I recently climbed Longs Peak, a 14,250 plus mountain. If you know anything about Longs, you may know it kills more hikers then any other climb in Colorado. Tragically, an 18 year old kid fell off the same cliff I was on only 18 hours earlier. The 15 mile, 5,500 vertical feet climb is listed as a 12-14 hour round trip. I had just gotten off the plane and had not yet acclimated to the altitude, which made for an even more challenging hike.
I got up at 2 AM and started the journey with head lamps on. Past the 13,000 foot mark, the wind was blowing in excess of 30 mph and the 1-2 foot ledges with 700 foot sheer cliffs below became very scary. Thankfully, I made it up in 5 hours but was overcome with altitude sickness at the top and had to descend after spending only one minute at the top. Once I descended past the treacherous parts, I had a 5 mile run downhill. My total time was 8 hours. Not bad considering I don’t do tons of cardio nor do I have any altitude training.
Why do I share this story with you?
Depending on what your experience is, depending on your peer group, depending on your circle of influence, you might look at what I did and say one of three things.
1. You are crazy, I could never or would never want to do that.
2. That sounds cool, I would love to have the opportunity to do that!
3. No big deal! What you just did was easy stuff, but you are making a big deal about it.
I will make some generalizations here but this is what the thinking of these three types of people might look like…
The first group probably has never hiked, hasn’t exercised very intensely for many years, and has low confidence in their abilities to get in shape. They don’t know anyone personally who does activities like this and so they just don’t understand.
The second group is most likely quite active, they have achieved many of their fitness goals throughout the years, and have had experience pushing their bodies past levels of comfort. They have friends who go on active adventures and are looking for new ways to push themselves. I would put all of my clients who have been with my program for at least a year in this category.
The final group would be hikers and climbers who have access to mountains on a regular basis. They are part of hiking clubs or groups and they read and study about hiking. They are endurance athletes that surround themselves with friends who are also high level athletes. For them, my climb up Longs Peak was just child’s play. They have moved on to bigger and more challenging things.
I am just using hiking as an example here, but this type of thinking can play out in any area of your life, fitness or otherwise. What your peer group considers “norm” is generally what your norm will be, as well. This is what really scares me about our world today. Society’s “norm” is now to be 30 lbs overweight, to sit most of the day, to use food to celebrate almost everything, and to eat and drink to numb the pain and conflict life can bring. It is no wonder our world has so much sickness, disease and depression.
I want to leave you with one final story. I had just run/walked the final 5 miles of my Longs Peak journey. The feeling I had at the bottom was of pure exhaustion and joy. Right at the end, I finished with a guy who I saw on the way up. I started chatting with him. He was a physical specimen of peak fitness. I discovered he lives in Boulder, about 36 miles away. He left his house at 2 AM, BIKED 36 miles, ran/walked Long’s Peak in 5:15 (almost 3 hours faster then me), and was getting ready to bike back to Boulder. In shock, I told him he was crazy and that I was incredibly impressed and inspired. He smiled and said, “it’s not crazy when everyone else you know does it too.”
He was right, his peer group does things like that on a regular basis and what I would consider crazy, unbelievable, and incredible, is just an ordinary day to this guy and his peer group.
- So the question is, what does your peer group look like?
- What do they do on a regular basis?
- Are they healthy?
- Are they positive?
- Are they happy?
If the answer to these questions is no, and you want to be active, healthy, positive, and happy, I would like to challenge you to start to shift your peer group. This doesn’t need to happen overnight, but a shift in peer groups will be necessary if you want to live the life of your dreams. Your peer group—the community that you surround yourself with—is my fourth pillar of success. It will make a huge difference in your ability to make and stick with changes in your life.
Throughout the years I have received hundreds of emails and messages from moms who feel alone and isolated. They don’t have the support they want and need to live the healthy, happy lives they deserve. They don’t have a peer group that is inspired to make each day as healthy, and positive as possible. That is why the Fit Moms for Life team works tirelessly to find creative ways to build communities that will make it easier to identify and find moms that are also interested in living healthy, happy lives.
That is at the core of the Fit Moms Total Transformation Program, which begins with a 6 Week Challenge, and progresses into a Monthly Program with fresh new content delivered each week. These programs are designed for small groups to keep each other accountable, motivated and inspired to live each person’s best life!
You have two choices, you can continue to do what you have been already doing and expect to get the same results, or you can take a leap of faith and try something new. That leap of faith might just change the trajectory of your life. It is your choice to make. Fit Moms For Life is committed to supporting you when you are ready to take that leap. If you are interested in facilitating a FM4L 6 week challenge group, helping people live their best lives and getting paid to do so, click here to learn more about this opportunity. Currently we have about 105 FM4L communities around the world.