Next Level Shit

I’m not one to set traditional New Year’s Resolutions. However, I do carve out time every December to reflect on the year and set new goals.

I absolutely need to set goals. I have to have something that I’m always working toward in every area of life or I’m a miserable asshole. 

It hasn’t always been this way. 

I was a lazy punk kid with no ambition. I didn’t push myself. I was a professional time squanderer for most of my 20’s. Looking back, it was like I was in a self-induced haze for about a decade. 

I have a short list of impactful events I can (and do) blame for why I was the way I was, but I don’t like excuses. Especially when they come from my own mouth. Fuck excuses. I’ll spare you the melodrama. 

In late 2017 while in Kauai, my wife Lela and I sat down together and wrote out the highlights of our year. We included every event that held meaning for us, and then we read our lists to one another.

While I did execute the plans I had for the year and we had some fun experiences, it didn’t quite get me where I wanted to be. Something needs to change. 

I use this super fancy planner from Ink + Volt that helps me keep my head in the game. One of the first things I was prompted to write out was my 2018 ‘theme.’

I thought, “Okay. I don’t really do themes.”

I sat for a few minutes and let my mind wander.

Suddenly it came to me.


I wrote it down.

What does this even mean?

It means going bigger. If I’m comfortable with something, it doesn’t fall into the category of next level shit. It’s probably the same stuff I’ve been doing for the past 5 or 10 years that’s safe but not helping me grow. So, I can’t do it.

To honor my 2018 theme, I have to go up one or two levels and find something that not only scares me, but forces me to change up my routine and do something way outside of my comfort zone. 

We humans typically opt out of experiences that intimidate us because it’s easier to sit in a chair, farting and drooling in front of a bright screen than it is to do something challenging.

We deceive ourselves on the daily. We waste a lot of time on meaningless things that don’t bring us joy. We think too small. We doubt ourselves. We spend more time on social media than we do coming up with new ideas that could change our lives. We don’t know what we really want because we don’t take the time to ask. We scoff at our own dreams and then end up living a life we don’t even like that much.

Worst of all, we settle right in to this bullshit and stay there simmering because we’re too scared to go beyond what we know.

How is this any way to live? I don’t know, but this next level shit has got me thinking about taking a different path.

In order to go next level, I first needed to make a list of scary things to do.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started training for all of the endurance events I have planned for 2018. This training has mostly consisted of making better choices with my nutrition, following my planned workouts and generally fine tuning healthy habits. So far, so good. I’ll continue to adjust my training each week as I progress. 

Here are some of the endurance events I have planned for 2018: 

  • The XTERRA Hammerman Triathlon in July (Goals: Have fun. Don’t get injured). 
  • The Lost Lake mountain race in August (Goals: Have fun. Run the race in 2 hours and 40 minutes or less. Don’t get injured). 
  • The Run Rabbit Run 50 miler in Steamboat Springs, CO in September (Goals: Have fun. Don’t get injured. Don’t cry until I cross the finish line). 

I live at sea level.

That last endurance event is 50 fucking miles running through the mountains of Colorado at 6,700-10,500′ elevation. And it’s the one I’m most excited about.

Sometimes I feel slightly delusional when I consider all that I have to do to prepare for each of these events, and then I’m reminded that when I choose to pursue goals that make me seriously doubt myself, I learn so much more in the process.

These lessons inevitably spill over into and benefit all others areas of my life.

Here I am on the edge of a big, scary mountain while my wife is down below yelling at me while simultaneously taking my photo. 

I’m writing this Blog post to keep myself accountable. If I share my goals with others, I achieve them. This works for me.

I’m not sharing this to convince you to do anything beyond what you’re currently doing. Don’t set goals if the process makes you unhappy. If life is good, don’t change a thing.

Keep doing you *High five* 

I have much to be grateful for. I live an incredible life. But there are new levels I need to reach in order to see what more I’m capable of. 

I just turned 36 last month. Life is flying by, and I’m not going to sit on the couch and watch it pass while I do the same things, and think the same thoughts over and over again waiting for a different result. 

My plan with this Blog is to share training updates, my struggles and my successes over the next five months as I prepare for and participate in each event. I’ll be spending a lot of time outside in the mountains where I am most happy. 

Maybe this will be useful to you, and if so, I’d love to hear about what you’re pursuing and how it’s going. Thanks for following along. 

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