In this episode I begin a new mini-series for the podcast, where I explore 20 lessons which I learnt from 20 weeks of training. And I talk about how they relate to training for hiking and other adventures.
In this first episode, I explore the concept of 'knowing your why'.
Introduction and Background on Training Experience
[0:00] Right, hello, hello, ladies and gentlemen. So, it's been a little while between podcast episodes, but with the turning of the year coming into 2024, I thought it was about time I get back into a consistent routine of this.
So, what we're going to be doing is we're going to be doing a little 20-episode series about my recent training experience.
[0:20] Now, essentially, for a little bit of background, you know, for people who maybe not listened to the last couple of episodes, episodes, in recent years, my training has been a bit average.
It's been personally pretty poor. I've just struggled with consistency.
I've struggled with enjoying sessions.
I've struggled with staying focused on things. And my training has really, really, really struggled.
And in previous years before that, I used to be able to give myself a big goal to aim towards, which really got me focused.
And because I love hiking, I used to set myself hiking goals, which obviously you listen to this podcast, you probably do the same.
But unfortunately for myself, which is a bit sad to say, I fell into the old trap of combining something that I absolutely love doing, combining that with something I did for my work. Essentially, Summit Strength.
I love Summit Strength. I love the business. I love helping hikers towards their hiking and training and adventure goals.
But what I did realize is sometimes my actual personal hiking, when I was getting out on the trail, it was beginning to feel just a little bit about like work.
And I was kind of on the trail and I was like, I better take a photo so I can put on social media.
Or I was thinking, oh, maybe I should do this big hike so I can kind of talk about it on the podcast or whatever it may be.
And I realized that's not really why I wanted to be doing my hiking.
I realized, you know what, I hike because I enjoy it. I hike because I love it.
I hike because it's great for my mental health and all of these different reasons.
[1:46] So the thought of kind of putting a big hiking goal in my sights.
It was getting less and less appealing. So I was admittedly a little bit lost.
But then essentially last year came across an opportunity and it was something completely different than anything I've ever done before.
Discovering the Training Program[2:01] Basically, I saw online there was this program starting, which was a 20-week program.
And essentially, it was mixed martial arts. And essentially, what that involved is you started from an absolute beginner, never done anything.
You did 20 weeks of training at this gym. And in the end, you culminated with actually testing out your skills and getting in, you know, in a ring and having an actual fight with other people who've gone through the program.
And I was like, you know what? I've never, never, never done anything like that.
That is something completely different.
To my experience. But I was like, you know what, maybe this is the change I need.
So I ended up booking on that, went through it. It was a fantastic experience.
It was exactly what I needed in my life. And it was absolutely awesome.
And one of the most interesting things, well, not one of the most, but one of the interesting things going through that process as me being sort of a client, me being a trainer, training for an event, going through a process, getting myself back in shape.
I just saw so many parallels to the world of training for hiking.
Hiking because I'm always on the coaching side of things.
I'm always helping people towards their dreams, which I love, but it was super interesting being on the flip side of this because from the outside, you may think, okay, fighting, hiking, they're not a huge amount of similarities.
[3:13] But there was so many parallels in the journey that I went through.
So many things that I experienced that I struggled that I realized with through this training process, which I just see my hikers struggle and experience and think about all the time.
So essentially what I've thought is is I'm going to basically use, that is a bit of an inspiration for a little mini series on this podcast to kind of get this rolling for the start of the year.
20 Lessons Learned from 20 Weeks of Training[3:36] And essentially what we're going to be doing, I did 20 weeks of training leading into that event.
So we're going to be doing 20 lessons learned from 20 weeks of training.
So essentially I'm going to be doing 20 episodes talking through different lessons, which I personally went through, that I personally dealt with, that I personally, you know, either struggled with or realized, whatever it may be, and how that relates relates to the world of hiking, because I think it's going to be so, so, so, so valuable.
So with that being said, let's get into the first topic.
And this is a big one. This is one you've probably heard a million times before, but I want to talk through it. And it's so relevant for this time of year at the start of January.
[4:12] Know your why. Now, this is a sort of thing that gets thrown around the fitness industry all the time.
And it's one of the things that's saying, hey, if I want to accomplish something, if I want to do a big hike, if I have a body composition goal, if I want to complete a big race or whatever it may be.
Coaches always say, know your why. It's a really powerful thing.
And there's some great videos on the internet around, you know, doing this.
And basically the idea behind it is just, if you can actually attach a personal reason to why you're doing something, it's not, hey, I'm just getting fit, but I really want to do this for this reason.
It can just help you through so many tough times. It can keep you focused.
And it's just so, so, so, so, so powerful.
And essentially I found through this process, you know, myself, self, so, so, so necessary to keep me engaged.
Because this 20 weeks of training, it was tough. It was five mornings a week, five o'clock in the gym, going through all of this stuff that I was really uncomfortable with. I was out of my comfort zone completely.
I was getting pushed physically and mentally. I was obviously grumpy from being up so early. It was a massive dramatic change.
And there were so many times where mentally, physically, I was struggling, struggling without dealing with aches and pains.
Like my last, um, my last episodes I did, I was talking about, you know, the injury or injury scare I was going through.
Um, and there was so many times where I was just on the brink.
I was like, oh my gosh, I don't know if I can do this.
[5:31] And essentially, what got me through it was knowing my why. And I want to teach you to talk you through my personal experience in a really, really simple way of figuring this out for yourself.
So essentially, what we typically find is when we go about this and say, you've got a big hike in mind and you're like, okay, I want to hike Kilimanjaro.
And someone's you see somewhere and they're like, hey, you should know your why, why you're doing this.
Typically, for anything we do, when we ask ourself that question, and when we say that, hey, why am I doing this?
Our first first response typically is just a really simple one that comes up which is kind of like a surface level response which you know is kind of good but it's not quite as deep as what we're looking for here so essentially when you know when i was sort of talking about this this fighting experience this martial arts experience you know for when i someone asked me initially or when i asked myself initially why i was doing this my surface level answer the one that just popped up straight away was basically i was bored in my training which i said before which is true i was out of shape shape, which is true.
I wasn't in great health, which is true. And I just wanted something different that was out of my comfort zone, which is true. That stuff is all true.
[6:37] It's pretty surface level. You know, you look at that and you're like, okay, that makes sense.
But is that really going to help you through tough times? Is that really going to keep you on track or whatever it may be?
So as much as that was true, and as much of my first response, we need to get a little bit deeper.
And one of the most simple ways of getting a little bit deeper, if you're doing this for yourself is ask yourself why are you doing this thing you'll give yourself a surface answer and essentially from there you just want to ask yourself why again why, is that surface answer important to you so essentially for me when i asked myself that i was like okay i was bored in my training i was out of shape i want to do something different why is that important to me and i had to think about it and essentially what i came up with was in all honesty.
Frustration with physical limitations and past injuries[7:24] I was really sick of my body holding me back because for the last, I don't know, 10, 15 years or whatever it may be, I have struggled with certain things with my body physically.
I go into activities and I'm worried that my body's going to get hurt.
I used to be really active. I used to play soccer. I used to play football at school. I used to do athletics and this and that. I was great in that position.
Then I stepped out of that and I got a little bit set in my ways.
I wasn't doing things that were kind of explosive.
I wasn't doing things that challenged myself. I was in the gym a lot.
I was really, really fit. I could kind of do a lot of things.
But if someone asked me, hey, you want to come down and run a race?
Or if you want to come down and kick the football around or something like that, I personally had to be a bit careful because I was like, I don't want to pick up an injury.
I remember one day I was like, when this really hit home, when I was a young personal trainer and some of my friends were like, hey, you want to go down the oval and do some sprints?
And I was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, that'd be cool because I used to be a sprinter.
And I went out on the oval and we got a little bit competitive when we were running and running and running.
And then I pulled my hamstring. I was like, oh my gosh, this is something I used to be able to do, but I can't do it anymore.
[8:37] Or realistically, I just didn't do it very smartly. But that was in my head.
I was like, you know what? My body sucks.
And as much as hiking is amazing and I can get through that, there were so many other things I was limiting myself around. at.
And I was just really, really, really annoyed with my body holding me back.
FightinG as a challenge to overcome body limitations[8:52] And I was dealing with that for a good 10 years.
So when I go back to this sort of fighting experience, I knew this is going to be such a crazy challenge.
Not only is it going to get me in great shape, but I'm literally going to be in these awkward positions. I'm going to be wrestling.
I'm going to be sort of kicking and punching all of these different things, which is just so far out of my comfort zone that my body's going to hold up.
But I said to myself, like, look, if I can do this, i can accomplish anything if my body can get through this nothing can stop me so that was my next level and i was like you know what i'm sick of my body holding me back and i wanted to prove that i could still do cool things it didn't even that that's much more powerful than just saying hey i want to get in shape but we can go deeper so once you've asked yourself that second layer of things.
Deeper motivation: wanting to be active with future family[9:41] Again, ask yourself why.
[9:44] Now, this third layer, it can be tough. It can be really, really hard to pull up.
And often we'll have little thoughts that will creep up and we'll just reject them. We don't really think. It can take a little while to come up.
It won't happen in an instant.
Maybe you need to find a quiet place, put some music on. Maybe you need to ruminate over this over a week or two or three or whatever it may be.
But ask yourself why again.
For myself the next deeper level and this is pretty personal and you know it is a bit tricky to share but looking at this deeper level.
[10:17] At this stage, I'm probably 32 years old now, it's a stage where a lot of transitions are happening in my life.
Really at this stage, we're looking towards the future. We're having discussions around starting a family.
It's really at that turning point in the next stage of my life.
For the last 10 years, I have been worried about my body holding me back.
When I begin to look towards the future for the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years, I was like, man, do I really want to be missing out on all of these things?
If we have kids, ultimately, I want to be confident that I can run around with them, that I can get rough, I can do crazy things, that I'm not really limited in the things that I do.
[10:59] And for me, that's incredibly, incredibly, incredibly powerful.
And as I said, it's pretty hard to say, but that's kind of what I came up with.
And you can sort of see from, you know, the surface level of saying, hey, I just want to get fit. I'm a bit bored to, Two, you know what?
I want to be able to do fun things with the family, the future family.
Just how powerful, more powerful that can be.
And for me, that got me through a lot through the training program.
That really pulled me through. And ultimately, I got to the end.
And I managed to tick off all those things. On the surface level, I'd found something which I enjoyed, which was different, and which I'm enjoying my training again. I got back into shape. shape.
The next level, I will realize, you know what, my body can do cool things.
As much as I've got to be smart about it, I can work around and I can kind of ultimately do anything I want.
And the deeper level, now I'm confident that, look, you know, if I wanted to go, you know, skiing or ice skating or go run around in a park or whatever it may be, that's not going to be a problem as long as I keep on the track that I'm going.
Building confidence in body's capabilities for future activities[12:01] So for me, incredibly powerful process personally, but for you with any type of goal that you've got coming up, hiking, training, health, personal, financial, whatever it may be, use this process. Ask yourself why.
Get that surface level. Ask yourself again, why?
Get that next level. Ask yourself again, why? And if you can get down that deeper, it can be so powerful.
You don't have to share it with anyone like I'm doing here.
It's not necessary. You can stick with that surface level. level.
If it's uncomfortable for you to say, and if someone says, why are you doing this? Just give them the surface level. It's fine.
But for you personally, having that deeper thing to cling to when you need it, when you don't want to get out of bed, when the body's aching and sore, when you're like, oh, you know, it's really worth it or whatever it may be.
Oh, it's just such a powerful thing. So that's my challenge to you listening to this podcast. First podcast of 2024. 24.
If you've got a big goal ahead, know your why. Ask yourself that. Why, why, why?
See what you come up with. It can be such a powerful thing.
So, with that being said, that is probably enough on this first episode of this 20-episode series.
I hope you've enjoyed it. I hope it gives a bit of food for thought and bring on the next 19 episodes ahead.
So, have a lovely, lovely, lovely day and we'll talk to you very, very soon.
Rowan is a personal trainer who specialises in training for hiking, trekkers and mountaineers for their bucket list adventures.
Summit Strength is a personal training for hiking service created specifically to help hikers have the best chance of a safe, enjoyable and successful adventure.