Learn how to create “Ultra Fitness” for yourself
I just spent a very interesting night on Wednesday in NYC. I went to see an longtime friend speak, Stu Mittleman. Stu is an American/World Record holder in the mind-blowing sport of Ultra Distance running! You might be asking what is Ultra Distance running, because it’s only now getting some attention in this country – Stu was way ahead of his time. Simply, it’s running a ridiculous distance in over an equally ridiculous amount time. For example, from 1982 – 1986, Stu set five National records, most notably American records for the 100-Mile Run (12 hours 56 min), and the Six-Day Race (578 miles). In 1983, Stu successfully competed in the IronMan (Hawaii) World Triathlon Championships (73rd out of 1000) and the UltraMan (Double IronMan) World Triathlon Championships (2nd Place) in 1983. Stu’s career reached a peak in 1986 when he shattered the World Record in the 1,000 Mile-Run during the World-Championships in Queens, NY. Stu’s 11 day 20 hour performance broke the previous record by over 16 hours! Then to celebrate his 50th birthday and to promote awareness for the importance of the fitness and health of America’s children… he ran from San Diego to New York City – a 3,000-mile journey! He finished in a remarkable 56 days! That’s more than two marathons a day for 56 consecutive days! Now that you know what ULTRA means, you might be asking, “Why go see him speak”. Well, it wasn’t to hear him relive his astonishing career (he’s quite a humble guy and his stories are amazing) it was to learn his secrets – specifically, how do you have that level of sustained energy under such an incredible demand? Most people I know, have a hard time staying awake sitting at their desk after lunch! Is that you? Not enough juice in you to run one mile let alone 50+ miles a day? I thought I had energy but I wanted to learn – how and with what, Stu fuels his body. Guess what, most of you will be shocked – its not with your beloved coffee. I have the privilege today to work with the top performers in some of the worlds best companies. These are driven men and women, highly educated and very committed. They typically not only have big jobs with big responsibilities, travel and stress but also big lives outside of work. They have families, coach their childrens teams, serve on various boards and on and on. They too run a “marathon” everyday, but without the knowledge and science behind the performance of a guy like Stu. See, Stu is just not a runner he holds degrees in Sociology, Sports Psychology, and Exercise Physiology. He understands at a cellular level what it takes to “go the distance” without burning yourself out. As a “coach” to top business performers, and being a pretty curious guy, I want that kind of energy for myself. I sought to learn what he knows so I could apply it in my own life and teach it authentically to my clients. What I learned, was common sense, backed by validated science and things ANYONE can apply. The processional effects of a shift on how we approach our physical fitness are astounding. Not only will you have more energy and think clearer, you’ll enjoy life more fully. Odds are, you’ll live longer too. Ultimately, increased energy will naturally enhance all areas of your life. Would you like to learn more? Stay tuned – I’m exhausted!
Lincoln & Leadership
After Thanksgiving Day I hopped in my car a drove down to Washington DC. I’ve always loved DC and spent a lot of time there during college. I had a friend from High School who was in the Air Force and working at the Pentagon. He had an apartment with a comfortable couch, which was all I needed in those days for some very fun, long weekends. This time, I traveled with my girlfriend who is from the east coast but had never visited the city. This visit was a little more comfortable, as we stayed at The Grand Hyatt Washington. We had easy access to all points of interest and we were very active tourists hitting many of the famous sites and museums. Since I had been there before, I played tour guide revisiting many of the sites again. Now, more than 20 years later I naturally noticed some changes. What was once easy access (almost ridiculously easy with what we know today) now had beefed up security. Appreciation had to be gained from afar, as gates and concrete barriers of all sort, kept foot traffic and cars at a safe distance. Even with those physical changes the city remains magic. The restaurants and nightlife of Georgetown are great retreat from a day climbing marble stairs and taking in the wonders of man, nature and science. I found other changes too, they were within me. As I stood to read the words of a man, I realized, I had grown, thankfully, in those 20 plus years. I have been immersed in leadership, its theories, principles and practices for over a decade. I’ve read stacks of books, met with, worked along side and studied many great leaders of our time. But standing on the cold marble stone of the Lincoln memorial, chilled by a brisk November wind I read his eloquent words. Those words now carved into that stone for eternity to witness and rightfully so. When our union was in it’s darkest hour, when this beautiful experiment in democracy was being torn apart from within, when the republic was on the brink of destruction – one man stood for the greater good. He didn’t calculate what was “politically expedient” he didn’t do what was popular – he did what was right. When the painful war was won, he didn’t place blame. When others would have been righteous he sought to heal and move forward. It made me wonder how we lost our way in a democracy founded on “For the people, by the people” to “Let me get mine before you get yours.” We could use “Lincoln Leadership” in Washington today. His words moved me that night and who he was – stays with me. Our hotel was a couple of bocks from Fords Theater, a site I had never visited before. So, on our way out of town we stopped in to take the tour. It was more moving then I had expected. To see where he sat, to hear the details of the assignation as told by a National Park Service Ranger, was quite gripping. We went across the street, to the boarding house room where he breathed his last breath. To do what was right, he withstood attacks of all kinds, in the press and in the halls/chambers of our government. He took it all and triumphed, in his quiet and steadfast way. Yet, in the end he had to give everything, his life and the opportunity to see his dream fulfilled. Today in Iraqi and Afghanistan young men and women are also making the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I wonder if our leaders in Washington can equal their, or Lincoln’s courage and do what is right for the greater good. We can learn from the past, if we would only look.