in our nature to think practically and realistically which sometimes narrows our spectrum of what actually is possible.

How does one know if an idea is good or not? If you were to ask 10 people and 7 or more said it was a no good would that make your idea unworthy? Being a believer in possibilities and knowing that most of us think at a conservative level, it is in this writer’s opinion that most people doubt and chances are the idea is a good one. There are many real life examples all around us of people who were told their ideas would never fly and who are now soaring. The ones who plow through doubt and skepticism are those who take risks and believe that bringing their idea to fruition depends on their desire and determination in doing so.

Never be afraid to voice your ideas, hear what others have to say but do not allow them to shut your ideas down. Your ideas are deep rooted to your values, beliefs and what you are passionate about so bringing them to life is entirely dependent on you. Take your idea and let it be manifested into a world of possibilities by taking a risk and taking action. You will never know if your idea was great if you don’t believe and take that first step.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


At some point in time we will all come to a place in our lives where we feel stale; where we feel we no longer have anything more to contribute to the group we are associated with. Hopefully for us we have come to this point on our own terms and have not had to wait for others to make us aware of this shift, because in controlling our own destiny we must have the awareness to know which way to bend the winds.

There are many reasons why we become stale in life, some real and some perceived, but all that any reason means is that it is time to go in a new direction. In moving forward we do not have the time to invest into something that we feel we are no longer creating the impact we would like to in whatever sphere we are stagnant in. Once we come to the realization that we are not in a phase, that our feelings are valid to ourselves, then we must find a way to move on, to recreate, and to reinvent.

Three things are greatly important when we come to the realization that we need to find new avenues to explore; 1) that we recognize how we got to where we are, 2) that we sincerely thank all the people that supported us in our efforts, and 3) that we make the move without disrupting flow.

No one got to where they are without someone taking a chance on them and making an investment in them. Everyone is also not the same person exiting a situation as they were entering it. This is why the reflection process is so important. In the reflection process we must understand not only who gave us the chances we received, who helped us accelerate the learning curve, but also recognize the gains we have made internally and see how the situation allowed us to grow as an individual. We must allow us to see the whole transformation and recognize that while we were the main contributor in our success, there are many others that helped motivate us along the way.

In recognition we also must offer thanks. There are many people that surround us who continually go unrecognized for their contributions to our success. It takes absolutely no effort on the giving end to say “thank you”, yet means a ton on the receiving end. Remember there are many different ways to become inspired and that the odds are likely that you will be thanking people who helped you by less traditional means, but helped you none the less and are equally deserving of your gratitude.

The hardest part of reinvention is not disrupting the flow on the others who are in their moment. Change is disruptive only when we believe that we are more important than we are and make change disruptive. If we have done it correctly, we will have educated others in the same way that they have educated us, therefore moving on in a manner where waves are made but flow is not compromised.

With 150 blogs now to reflect on, it is time to move on. Thanks Matt for the chance; past present and future. Thanks contributors for inspiration and making my brain think. Thank you readers for viewing, disagreeing, trying, thinking, and exploring.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

game fazed.... Easy Decision

thanks Luke for sharing your experience.

Running a half marathon for the first time earlier this year was fun. The word "marathon" is in the title, which sounds very impressive, but so is the word "half", which softens the horror of doing a long distance run for the first time. "Half marathon" is not as scary as "Very Hard 21km." Though I had run 10km numerous time without problem, the push to another level was exciting but as with any first time, a small source of anxiety. I sat down and talked myelf into the senisble approach; 8 weeks of training, realistic goals, new shoes, lots of stretching.... all the right things to keep me on track for success. Planning for success. The day of came and I woke up a half hour before my alarm went off (6:30am on a SATURDAY!) Refreshed, I had a small breakfast and reviewed my goals for the day... Half marathon in 1:45mins, running in my target zone of 120bpm, shouldn't be a problem. Put on my shorts, tied my shoes up tight, and headed out the door. Preparing for success.

Approximately 10km into the marathon, my heart rate monitor broke. The screen went blank, and started beeping out of control, which as anyone else can attest to became very annoying, very quickly. I tossed the watch aside which addressed my immediate problem, but it brought on a new reality... how I was going to deal with this unexpected hurdle? With all the training, the preparation, the first half in the bag... do I let it rattle my concentration, and lose focus, or do I accept the challenge, rise up to conquer it and face adversity head on.

Having kept a healthy pace and being in tune with my body, I decided to pickup up the pace slightly. Within a few minutes, I caught up to a pair of runners coasting at a pace slightly ahead of my own. After a quick point to my wrist and few words, I joined them on their run. At first I was worrying about endurance and my split times until I realized this was A) wasting energy and B) sabotoging my afternoon (not to mention all my training). With 3km to go, I hit the wall (better yet, the wall hit me.) I figured this might happen and was actually relieved it came much later than expected. My mantra became "one foot in front of the hour." Eventually I crossed the finish line. The damage? 1:38mins. How did this happen? 1:45 would have been a personal best (By 2 and a half minutes over training)... Discussing this with one of the other training coaches, we came to a realistic conclusion. Reviewing.

Too often we are tied to our programs, our plans, our zones, our times, our... everything but our bodies. While all the elements I just mentioned are vital keys to any succesful program, (without them I wouldn't have found myself feeling ready on race morning) however, when adversity strikes as it did, the aids I used to train myelf became irrelevant, and I was left with one remaining piece of the puzzle; my body. The decision was quick (mulling over it and feeling sorry for myself were far too easy options) and though I briefly questioned my decisions later in the race, it was truly the only was I was going to come out feeling great - giving it my all. Posting a personal best was already a goal, but I had managed to outdo myself just by listening to my body.

~ Luke Purm

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why we play the game

It's always fun to watch people begin their journey.

Three such people come to mind right now as part of a contest modelled similarly to the "Fitness Fantasy" concept called the "Herald Health Club".

Our 3 contestants did their first weigh ins and the week one results ranged from no loss to losing 27 pounds. While no change may be de-motivational after such hard work, and 27 pounds is as close to life-changing in 1 week as I've ever seen, we have to learn to look behind the numbers.

While three people are competing, there are a few caveats to remember...

1. The most important competition is INTERNAL. We are offering an adventure trip to Maui, but gaining your life back is the bigger prize and that is what we've heard from all 3 contestants!
2. Many people gain weight their first week because of increased fluid, vitamin, mineral, and nutrient retention as well as amino acid and protein synthesis (the beginning stages of adding new muscles tissue).
3. There's no guarantee the rapid weight loss can continue. Here's hoping it was the result of following the systems to the T, eating enough of the right foods, and getting way more active - but if anyone (these 3 or anyone in the world) tries to 'cut corners' in terms of weight loss, their bodies will catch up to them.
4. Many factors are involved in changing your life (not just weight) and thus our competition was structured with that in mind. We don't know who's going to win now and we probably won't know by week 6 either. It's anybody's contest and that's the point of today's entry...

5. Anything worth having in life is up for grabs. The winners in life are made and they are conditioned, they are not born. It is within your grasp to attain the skills you need and assert the attitude you need to be successful. That's why we play the game of life - because we get to decide what a 'win' means for us and then we get to take the field and make it happen. Life is not played out on the sidelines if we truly want it to count.

Friday, October 09, 2009


There have been amazing advancements in the way we communicate over the past 20 years, making our ability to keep in touch with others simpler and more efficient. We now have the ability to be reached at any time from just about any corner of the world. These advancements have opened our accessibility to the world and the world to us, yet have distanced ourselves for the one thing that is most important; us.

Because we now live in an age where we have access to anyone at any time and vice versa, we have lost the ability to connect with ourselves. We no longer have the ability to disappear and reconnect to our internal beings, which is essential in any level of success. Our work days are now longer because we can get as much work done away from the office as we can in it (creating unpaid overtime), our social lives are now busier because we have no escape from others connecting with us, and our family lives are no longer just for family because of the constant interruption of ringing phones and alerts no matter where we are.

Innovation is a great thing, but there hasn’t been an innovation created that doesn’t contain some type of negative side effect. In fact there are no longer win win situations in technological advancement. For every advancement made in communication, we have taken a step back in our ability to create time away from the world and into our own minds. The more accessible we are to others, the less time we have with our own thoughts. Typical alone time 10 years ago has been replaced with noise, noise from headphones, noise from cell phones, just plain noise from us trying to be everything to everyone.

If we are to be a good anything to anyone we first must have the ability to be good at being ourselves. This is an impossible task unless we find the ability to compartmentalize work, family, social life, and self. I can’t be a good worker when I am updating my social network pages while at work. I can’t be a good father/husband when I am working while spending time with my wife and kid. I can’t be socially competent when my focus is not on the environment I am in; rather it is on other perceived obligations. I sure as hell can’t be a good person when I don’t have the time to actually communicate with myself and reconnect with who I am or what I am becoming.

I’ve said it many times because it’s true, we are the most important entity in our lives and unless we have the ability to figure ourselves out we are worthless to those we surround ourselves with. This means that we have to create our own bubble where we can get away from the innovations in communication that are designed to make our lives easier, and actually begin to communicate with ourselves once again. We must have the ability to be a worker while at work, a family person when with our family, a socialite while with our social circles, and ourselves when we make the time to be alone.

Communication is an essential aspect of creating our own success. Communication with ourselves is usually the piece we are lacking the most, and by not knowing who we are anymore we become our greatest detriment in actually creating our success. With technological advancements comes one great constant, the off button. Get to know it so you can get to know yourself.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

4 keys

Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner with a man who has achieved a lot of success in his life... his family's biography book (according to one of his executives) weighs about 8 pounds... he's earned a few billion dollars in his lifetime... he runs 5 companies... but what impressed me the most (by far) were the simple 4 keys he had to successfully parenting children.

1. Be there. There's no replacement for time with and as he said, ages 0 - 6 are the most important from an early childhood development perspective
2. When you're there, be THERE. I've heard this before as the 100% rule- don't be on your Blackberry when you're with your kids, don't be watching TV and kind of watching them; be with them in the moment.
3. Let them teach you what they want to learn and what they want to do instead of you forcing them to read or listen to 'Baby Einstein'. The rate of children's abilities to learn is limited only by the abilities of the teacher.
4. Teach them to want to please you instead of teaching them to fear you. Fear works until they're 12. Most kids don't get into real trouble before 12, they do after. When kids post 12 are faced with drugs and you parent via the fear regime - doing drugs is just one ,more outlet to 'stick it to you'. If your kids want to do right by you, they'll talk to you and present their challenges to you so that you can help them arrive at the solutions for themselves (not you telling them).

The 4 keys above are easy in theory, hard in practice for 1 reason above all else - patience. If anything, that's the 5th key to unlocking your potential as a parent and your kids potential as a human being.

To all parents out there (myself included) best of luck especially with the 5th key!

Monday, October 05, 2009


Each day we come across many great lessons and ideas that we know if
implemented would make us better people. We read books, articles, watch
programs and hear people speak to us on what it takes to reach our goals.
Too often however we see/hear great information, become so excited about
how meaningful it is and then fail to use what we have learned in a way
that betters our lives. The end result is that we render great teachings
to be useless and therefore leaving ourselves in a position no better than
where we began. We see, we hear but the implementing into our lives just
doesn't happen as we allow information to enter one ear and then out the

It is not about what you know or how much you know but what you do
with what you know. We have heard this before and the essence this saying
boils down to one word - Action.

Do you take action in life by taking
your thoughts and goals to the next level? Or do you hear and sometimes
take notes on the lessons but then fail to follow through? Successful
people do what unsuccessful people don't by not only planning and having a
vision but following through from A to Z. On the flip side, unsuccessful
people wait for things to happen to them and then often become discouraged
or complain that things are happening to them that they have no control
over. The complete opposite is true - we all have control to make what we
want out of life and that means taking action.

Todays message is one
which I think is important to share with others as we approach the end of
2009. I hope that this message helps kickstart your day as well as your
last quarter of the year. Let this communication be your reminder to 'go
get'. Upon reading this communication, break the habit of being just a spectator
who simply thinks 'good blog now back to my day' and letting a good idea
evaporate into thin air. Instead, take it to the next level - Do and Teach
others to do the same. Implement what you already know and what you learn
by taking action to make what you want happen in your life.

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded." -Mark Twain

Friday, October 02, 2009


A star is formed from cold, dark clouds made of dust and gas. The reason for the cold is so that the particles that form the star can move slowly enough to allow gravity to overcome internal pressure where clumps of matter can form. This creates a protostar, or a star in its embryonic stage, and has the ability to glow, but it isn’t until more mass and density accrue that the protostar gains enough heat to become a star. This process takes millions of years to come to fruition.

Hopefully this sounds familiar to all of us because it is the exact process of excellence. We start off our lives in a dark cloud; we don’t know what our plan is or how it will unfold, yet we take in our surroundings and form our identity. The younger we are the slower the world around us moves so that we can take in as much information as possible. As we age, the speed at which time passes increases substantially and we are asked to obtain more information in shorter amounts of time. Essentially our protostar is childhood.

As we reach adulthood we have the ability to shine, but are merely a fraction of our potential. As we accrue more mass and density, or opportunity and knowledge, we begin to generate heat (passion) for our lives and begin to choose the path for our destiny. When our ability to create opportunity and knowledge catch up with our passion we finally generate the heat necessary to excel in life.

Without passion, knowledge, and opportunity we never develop past our childhood routine slowly following our old habits towards mediocrity. In never gathering innovation from our surroundings we stunt our growth and deny our potential to ever become anything more than potential. Through understanding our surroundings and feeding off of the situations we observe, we then create our identity and begin to not only live up to our potential, but create new levels of potential as we continue to grow.

Like us, stars have a life span that ranges in years. The larger stars go through a variety of changes and eventually explode into a supernova, sometimes producing a black hole. The smaller stars slowly cool and die usually becoming cold and dark dwarf stars. Once again we mirror our outer space metaphorical counterparts. The more we allow ourselves to excel, the greater impact on the world we have, the greater legacy we leave behind. When we choose to become mediocre we slowly wither away, never leaving anything worthy of our birthright potential for others to follow.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Frosty Mountain Trail Run

Thanks to Ashley for sharing her race story.

Three months of training, two mountains, 50 kilometers, seven hours and twenty minutes equals my first ultra marathon trail race experience.  At Innovative Fitness our mantra states Challenge, Adversity, Victory.  Therefore I will break down my experience in these three categories.


Three months ago we as staff were asked to list our big destinations for the year.  Since I had only participated in 10 kilometer races up to this point, I thought a marathon would be a good challenge for me.  And I chose the Portland Marathon.  However, Jeff Dallin thought that this was not challenging enough and that I needed to think bigger.  I was unsure of what I could do that would be bigger than a marathon.  So I stuck with the idea of a marathon for a while until I took part in my first trail race in Bellingham, the north face endurance challenge.  Now this was yet again another 10k, and I had a lot of fun doing it, but felt that the 10k was just not enough; I had found a new love of trail running and wanted to do more. Also racing in Bellingham were Mark Coates and one of our customers, Mike Fugman, both finishing the 50 kilometer option.  Watching them finish this race inspired me to think bigger than my original marathon idea and find a 50k trail race to run for myself.  So the challenge was laid out in front of me…The Frosty Mountain 50k Ultra.



So not only did I now have 50k ultra marathon 3 months in my future…I had also had three months worth of training to get through.  This meant at least 5 days of running a week, 3 days of strength training as well as full time work schedule, weekends full of events and very little free time.  While doing my own training, myself and some other trainers thought it would be a good idea to get others involved and share our enjoyment of trail running with others, so we started a trail running group and twice a week we met at Lacarno Beach for some very intense trail running and hill training.  But doing this meant for myself very long days twice a week.  Usually starting at 6 am and getting home at 8:30 pm.  However if these running clinics inspire others as I have been inspired, it makes it all worth it.  Finally race day came, after three months of a lot of running.  The night before we spent five hours driving to Manning Park, getting to the campsite at 10 at night having only enough time to set up the tent and fall asleep.  We awoke to rain pounding on our tents.  And again short on time we had only enough to pack everything up and head down to the start line, having to get ready in the parking lot.  At 8 am we were off and running.  After 2 and a half hours we had reach the summit of Frosty Mountain…and yes it was Frosty!  Four hours later we finished the first 25 kilometers. Thinking that the hard part was over, we started the second half of the run in great spirits.  Those spirits slowly faded as we soon realized that we had to climb yet another summit! We had no choice but to keep going …so we kept going…up and up followed by a little more up.  When we finally started the second decent it felt great to just let go and sprint.  And that’s what we did until the final aid station at the 42k mark. Not only was this mark significant for me because it was the final aid station and we only had 8 k to go, but it was my very first marathon distance!  From there until the finish line it was all flat, which was much appreciated.   And then finally, FINALLY we could see the finish line.  So the three of us, Mark, Cory and myself, ran side by side and crossed together.



Finishing my very first ultra marathon in seven hours and twenty minutes is my victory.  Going from 10k races and jumping right into 50 k, is a giant leap and I managed with a lot of hard work to accomplish it.  I can honestly say it was the hardest thing I have ever done and, next to graduating from University and High School, one of the greatest feelings of accomplishment I have ever felt. There was no greater feeling than what I felt when crossing that finish line after 7 hours and 20 minutes, especially having two other athletes who I immensely respect at my side.  After doing this, there are very few things that I do not think that I could finish.  I cannot wait for my next one, which is in another three months in San Francisco. I started this journey challenging myself with 10k and they were challenging when I first started out, everyone starts somewhere, but sometimes we need to push those limits.  It took Jeff Dallin to challenge me to something bigger than what I thought was big, and Mark and Michael to inspire me with their victories to realize that nothing is impossible.  There were always moments throughout that I felt I couldn’t do it, but you have to ignore those thoughts and listen to your inspirations. And now the only option is to think even BIGGER for my next challenge.