This past weekend I took a mini vacation from a business trip I’m currently on, with the goal of detaching myself as much as possible. Not because I was super stressed or annoyed, but because when I truly get away, I can think clearer and gain more perspective on things.
Anyway, I decided I would do the Grouse Mountain “Grouse Grind”. I heard it was a hard trail, but I figured, “Whatever, it can’t be that bad.”
Before we attempted the climb, we figured it would be a good idea to go hiking for a few hours and m.e.l.t. a 12 minute lower body cardio/strengthening workout. I also had been fasting for about 16 hours (not great pre-climb nutrition–I don’t recommend it).
When we got there, we found out that the average ascent was one hour and 30 minutes and the best time was something crazy like 25 minutes. I set a goal of 45 minutes based on no experience, figuring I could finish right between average and amazing.
Since I can’t run 5ks or adventure runs anymore, I have missed the adrenaline/nervousness you get when you’re about to start. So I was amped! I started blasting some music on my phone and trekked up the incline with fury.
2.2 minutes later we were stopped. While we did climb up an incline, we chose the wrong entrance – we got all pumped up and climbed up to the Wolf Sanctuary. Ha ha – what jabronies we are. Still, I bet we hold the record for fastest climb to see a wolf sanctuary.
Within minutes of beginning the climb, my legs were trembling and my heart rate was sky rocketing. I immediately doubted my ambitious goal of 45 minutes and questioned why we workout before hiking. I knew I was in for it…
When we hit the ¼ mark, my legs felt like lead and my time was on pace to finish just over an hour…nowhere near my goal. The climb was a brutal incline – a narrow path with either tall steps or an uneven surface. I made it my short term goal to not stop, to just keep going no matter what. And I did just that.
There were times I had a burst of energy and powered up stairs as fast as I could and there were also times I was literally on all fours, crawling because it was so steep I couldn’t lift my legs up.
Ok, So What’s the Moral of the Story?
My climbing experience is no different from ANY goal you have. It takes time, effort, sweat, and persistence to reach your goals.
Follow these 9 Weight Loss Tips and you’ll be amazed at the progress you make:
1. Define a clear purpose you can measure: One of the reasons I don’t love weight loss goals is because after you lose a certain amount of weight (specific to your body), you can’t use weight as an accurate measurement tool because you’re replacing body fat with muscle and muscle weighs more than fat.
Write it down:
- What do you want to achieve?
- How can you measure it?
- Is it a goal that is both challenging and achievable?
If my goal was just getting up the mountain, I wouldn’t have been challenged. And how could I track how well I did? Its easy to get down on yourself when you’re not measuring the right stuff.
2. Just get started: The only way to get to the top of a mountain is to take the first steps up it (to the right entrance, of course) .
3. Sprint when you can: There will be times you are super motivated e.g before a vacation or for your New Years Resolution – go wild. When you’re feeling good, go all in.
4. Just keep taking steps forward: My steps might not have always been big (sometimes they were literally baby steps) but I didn’t stop. In life just as fitness, you’re either getting stronger and growing, or you’re getting weaker. There is no middle ground.
→Sidelined with an injury? Focus on your rehabilitation and your nutrition
→Only have 5 minutes? Crank a quick m.e.l.t. deck of cards workout.
It doesn’t have to be pretty – just keep going.
5. Do whatever helps you: I’m certain the people who saw me on the climb probably thought I was crazy. I was yelling out positive affirmations, giving people fist pumps & thumbs up, clapping, hooting & hollering, using mud as warrior paint, listening to the Rocky soundtrack – that stuff empowers me.
What motivates/helps you? Maybe its wearing certain colors or types of clothes, watching a motivational video before you workout, or encouraging others as you work out. It doesn’t matter what it is, just don’t be afraid of going with it.
6. Crawl when you have to: Sometimes your mind wants one thing while your body tells you something different. Just do whatever it takes to keep moving forward. Maybe its m.e.l.t.ing all level 1 exercises, modifying movements, or m.e.l.t.ing after a bad night of sleep. Stuff like this will get in your way. How can you respond?
7. Just get started: Its always hard but you can’t wait for the “right” time. So get after it! The first ¼ of the mountain was really tough. But what was I going to do? Quit and try it later? If you’re somebody who is looking to lose a ton of weight or perform a difficult physical feat, you’re in for a battle – don’t let anyone tell you differently. But it’s a battle you CAN win.
The going will get tough, so keep going! Did I want to quit? Yes, there were moments. Did I want to stop, you bet your tight-n-toned hiney. Every challenge brings self-doubt and obstacles. But when you get knocked down, get right back up.
8. You are closer than you think – don’t stop: Look, its hard to finish any challenge. 20 feet from the top of the mountain looked like it was a step away yet it felt like it was a mile. Seth Godin refers to this point as the Dip – the point where most people pack it in because their journey seems lost, yet its when you are extremely close.
Anyone can go do a workout or workout for 3 months but its very hard to maintain…especially when you’re not seeing the obvious results you expected to. Revert back to your purpose and what you’re measuring, remember you’re only getting better or you are getting worse, just because you’re “not there yet” doesn’t mean you’re not closer.
9. Fail forward: I ended up finishing in 52 minutes and 10 seconds…not a bad time considering the circumstances. But it was not easy, it took everything I had that day. Okay so you didn’t loose 20 lbs, you lost 16 yet feel great, have more energy and your clothes fit better- do those 4 lbs even count?
Don’t be of afraid of setting ambitious goals. Just because you don’t hit them exactly does not mean you failed. Failing is when you don’t attempt them at all.
To sum it all up: nothing worthwhile is easy. There will be ups and downs with everything, don’t let the ups get to your head and don’t let the downs ground you – keep moving forward, you got everything you need to do and get what you want.
“Share” this post with friends who will appreciate these weight loss tips. Knowledge is power!