At the end of 2021 when I sat down to review my year and write my goals for the next, I felt that I was at the intersection of two major life forces.
1. I had joined a large enterprise as a consulting senior PM 3 months prior
2. I was due my first child in 6 weeks
Whilst I hit all my goals for 2021 something about it all did not feel challenging.
I am also not your typical employee/person. I scout for VC funds, I’m learning to code, I have my own portfolio of revenue generating products (which I acquired and grew) and on top of that I do a boat load of consulting & advising (both paid & pro bono).
Outside of work I have been setting myself ever larger physical challenges since the beginning of 2019:
Exercise 5 out of 7 days every week (not broken in 3 years)
Cycle across england un-aided and by myself
Cycle Tioga road in Yosemite un-aided and by myself
Cycle the copper triangle (Colorado route) un-aided and by myself
Cycle the triple bypass by myself
Cycle the Denver century ride by myself
For the final three I put in months of training and dieting and in the first 6 months of 2021 I shrank my body fat% from 23% to 12%.
But since I hit these feats I have just been ticking my exercise over. I still do 5 days of workouts a week, which includes cycling training but I often procrastinate the start of it, I choose lower intensity & more enjoyable workouts.
Case in point being I have gotten into swinging a kettlebell around but I do not aspire to increase the weight nor reps.
The hunger, the passion, the challenge, the overcoming the suckiness of it all has disappeared.
I spent a lot of the holidays with this unshakable feeling that I was no longer on the path of having an extraordinary life, but was simply becoming an NPC in someone else's story.
This is not who I want to be or be on course to be when my family grows by one.
Back in 2019 when I first got on a road bike I read “Can’t hurt me” by David Goggins and quite honestly it had a profound impact on my life. My mindset on everything in life completely changed.
I became a mind over matter person. I truly, to my bones, believe your mindset rules everything in life.
Somewhere along the way I lost that. I lost the “dog mentality” as Goggins puts it. To always strive for greater. To remain uncomfortable. To get after it day after day. To just do.
The past few years have taught me, that at least for me:
Physical, personal and professional challenges all come from and add to the same place in my body. My mind.
And so while professional & personal challenges take longer to come to fruition, I can top up the challenge bank with physical feats and achievements.
Somewhere in December fate stepped in and put the book “Living with a seal” in my lap.
The book details a 31 day adventure entrepreneur Jesse Itzler goes on with “Seal” (who’s anonymity was later lifted and to reveal himself as David Goggins) to get him out of his cosy running ‘funk’, break down his comfort zone and rebuild his mindset.
From jumping in an ice cold lake, to sitting in a baking sauna, to being told “you’re not leaving this gym until you do 100 pullups” Jesse is pushed to what is seemingly impossible lengths physically.
You should be able to guess by now - the theme being that most physical challenges are actually mental.
I often tell newbie cyclists, the difference between a 10 mile ride and a 100 mile ride is mindset.
And so as I first write this at the end of December - I have decided the similarities (to me) between me and Jesse are too many to ignore. I am becoming an NPC and I’m going to break that path before my son is born.
The diary is what follows after this December morning decision. (Will be updated as I go along)
I don’t know if I will make it - but I am pretty sure I will and that is a start in and of itself.
100 burpees (18:05)
10 nickel and dimes (100 push ups, 50 Seated Rows) 14:38
30 min peloton 125watts average
40 sit ups
30 min peloton 140 watts average
18-1 half pushups (171)
60 mins zwift 178 watts average
my legs are really sore so threw in arms
100 Pull ups - this literally took all day