Doubting? Hopeless? Fearful? Stuck? Faithless? Not after you listen to this guy!

It was 4am and my alarm went off.  It was cold and I was warm under my covers.  The house was quiet.  I didn’t want to get up and train for the XTERRA triathlons I had coming up.  I closed my eyes and thought I could always train later today or worst case tomorrow.  And then that still small voice inside me told me to get up.  I fumbled around, half alseep, put on my running shoes and running clothes.  I put my earphones in and instead of putting on music that day I searched on Youtube, “motivational speech”.  I clicked on a track without reading the title and a man’s voice came through my headphones (click here to listen ).  The first words he said in a booming voice were, “I am a the messanger, God sent me to tell you, that your best days are ahead of you, this is not the end and no matter what your facing, the trial and tribulation, you will come out of this victorious!”

All of the sudden, I was awake.  I was more than awake, I felt alive.  I felt encouraged.  I felt renewed.  I felt powerful and strong!  I didn’t know who’s voice this was but he had a message for me and I was listening.   I then started listening to more of of this voice.  This voice has a  name and he goes by  Billy Alsbrooks.  I didn’t know who he was at the time but he had a powerful message.  I looked him up and noticed he had written a book called, “Blessed and Unstoppable.”  I bought it, and I start each day with it and it has transformed my life.

I then dug a little deeper and wanted to know more about Billy.  Who was this voice that was inspiring me for good.  He was delivering a powerful message for good to all who would listen.  His book gives you a plan that if you follow it will lead you to a new life.

We all “know” how to do things in life (losing weight, making more money) but the point is to understand and take action.  Billy helps you understand and he will push you to take action, immediately.  In life, the person you are in 5 year will be based on the books you read and the people you meet.  Today, you need to meet Billy.  Read his book and listen to him on his youtube channel.  He is a person that will push you become a better person.  He doesn’t let  you settle for another option.

We caught up with Billy Alsbrooks and asked him some questions so that you can get to know him better and have him help us become better today than we were yesterday.

Billy, what made you change from sharing a message of destruction to a message of building others up?

The life changing moment for me was when My Father passed away unexpectedly. He died in front of me back in late 2007. I saw his last 10 minutes of his life, the look in his eyes, and his last breath. There was no time to prepare mentally for this traumatic event and it just completely devastated me. Up until this point, I had been completely self serving in all my ambitions, all my goals, and all the things I wanted to accomplish. The day after my dad transitioning, the funeral director asked me what I wanted the wording to be on my father’s head stone and what I wanted my dad’s obituary to say? I had no answer at the time, since I was still in total shock. I eventually came up with wording that best described my father’s life. That sparked an awakening in me, that I too would die one day and that people would be asking what to put in my obituary. I thought to myself, if I died right now, what would people say? I was not happy at all with the answer I came up with, I was embarrassed and ashamed actually. The only thing that lasts when we die is our legacy and the contributions that we made to the lives of others, that’s it. My father had taught me his last lesson, but it would change my life dramatically. I learned just how precious life is, how important family and friends are, and that we must make the most of every second we have here on earth. Tomorrow is not promised. I had found some thought provoking questions that would change my life’s trajectory forever. What did I want my legacy to be? How do I want people to remember me? What Am I called by God to do? What is my purpose? What should my top priorities be from here forward? Where do I want to allocate my most precious commodity (time)? What do I want to build with my life? These types of questions just kept arising in my spirit. Each day I meditated on them and searched deeply for the answers. It took many years for me to gain revelation over my life, as to what I was going to focus on and pour my energy into, but I found it. After seeing my dad die, I vowed to never go back to that old way of destruction, from here forward I was going to impact lives in positive and uplifting ways. I dedicated and committed my life to using the gifts God gave me to educate, motivate, and transform lives. I’m definitely, without any doubt, going to leave this world better than I found it.

Billy, what is one thing that if a person is struggling and questioning life they could do to turn things around?

Questions will take you in life wherever you want to go. All you have to do is find the right Question and you can initiate personal transformation. Self-assessment questions open the mind up and allow it to be reprogrammed. As I mentioned in the previous answer, the questions set in motion the change in me. The more clarity you have in your life, the more peace, balance, and power you will be functioning in. Asking yourself the right questions long enough will eventually give way to vision and self-awareness. For example, What do I want my marriage to look and feel like? What do I want my body to look like? What makes me feel the most alive? What am I most passionate about in life? What do I want my future, this time next year, to look like? What is my top most desired outcome for this week? What is one thing that I can do this week that would improve my life the most? When in my life have I been most disciplined and why? What am I doing right now in life that I need to stop doing? What do I need to start doing on a more consistent basis? Questions like these allow you to take back control of you mind, so that you can steer It, instead of it steering you. If we want to change a behavior, we must first address the mindset and the thought processes that gave birth to it. The quickest way to turn things around is to sit down and have a fierce conversation with ourselves. By asking ourselves powerful questions, we can shift the perspective and the context from which we see the world through, ultimately starving the negative behavior from the thinking that allows it to sustain itself. Our future comes directly off the assembly line of our mind. Your future is your thinking, the smallest change in thinking can change everything.

Billy, how have been able to continue to grow and progress?

There’s two things that I do consistently that have really changed my life. One, I get alone with God every single day. I go for a 30-45 minute slow walk, usually late night, and just lay my life before the Lord. All my concerns, ambitions, questions etc. I lay at his alter. He guides me in all my decisions and helps me better understand my calling. The second thing I do, is read everyday. I read a new book every week usually centered around personal development. This is my field, so I know that I need to immerse myself with as much wisdom as possible to be effective in my calling. I also have a 365 day bible, which is set up for daily readings to carry me through the whole bible within a year. This I have been doing for the past 12 years. In my alone time, I gain revelation of God, who He really is, and who he made me to be. This then allows and enables me to comprehend the material that I read, with a much greater and deeper understanding.

If your looking to make some changes in your life.  If your looking for motivation while you exercise.  If your looking for hope.  Tune in to Billy Alsbrooks channel here and check out his book here because if you surround yourself with Billy, you will only become a better person because of it.  I have Billy to thank for helping me qualify for the XTERRA World Championships!

Lesley Paterson – the rest of the story

Credit: Inside Triathlon Magazine

INTRODUCTION:

XTERRA World Championships 2011

Lesley could feel her heart pulsating and her  lungs  forcefully inhaling  while  stomping on her pedals and throwing her weight from left to right just as she had planned.  Just two miles into the bike leg she peaked  back and with her passionate Scottish accent, in fury, she screamed  “Oh f*ck it!”  Lesley didn’t apologize for those words then or now, all five feet of her. On one side  she’s  approachable, loving, and funny but  when that cannon fires she turns into someone or something else,  like a starving lion pursuing its prey in order to survive..  As you can imagine in most races she leaves a trail of carnage on her way to victory and after she crosses the finish line before anyone else , she transforms back into that approachable, loving and funny person again that we all love and know as Lesley Paterson, two time XTERRA World Champion.  

Only this year was different, there she was, at the XTERRA World Championships in perfect position out of the water.  She had executed her transition with surgical precision and now just two miles into the bike her front tire was punctured and  “oh f*ck it” came roaring out of her  verbally corrupt mouth,  what a nightmare!  She was done for, dead, put a fork in her.  All the preparation, training, money was out the window.  However, it was something out of her control and we can’t blame her for the flat.  I suppose she could just easily chalk this up to experience and use it as a tool to teach her athletes at Brave Heart. She could tell them that races don’t always go as planned even with the perfect conditions and  mental techniques leading up to a big race, right?

It’s her experiences like the one described above that led her and her husband to write a book called The Brave Athlete.  You probably know Lesley because she is a two time XTERRA World Champion and has also won the ITU Cross World Championships along with a laundry list of other gold finishes.  Now as a coach, Lesley doesn’t just train  your body to reach new peaks,  her husband, Dr. Simon Marshall,  utilizes the perfect training algorithm for your brain giving your mind and body the complete package.

simon and lesley

I read  The Brave Athlete and it delivered on everything regarding the mental side of sport that you can apply to everyday life, training, and racing.  It was the  huge bonus I was searching for  written by an XTERRA professional.  Dr. Simon Marshall takes the daunting task of describing our complex brains into three simplified categories:  the chimp, the professor, and the computer. They describe the brain in such a way that you can immediately see how each component is impacting your life, your training, and your racing and then take immediate action to adjust and become better.  Whether you are a rookie or a seasoned pro you should buy a copy or listen through audible if you are: new to racing, someone who loves racing, you want a breakthrough this season, and of course, the rest of the story.

NEW TO RACING

If you are new to racing, The Brave Athlete will give you tips and tricks to help you train smarter.  Lesley and Simon give practical tips such as tapping your fingers or counting at different cadences to take your mind off the pain and suffering.  They also give you the best preparation with processes to remain calm and not forget anything on race day.  It’s loaded with tips and tricks that you won’t want to miss and will put you at ease when the big day finally arrives.

Lesley, why should someone try out an XTERRA race?

XTERRA is kind of like family.  Other forms of triathlon are elitists, and they can judge, and they have all the gear but they don’t offer the support of each other like XTERRA. In XTERRA, you aren’t racing against the clock but the terrain.  XTERRA trail run series are a great place to start and will show you what being off-road is all about.

SOMEONE WHO LOVES RACING

If you love to race, you probably take your sport  seriously.  You are a dedicated athlete and some people might think you may be addicted to training but how do you know if you are?   Simon and Lesley help you decipher if you might have a problem.  They also walk through image issues which is very important, and more common than you know, for men, women, boys, and girls alike.  For both of these scenarios they walk you through how to communicate with your friends and family to help them on their journey if you think they might also have image issues.  In addition, they will help you train your brain so that you do not sabotage all of your hard work on race day.  They can help you  confront anxiety, jitters and give you a process to deal with it because they have been there in that moment and have overcome.

Lesley, what is your favorite memory of sport(s) (not including a World Championship)?

A memory from Rugby.  I played along side the grandson of legendary rugby commentator Bill McLaren and we would hear him on the tele all the time.  We won a particular tournament and Bill gave us our gold medals and I slept with it under my pillow for 6 months.  I was only about 9 but it meant so much coming from him.

YOU WANT A BREAKOUT SEASON

The Brave Athlete book was written to create a more holistic athlete.  They want you to succeed and have your best season yet mentally and physically.  They walk you through what racing is really all about and the psychology of racing and how you can use racing in your life to become a better person.  This book will only make you a better person and racer.  Lesley had to break out and she walks through that incredible process and the tools that Simon gave her to stay on top.

Lesley, your coaching marries the physical and mental side together.  How does that work since you are “LITERALLY” married to the scientist?

A lot of our dinner conversations are about our athletes.  How we can make them better when we put my experience and his science together.  I can understand the fears and the setbacks of an athlete because I am one.  I have also coached over 300 athletes and have a rolodex of past doctors, coaches, physiologists that I can connect with that I know or have used in the past.  Simon comes to the table with science and can know what is going  on with the athlete and prescribe ways to overcome obstacles.  We play off each other by giving our athletes  workouts that are both physically and mentally focused and they won’t even know it!  No one person or coach has all the answers so we are continually learning from each other and our athletes.

THE REST OF THE STORY

Getting a flat wasn’t ideal especially at the XTERRA World Championships but here is THE REST OF THE STORY. Lesley hopped off her bike and watched the leader pull ahead and others pass her as she grabbed her CO2 cartridge and tried to repair her tire.  She got back on the bike and with every ounce of strength she pedaled harder than  ever before but just one mile later it went flat again.  She hopped off and with her last CO2 cartridge she tried to fill it up.  Determined not to give up, she pressed on and fought through the bike and flew into transition six and a half  minutes behind the leader.  She would need somehow find a way to run a full minute faster per mile to even have a chance but she wasn’t giving up.  She started out on the run and Simon from the side of transition yelled on the top of his lungs.  She started passing other PROS and  with 1.5 miles left on the course she saw the leader and locked in like a fighter jet and made up her mind that she was going to make the pass.  She dug deep and caught the leader.  There was no one left behind her, she came across the finish line and had just run the fastest paced run in a race of her career.  She was the 2011 XTERRA World Champion!

2011 XTERRA World Champion
Lesley Paterson after winning the 2011 XTERRA World Championship

CONCLUSION:

Lesley knows how to win because she has won in some of the most unique ways.  Simon gave her the tools so that her chimp brain would emerge, her professor brain help her execute, and he made sure there were no viruses on her computer brain.  Even after those two flats she could go back to coach at BraveHeart and teach her athletes  that races don’t always go as planned but if you’re prepared for all surprises good and bad, you can emerge as a Champion!  So get prepared for this season for the good and bad surprises and pick up or listen to The Brave Athlete today or take the smog test on their website and get a phone call directly from Lesley to review your results together (try it here).

Marcus Barton – the rest of the story

With his eyes closed, he pretended that the sounds he was hearing were that of an airplane. The sounds of airplanes always gave him a sense of peace, probably because he had served in one of the most powerful Air Forces in the world. He knew those sounds were there to serve and protect him, whether he was in Panama during the Noriega event or at USSTRATCOM (the folks in charge of the nukes). Those sounds would make him certain of the future, but today he couldn’t shake it; he knew it wasn’t an airplane vibrating his ear drum. He squeezed his eyes a bit tighter, hoping it would help get him to a happy place. He thought of memories of his three perfect children or his best friend, his beautiful wife. He thought of summer days: him, his dog, and his truck cruising around town, windows down, Jack Johnson on the radio, and the smell of fresh cut grass in the air. No matter what memory he tried to recall, he couldn’t shake it.

air tran specialist.jpg
United States Air Force Air Tran Specialist

He opened his eyes and was brought back to reality. He saw and smelled white, sterile, stale plastic. He was lodged deep inside of what looked like a donut, which at the time was one of his favorite foods. He was laying lifeless, on his back inside of a CAT scan for the third time in 90 days. Helpless, a position and word that didn’t exist to him. He wasn’t comfortable inside this tomb-like technology, but his comfortable lifestyle is what landed him in it. You may even know that lifestyle.

You’re a nice, outgoing person. A good neighbor. You’re a good employee. You set resolutions each year that seem to disappear a bit faster than you’d like, but at least you try. You have a nice house and car, but you took down the white picket fence because your life is not perfect; it’s better defined as comfortable.

The guy laying inside that CAT scan, 40 lbs overweight, staring at the white plastic was the epitome of comfortable just 3 months ago; before this strange illness popped up. His favorite question at night to himself each was, “which flavor of ice cream will I have tonight?” Now, the question he was asking each night before he closed his eyes was, “am I dying?”

This stuff isn’t supposed to happen to nice people like him. He was in the CAT scan, because the doctors were looking for cancer. Certainly, he didn’t want them to find any, but if they did, he wants it to be early on. If the scans came back clear, he promised to make some changes, but promises are always broken. He didn’t need to make any promises; he needed to make it a necessity. A necessity for his wife, his kids, his dogs, and his friends. His friends that he had at that time, and the friends he had yet to meet.

The scans came back clear. Phew, but why in the world did this happen? A question that science may never prove, but maybe it happened just so that he would make the world a better place!

His three months of uncertainty weren’t a dream like George Bailey’s in It’s a Wonderful Life. No ghosts visited him like Scrooge from A Christmas Carol. This guy lived 90 days with the the grim reaper at his front door. His life had an eviction notice with his name on it.

With a clean test result, he had a new lease on life; he was determined to never look back and start exercising and eating better!

Sure, we have all heard that story from a friend with the best of intentions to make a dramatic change, but we roll our eyes and wonder how long their passion to live a better, healthier life will last.

Just like this guy, you watch your friend start working out six days week. For him, it was three days of cardio and three days of strenth training.

But this friend of ours, in six months, lost that 40 pounds. While on a trail run with a friend, his life and our life would be forever changed because we get to live better lives because of the man we call Mr. XTERRA, race director, multiple time XTERRA overall champion, ambassador, friend, brother, son, father, husband and most importantly, Marcus Barton.

Ö till Ö 2015, Foto: JakobEdholm.com
Ö till Ö 2015, Foto: JakobEdholm.com

THE REST OF THE STORY-

While on that trail run, 40 pounds lighter, his friend asked him if he had ever done a triathlon. Of course, he hadn’t, but he thought it would keep him motivated to stay in shape. That triathlon was called XTERRA, which is a style of triathlon that consists of an open water swim, and off-road bike, and an off-road run. At the time, he didn’t even own a mountain bike, but he believed it wasn’t about resources; it was about being resourceful. So, he picked one up for $50 at a garage sale. The rest is history as a decade has pasted since his first XTERRA race!

Marcus, why have you stuck with XTERRA for the last 10 years?

“Because road triathlons, in my opinion, are so boring. There’s so much variety in the different XTERRA venues and some beautiful countryside. My favorite venue I’d have to say is Oak Mountain (Alabama) for three reasons. First, it’s a BLAST of a race course. Second, I am from there, so I get to visit my family. My dad and brother come out to watch and scoot all over the bike course to catch us at numerous places. Lastly, I get to see all the XTERRA staff!”

Marcus isn’t a pro-triathlete, but he expects to perform at his best, and his best is on top of podiums. Just take a look at his results and you just have to laugh. It’s littered with 1st place overall finishes in 2017 at Oak Mountain trail run, XTERRA Fort Yargo Triathlon, XTERRA Panther Creek and if he didn’t finish 1st, he is still on the podium with a 3rd place overall finish at the USAT Off-Road Triathlon Nationals and 21st and top American in his division at the ITU Cross Triathlon WORLD Championships. Certainly, a different position than how we first saw him at the beginning of this article.

Marcus, why does it matter to you to win and perform at your highest level?

“It pushes me to train hard, be a little more regimented with eating and generally stay healthy. For me, it’s a motivator. Even if I don’t win, I want to perform the best that I can. The minute I stop trying to do that, I’ll probably let other things slide and fall out of shape.”

What is your favorite vicory over the years?

“Winning XTERRA Whitewater, which is a race I created and race directed the first two years”

Whitewater is a special place in America and is an Olympic training facility and is also a vacation destination in itself. Marcus has passed the torch since setting up the race. Now he runs the transition clinic the night before the race, which is where you will find him sharing stories, showing transition tips and tricks, and giving out free samples from his sponsors.

While he has sponsors, he has a full time gig like the rest of us. So, when he’s not racing, he’s a top performer at work, which is what indirectly brought him to Charlotte. After the United States Air Force, he made a move into Information Technology. He became a Microsoft Certified Trainer and consultant. Before his current position at Dell, he was recruited by Microsoft to take a job in Charlotte, where he still lives after 18 years. As you can imagine, Marcus doesn’t find himself on the couch much any more.

marcus barton
Marcus Barton XTERRA Credit XTERRA

Marcus, How do you have time for everything? Can you give us a glimpse into a typical week?

“I generally do two-a-days during the week. I’m swimming three days a week in the mornings and doing some other workout in the AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The evenings, I’m usually running or biking. The weekends consist of the longer workouts with running and biking. Every now and then, there’s a brick thrown in. I carry a typical work day on the week days, but I do travel a bit. I cover North Carolina and South Carolina for work, so it’s not uncommon for me to spend several hours a day in the car driving. Some of my longer trips involve overnight stays, so I have to work my training schedule around it. My kids are all in their 20’s, so they’re sort of doing their own thing now and Alba (his wife) supports me by being flexible with my hectic schedule.”

Conclusion:

Because of that 90 day scare, we all know Marcus Barton. He has made our lives better. He has helped people across the country find what they are looking for through XTERRA. He has hoisted trophies like a true champion. He has shared houses in Spain with the likes of Josiah Middaugh, Cody Waite, Rife Hilgartner and Dan Kimball, one of his fondest memories. Marcus Barton playing a practical jokeHe laughs thinking about giving an XTERRA 18 wheeler parking tickets, or taking the cutout of Kahuna Dave’s head, made by the XTERRA staff, at Oak Mountain one year when he couldn’t make it and he toured it all over the southeast (last seen here). He remembers deciding at a lunch, on a whim, to enter a race that was 7 hours away in West Virginia and winning it. He’s a friend to all.

Marcus, the season hasn’t started yet, but who do you think is going to win the XTERRA World Championships in 2018?

“I think Josiah Middaugh is going to kill it. I don’t know why, but I think we’re gonna see a volcano God erupt with him. I think on the women’s side, Duffy will be hard to beat. The waves will be back, as I predict that it will be another wet and sloppy race.”

So if you’re going through an uncertain time, think of Marcus and make some dramatic changes. Let’s all be grateful for the scare and that he defied the odds. Let his lesson, be our lesson and not wait for a scare. Skip the 90 days of uncertainty and just sign up for a race this XTERRA season! You will be glad you did and you can thank Marcus later for all the friends you are going to make this year!

How to use your wife’s essential oils to get lucky this Valentine’s Day!

We have all seen the social media post about Young Living essential oils and how they may or may not cure migraines, possibly assist in fertility, and potentially ease stomach aches. Let me guess, your wife saw someone raised from the dead with a mixture of thieves, frankincense, a splash of lemon oil, myrrh oil, and peppermint oil? We men sit there, shake our heads, roll our eyes. We then turn around, smile, and nod in agreement with our wife’s passion of trying to make the world a better place. But enough is enough.

The common guy, just like me, is a skeptic of these magic ”oils.” When something is to good to be true, it’s usually to good to be true. It’s not that we don’t want to believe our moms, wives, or girlfriends. It’s the fact that the three wise men brought oils to the manger over 2,000 years ago. It’s also the fact that when you explain these magic oils to me you talk about feelings and all I am asking for are facts. Girls, show me some science! Because in my world, depending on the time of year, I am Santa, I am the tooth fairy, and I am the Easter bunny. Let’s get real or let’s not play ladies.

I went on a witch hunt to prove them wrong! So show this to your wife; let’s be done with it and bury this thing for good.

My wife has been using oils for a very long time. In fact, my wife and her sister preach from the mountain tops and I have always kept quiet. So I plan to walk through frequency in food, your body, and oils.

Food has Frequency:

While I thought my wife was a little crazy, I found my own crazy in 2016. I attended a Tony Robbins conference with a bunch of guys from work. His technologies really spoke to me. I was amazed that he didn’t drink alcohol, was a vegan for 18 years, and had more energy and passion than anyone I had ever seen in my life. I wanted what he had, and don’t worry, it wasn’t essential oils. But he spoke of food and frequency and that peaked my interest.

Our bodies are matter and all matter has a frequency. We all give off vibrations. If your body is healthy it will have a frequency of 62-68 MHz. However, Tony seemed to be above this average because of all the energy he had, or maybe he was using some drug to get him into this high octane state.

He talked about how you can increase your body’s frequency by the food you eat. He talked about alkaline water, wheat-grass, fresh deep green produce like kale and broccoli. I was intrigued, but not sold.

Your Body’s Frequency

In March of 2017, I told my wife that I wanted to qualify for the XTERRA World Championship Triathlon in Maui. After she was done laughing on the ground, she said, “If you magically qualify, we will be there to support you, but Jordan remember, don’t be upset if you dont. Remember you have never competed in a triathlon, let alone ridden a mountain bike since we have been married.”

I needed to find a way to train a ton, work, have a family life and not burn out. That’s when I made the resolve to find ways to get more energy naturally. I decided to listen to Tony and start eating more plants and told myself I would be a plant-based athlete for just 30 days and here’s why:

You and I both know that we are not just physical matter. “We are made up of energy – all matter is – and bound together by an energy field. We’re talking atoms, protons, and neutrons. So, everything vibrates with an energy. And, the higher the energy, the higher the frequency. Positive feelings and thoughts evoke a higher frequency vs. negative feelings and thoughts which evoke a lower frequency. Our energy is blocked when we experience negativity, fear, or you guessed it, unhealthy substances. Think about it. When you consume really unhealthy food, alcohol, or drugs, doesn’t your energy feel low, dull or blocked later? This constant negative state can lead to sickness and disease in the body,” says Gina Martini.

What Gina is saying makes sense, because cancer functions at a frequency of 42 MHz. The onset of death has a frequency of 25 MHz. So when you think you could feel death in a room at a hospital. It’s probably because you can.

So that’s when I made the plunge and went to a plant-based, whole food diet. Want to know why, check out this chart:

MHZ of food
MHz of your food

So after a hard training session a friend would say, “let’s go get a burger.” I would think of this chart and see that I just put my body through absolute physical stress. My body is tired, it needed energy and a Big Mac wasn’t going to get me feeling good, so I chose to go make a green drink with wheat grass, kale, and broccoli. Did I get made fun of? Sure, of course, but I was getting results physically and mentally.

They could laugh all they wanted, I wanted to qualify for the XTERRA World Championships and believe me the short-term temptation of a Big Mac or any burger wasn’t going to be the reason I didn’t make it to Maui for the race.

Oil Frequency

Then it happened. I was listening to a podcast about food and they mentioned that the term, “Wake up and smell the roses,” literally came from when someone would physically smell roses, they would get a boost of energy!

You guessed it. I dropped everything and called my wife. I asked her if she had rose oil. She was so confused. I looked up the MHz of rose oil and found this:

www.youngliving.com
Young Living Essential Oil MHz

You see that on the top of the list? Rose oil. 320 MHz! That’s twice as high as raw vegetables! This is where my secret is and racing.

I made my wife give me her coveted rose oil in my last race in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In transition, I would grab it and take a huge whiff! I know it sounds funny, but as I was putting my body through this traumatic experience of physical exercise I could give it a boost through this rose oil. I took 7th place OVERALL! Mind you, my first triathlon ever in my life was just 4.5 months prior.

Literally, it raised my body from low frequencies. It put me in a peak state and helped me accomplish what I wanted and that was to qualify for the XTERRA World Championship!

Jordan Winar XTERRA World Championship
XTERRA World Championship Finish Line

So this Valentine’s day, first start with an apology and let your mom, wife, or girlfriend know that you will listen. If anything else, boys, wake up and smell the roses this Valentine’s day. And if your wife doesn’t have rose oil, you may want to get her some and get her vibrations functioning high, you can thank me later.

So to my wife, thank you, you helped me get to the top, even if I had to look around a little myself.

Mandy in Hawaii sending positive vibes after the XTERRA World Championship

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, MEN understand that we are made up matter, and that matter has an energy that functions at different frequencies/vibrations. So do your body a favor and feed it high vibration foods, feed your mind positive thoughts, and take a hit once in a while of some rose essential oils. It’s time you wake up and smell the roses.

And to all you ladies out there, who are tired of hearing that their husbands are tired, beat down and worn out! Give him some good vibes, feed him some high frequency food, let him smell some rose oil. Believe me, that testosterone supplement you’re allowing him to take, because he won’t change the bad habits of exercise, diet, and mindfulness, just might not be the answer.

Josiah Middaugh – the rest of the story.

We all want to be the best at what we do, but being the best in the world doesn’t happen overnight. So, here is some advice from Josiah Middaugh, the 2015 XTERRA World Champion, on staying focused, growing, and being a professional through the good and bad.

Credit Ryan Dearth and Vailmag.com
Credit Ryan Dearth and vailmag.com

STAY FOCUSED:

From #232 to #1 took 15 years

On October 27, 2002 the world’s best professional and amateur off-road triathletes stood on a beach in Maui waiting for the cannon to explode for the start of the  XTERRA World Championship.  As the results poured in that day, there was one particular amateur who finished in the top 100, but the word PRO was not listed next to his name.  He was an age group competitor.  That day he didn’t have a single digit bib number and wasn’t a part of any press conferences.  His bib that day was #232. You will want to remember #232.

Every year, in Maui, Hawaii, these rare, almost super, humans descend upon the island to give their best shot to become THE XTERRA World Champion.  This event is the same to off-road triathletes as the superbowl is to an NFL football player.  For a professional off-road triathlete, there is no podium that is higher than the XTERRA World Championships.   To be a professional endurance athlete, it’s a prerequisite to be able to endure pain, a lot of pain.  At the XTERRA World Championship they will swim against the monster Maui waves, then maneuver over 30 kilometers of trails with more than 2,000 feet of climbing over rocks, boulders, rivers, logs, ruts, and 180 degree downhill turns on a bicycle.  The final stretch of the race requires them to navigate 10 kilometers of off-road trails, all with the goal of simply trying to finish.  Over 6 million people every year turn their TV’s on to watch who is going to cross that finish line first.

josiah profile picture

Fast forward to November 1, 2015, that guy who wore #232 in his first world championship back in 2002 came back.  He came back over and over again to finish what he started, to win.  (If you have the ability to turn on Thunderstruck by AC/DC, now would be the time).  He started the 2002 and the 2015 World Championship the same, with his feet in the sand.   Except this time his bib number was #2.  The #2 signifies how he finished in 2014, which was second place.  Everyone is met face to face with the ocean; those lucky enough to get the opportunity to be returning continue to get older, but the waves always stay the same size.  The cannon sounded and #232 was in the water.  He had a strong swim.  On the mountain bike, he wiped out, not just once, but twice.  He had to make up ground on the run; and he did just that. In 2015, he crossed the finish line with no one in front of him.  At the end of the day, the announcer stated, “The winner of the 2015 XTERRA World Championship is Josiah Middaugh!”  The celebration ensued and it had been 5,475 days since he wore #232.  Click here and experience highlights from that unforgettable day.

Credit XTERRA (Josiah Middaugh Wins 2015 XTERRA World Championship)
Credit XTERRA – Josiah Middaugh Winning the XTERRA World Championship

Josiah how have you seen yourself grow mentally over the years?  Any rituals you can share to help keep a rookie motivated this year or the veteran that is contemplating giving it up?

“Mental toughness needs to be nurtured just like other aspects of training.  It used to be very difficult for me to stay focused for an entire 10k run.  Mental toughness is forged in your training and sharpened by racing.  Don’t be afraid to fail and every hard workout and race is a chance to learn something about your physical and mental limits.  I like the quote “Failure is not the opposite of success, it is a vital component.”

Josiah, going into 2015, with so many close calls in years past, what was going through your mind?:

“I had been very close to the top step several times before, so I had a good idea of what it would take for me to execute on race day.  Instead of thinking “I’d like to win this race one of these years,” I changed my mentality to “I am going to win this race this year.”  I had a good progression all season and focused on all the little things in the months/weeks leading up to the World Championship.  I knew I had very good form going into the race and I was the fittest version of myself.  That said, the level of competition rises every year and sometimes your best isn’t enough.  Any championship race is just a measure of who is the best on that one day.  On that one day, it was me.”

DON’T SETTLE, LEARN FROM THE BEST IN THE WORLD

There is a great book I recently read called, The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life by Travis Macy.   His stories are a fun roller coaster ride and will keep you motivated while you’re training!  He has completed over 120 ultra endurance events in 17 countries.  He also set a record for Leadman, which is an endurance event consisting of a trail running marathon, 50-mile mountain bike race, Leadville 100 mile Mountain Bike Race, 10k road run, and Leadville 100 mile Run, all above 10,200 feet in the Rocky Mountains.  Travis is obviously a great athlete, but in the middle of Macy’s book, #232 moved from Michigan to Colorado.  When Josiah moved, he began winning every snowshoe race in the United States and went on to become a national champion multiple times over.  Travis shared in his book how he couldn’t find a way to beat Josiah. So rather than competing against a world champion he decided he would hire him.  He called Josiah to become his coach and learn from the best in the world.  In 2018, do not try to reinvent the wheel.  Hire a coach.  But hire the best you can find, and who will take you to the next level because they know the pitfalls and their experience will save you years of frustration.

Josiah as a world champion and coach, what is the biggest pitfall you see amongst amateurs?

“We live in a world of instant gratification, but to be a great endurance athlete, it doesn’t work like that.  It’s about consistency over time.  Long term success comes with the systematic attainment of short term goals.  Dream big, but take small bites.”

Josiah is it possible to be coached by you?   If so, how can they contact you and what do you offer?

“Absolutely.  The best way to contact me is through my website www.middaughcoaching.com. We offer two different levels of coaching and both are individualized to your training history, current fitness level, life schedule, and goals.”

snow shoe race

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU

I was blessed enough to be able to participate as an amateur in the 2017 XTERRA World Championships in Maui.  Josiah was 10 feet in front of me with his Synergy fast suit on.  He shook the hands of his fellow professionals and the cannon sounded.  When all the dust settled he took home a top 10 finish.

I was a fan before the race, but he earned my respect that day. Not on the beach, but at the Champions dinner that night and he didn’t even know he had just earned a lifelong fan. My wife and I attended the Champions dinner.  For us, it was a once in a lifetime event.  We sat amongst the best in the world.  We noticed that after the pro awards were given out, many pros quietly left the dinner out the side door.  In fact, a few pros that had sub-optimal performances that day, decided not to show.  Admittedly, if racing were my job, I might have left early as well. No hard feelings.

To make it even more understandable to leave early, the dinner went on for about 2.5 hours as they handed out awards to all the age group champs from earlier that day.  Awards all the way up to age 75.  I share this with you to help you understand. Before we point fingers, we must realize that you and I might have left early as well, had we been in their shoes and this was just part of our daily jobs.

The dinner concluded.  Everyone started walking out.  My wife and I were in the lobby of the Ritz and here Josiah came with his wife.  Josiah Middagh, the World Champion, sat through all the awards.  He probably clapped for everyone of them.  He probably remembered when he was #232.  I couldn’t help but tell my wife how I was impacted by the fact that he stuck around to show his support.  A class act and a great reminder for me to always be grateful.  He is a professional athlete and had just finished his hardest day of work earlier that day and left with a smile on his face.  

Josiah how do you seem to keep such a great attitude?  What drives you to keep a positive attitude?

“I feel a lot of gratitude for what I have been able to accomplish in my career.  I try not to take any of it for granted.  It has been a long journey for me, but I don’t feel like anything is owed to me or I am more deserving than anyone else.  I don’t define my self worth by any one race.  I always say you learn the most from the races you don’t win.  It is easy to have a good attitude when you win, but it’s your attitude when you come up short that says more about your character.  My family has been a great grounding force for me throughout my professional career and help me keep things in perspective.”

What is one piece of professional advice you would give to us that we could all use this year?

“Stay engaged in the process.  If you can stay present and engaged, then your goals will just be a product of your hard work and dedication.  People like to talk about lofty goals and what they are going to do.  They write plans and postpone them or don’t follow through.  Wake up every day with a plan and make it happen!

Conclusion:

STAY FOCUSED:

If you are tired of waking up early to work out and train, just remember Josiah Middagh when he was bib number #232 back in 2001; it wasn’t until he was bib #2 in 2015 when he won the World Championship.  That means it took Josiah Middaugh 5,475 days to bring the XTERRA World Championship title back to the United States.  So if you want to give up your New Year’s resolution on day 14,15, or 16 you might want to post a picture of Josiah on your mirror to remind you about resolutions.

LEARN FROM THE BEST IN THE WORLD

You can try and figure things out yourself, but behind every great champion is a great coach.  They will take you to the next level and help you bypass the pitfalls.  Search out a coach today and hold them to a high standard and expect them to deliver results for you!

REMEMBER, IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU

To be a professional you need to act like a professional–when you close a big deal or lose one.  The one thing you can control is your attitude. And your attitude affects everyone around you; so do them a favor and have a positive one.

We can all learn from the best in the world and make changes today to better ourselves and those around us. so that when our 5,475th day comes, we won’t be surprised; we will be prepared because we have been preparing everyday.

2017 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RACE REPORT: You can do whatever you put your mind to!

I was standing on DT Fleming beach in Maui, staring down at my feet, squeezing the cool sand in between my toes. All the while, I was trying to focus on what I could control, the temporary tattoos my feet were leaving as impressions in the sand. I was a spec among 800 elite athletes dressed in colorful caps, black speed-suits, and an infinite variety of goggles. We were all, in our own way, counting down the time for the cannon to sound. Above us, a helicopter was overpowering the melodic and symphonic waves of the Pacific Ocean by creating its own ocean of waves and war-like sound to go along with it.

I turned my gaze to the horizon, but just a few feet in front of me, I was mesmerized watching the facial expressions and body language of the professional Xterra Athletes at an arms length from me. They were bracing for work, their livelihood, their occupation, their business. But today wasn’t another case of the Mondays, today was their biggest day of the year. This was their chance to close the biggest deal in company history, their chance to get their name immortalized on the plaque of history! Today wasn’t just a regional or national spiff at the office this was for all the marbles, this was the 2017 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!

I couldn’t help but smile while standing so close to their dreams. Walking on the same sand as a soon to be World Champion. Maybe the guy just a few feet in front of me would be the new champ.

Today, I would compete against the best in the world! We would all swim, bike and run the same course. I would know the sites, sounds, and emotions that they would feel.

Sure, I had been to big sporting events. I went to the ’97 Baseball World Series cheering on the Cleveland Indians. I sat in premium seats at the Indianapolis 500. I yelled at the 50 yard line during the Michigan Vs Ohio State game when they were both ranked #1 and #2 in the country. But I always dreamed of playing in the game, not watching from the sidelines, even though it is significantly more comfortable from the sidelines and much easier to critique when you’re not actually in the game. And a lot less preparation! Today, only I and a few people close to me knew how hard it was to earn my spot in this athletic event.

But as I stood there it made me ponder, at what point in life, is it expected for you to take a seat in the stands and just watch? Your life becomes a story told completely in the past tense. Sadly for many people the most excitement they get in a week is based on a league they play in that starts with “fantasy.”

What happened?

It made me think and I tried to remember who was the first person that told me, “You can do whatever you put your mind to!”? Was it my mom when she handed me a brown bagged lunch before school, my dad after a little league game, a coach after practice, or a teacher before summer break?

Whoever it was, I believed them. You also heard this phrase and even if just for a split second, believed that, “You could really do whatever you put your mind to!”

And then over time, you very slowly, like the changing of a leaf color, stopped believing. But you didn’t forget the phrase, because if you’re like me, you start using it with your own kids. You drive them to school, and just before they open the door you look in the backseat, state their name, tell them to have a great day and that, ”if they put their mind to something they can do whatever they can imagine!”

As soon as the car door closes, I think back to my mother saying, “Do what I say, not what I do.”

BOOOOOMM! The cannon went off. I hear foot steps patter into the ocean all around me like 300 men trying to all run though a puddle at once. A wave, almost as tall as me, stares at me, hoping to knock me down and send me back to shore where it believes I belong. While I may not be as strong as this wave, I am smarter, so I gasp for a breath of air and dive down below the rip current; all the noise immediately disappears. I dig my fingers into the sand, holding my position as the wave lunges at me and misses as I feel it pass above me. I surface and here comes another relative of the wave I just beat. I repeat the same routine, win again, and resurface. Then, all of the sudden, I get struck in the back of the head! “Ow!” I scream under water, not to be heard above the surface, but I felt it. WHAM! It happens again! I looked to my right and realized it was the guy next to me as my head was inline with his stroke! I swam faster to try to get out of his way.

I imagined what we looked like from above–from a birds perspective. We probably looked like a school of fish trying to escape a lurking predator coming from deep in the sea, but our predator today wasn’t visible. Our predator was time! Time would catch us, some faster than others. In fact, at some point, time will catch all of us; not just this race, but in life. Every word you read, it clicks. But we see time as a friend, that we should sit with on the dock of a bay with. But it’s an illusion; use time to your advantage, as a motivator, a tool, a guide, but never a timer or alarm. And always teach those younger than you that time is not a commodity, but a very limited resource to be cherished and used because you can’t save up and use it later in life.

The waves brought me back to dry land. This time I used their strength and power to replenish mine, which was finite and limited, especially after fighting the ocean and my competitor’s hands and feet for the last 20 minutes. My ears were filled with water, but my eyes clear because of my goggles. People were jumping, yelling, waving and pointing, as if the taped course didn’t allow me good direction, but their enthusiasm was highly motivating. And, at times, their hysteria was a comic relief depending on the spectator and how close their athlete was to exiting the water behind me.

I jumped on my bike like a cowboy mounts his horse when he sees trouble out on the range. However, my horse was self propelled and this cowboy was already breathing heavily! I passed a few people, but before long, my name seemed to naturally morph from Jordan to “on your left.” The hill I was climbing seemed to become more and more like a treadmill with an incline of 20% with no ‘off’ button to push. My heart rate was sky rocketing, but if the other competitors were pedaling, so was I. After all, I always wanted to be one of the competitors in a World Championship setting, and I literally did whatever it took to qualify for this day! 12,000 miles, 8 states and over 10 Xterra races– all my rookie season as a Triathlete and first time on a mountain bike this year. It made me think that just 6 months ago was my first race and now I’m going up against the best in the world. It made me think about that phrase again.

“You can do whatever you put your mind to,” and that included qualifying and finishing this race! I put my head down and slowly traversed up that mountain. Sweat flowing out of my pours, I could literally feel it exit my skin. My heart rate still at record levels! I was grunting, like someone had put too much weight on the bench press, let me bring the bar down to my chest, and then walked away, leaving me alone to find a way to get it back up! But I have learned that if your mind is forced to do something, it always finds a way, for better or for worse.

I had now come to a point called Razor Ridge, the name speaks for itself; it has incredible views on both sides. When one thinks of Hawaii’s beauty, this is what I was experiencing at this very moment. It was perfection! It was at Razor Ridge that time seemed to slow down for me. It allowed me to take mental pictures that will always leave a lasting image in my mind. Of course, I know, everything we see will leave a lasting image in our minds so be careful what you allow in, but this one I will choose to keep consciously. One that I will keep at the surface and hang on the wall of my mind as a masterpiece!

It was only seconds later that I was feeling, smelling and tasting Hawaii in a different way. I was heading downhill at speeds that were beyond my current 6 months of capabilities and talents on a mountain bike along with my over confident attitude. I was about to be humbled, because as I launched down the mountain in a fury and kicked up dust behind me, a tree stump was patiently waiting for my arrival. He was calm and didn’t chase me or lunge at me; he just sat there, as he had since the day he was cut down. My front tire couldn’t help but enthusiastically greet him that morning, and that stump caused my horse to buck me off and launch me into some brush and a pile of jagged rocks. My left hip and wrist seemed to land in sync. My brain sensed pain immediately and, at the same moment, had me check my bike to ensure it was still ride-able. The jungles in Hawaii may look soft in pictures, but it’s just as hard as the concrete sidewalks you walk along everyday in your urban jungles. I slowly peeled myself off the ground and put all my weight on my right leg. My face squinted as I looked under my suit to see if I was bleeding. The stump was still sitting in the same place, with the same unimpressed expression, even after that acrobatic swan dive I just did for him. The stump offered no apology to me and I am not here to blame the stump for hindering my race. The Obstacles, in life and in races, should always be expected. They are not a matter of “if” but “when,” and it’s how we respond. I was deciding to move on. I pushed my bike for another 100 feet to the bottom of the hill. It hurt quite badly, which was my brain being kind enough to send me a warning that I was truly hurt. It was also the same brain that wouldn’t let me stop today. I assessed the situation, jumped back on the horse, and kept going. This was the World Championship! Michael Jordan played though the flu, and won the Bulls another ring. If you want to do something great, don’t expect it to be easy, and I don’t mean winning a fantasy league. I mean delivering results through actions taken. That means not blaming or making up a story to make you feel better. Learn and move on, keep progressing.

But at the same time, don’t be naive; learn how to avoid pit falls in advance. For example, the evening after the race Xterra hosts an Awards Dinner; my wife and I had the privilege of sitting next to Laura Philipp of Germany who took 3rd over-all in the Pro-Women’s race. She politely laughed at my mishap, stating that due to the top speeds on that down hill, she kept it slightly more tame, because in the dry conditions you can gain incredible speed that can become uncontrollable and unpredictable. Because of that you need to always proceed with caution, because it’s always better to be in control of your bike and stay on your bike rather than get launched off of it because you were trying to reach new speeds in the process. Sometimes, going slower and arriving is better than going too fast and never showing up. Knowing when to step on the gas is just as, if not more, important than being foolish and fearless! So remember to always know thyself!

After that wreck, I realized I was one of the lucky ones. I saw plenty of people who’s wrecks were far worse than mine that day which would cause them to walk it back to transition or even worse cause them to have a DNF. In fact, I had snacks at Dukes Beach Grill after the race with a 4 time Ironman champion, Tom Evans, that snapped his handle bar in half on one of the downhills, causing him to call off his race early.

I, fortunately, unlike Tom, was able finish the bike portion. I pulled the horse back into the transition area and tied it up fully worn out, but thankful it got me home. Because of my hip, I transitioned a bit slower. Before this incident I could never relate to a person with a bad hip.

While I was in the best shape of my life, I must have looked like I had been possessed by an 80 year old man. An 80 year old man chasing after one of his grandkids who had just stolen a cookie off the table prior to finishing their dinner.

I had the drive inside me, but, for the amount of pain and effort going into each step, the output was extremely disappointing. The first part of the trail run was all uphill. Running is my strength and I can run with the best of them over some miles, especially if we are competing for something.

However, people started passing, and then more. I tried every psychological trick in the book and none of them worked. It was so frustrating knowing I had the ability inside, but the pain was too great to use it. Or so I thought! That is until the start of mile 6, when all I could think about was my wife and kids at the finish line. I realized that the faster I could run this last mile, the faster I could see them. It’s only 4 laps around the track! I felt like Forest Gump losing his leg braces! I started to “run.” I started to pass some people. I didn’t even care that I was passing people. The final quarter mile was running in the sand and I gave it every bit I had left. My stoic mindset that started this race had been swallowed by the ocean and this was all about survival, and as many of you know, I am a firm believer in the Gazelle Mindset, which is something I coined.

The final stretch–one guy in front of me! I had to go by him. I could see my kids jumping, I could hear them yelling “Go Daddy!” For a moment I was healed; I made my move and passed one final competitor. It just so happened that the guy I was passing had beaten me in every single race that we faced each other this year and he was the regional champ for his area.

I grabbed my son and daughter with one thing left to do. Cross that finish line!

My daughter holding my hand, and my oldest son, Win, playing catch up. I picked him up the way Scrooge picked up Tiny Tim on Christmas morning, swung him around and embraced when we crossed that line! All my pain gone for the moment. I set him down on the grass and looked at both of them in the eyes and said believe me when your Dad tells you this, “You can STILL do whatever you put you mind to!”

And so can you!

(Highlights from the race)

Friday the 13th (Scary Change!)

It’s Friday the 13th! Many believe this day to be the most unlucky day and has been the birthday of many horror movies such as ‘Friday the 13th.’ People believe these things and share stories about them. You may not believe anything superstitious but if someone asked you about the day (Friday the 13th) you would probably ASSOCIATE scary things, ghosts, unlucky day, death and a day you are a bit more careful on. It’s a belief that you have, that was created by your parents, the media, a movie, or a sleep over from your childhood. (Friday the 13th Scare Explained) All Friday the 13th is, is a pattern that you have incorporated into your life. What if you took Friday the 13th and began a new association or pattern? A day you linked to a change in your life.

Many people ask me about the massive change I have had in my diet over the last year. It all began in an instant! At the end of 2016 I had recently read a book called Finding Ultra by Rich Roll. His story similar to mine which is, athlete growing up, career took over and slowly packed on some weight that looked NORMAL in our culture. Without spoiling his book, (I suggest you listen or ready it) one evening, he walked up his stairs and at the peak of his stairs, he stopped and breathed heavy. At that instant, he changed everything! His book goes on to unfold this beautiful story of his plant based diet and his exercise and becoming a world class endurance athlete.

In less than 3 weeks, I will be competing in the Xterra World Championship in Maui, Hawaii. It’s an off road triathlon where the best in the world compete and its by qualification only. 50 countries represented at the event and I will be one of only a few hundred that qualified out of 10’s of thousands that attempted to qualify. I don’t say this to impress you but to impress upon you a few thoughts as you start your weekend.

Just 10 months ago, I was an average guy, had never ridden a mountain bike and had never competed in a triathlon of any kind. In less than 10 months I qualified for the most coveted off road triathlon in the entire world!

People say, I was a natural and just had a gift. That is not true. It took a TON of hard work and training. Massive planning as I am happily married with 3 kids! Strange training hours as I run multiple divisions for a construction firm in Texas. So I needed to any edge I could possibly get/take and that huge edge was my diet.

A diet that consisted of plants! Rich was a plant based athlete. Then I started to investigate more and found a book called Thrive written by another plant based triathlete. I started to learn about other athletes that were taking up this lifestyle. They claimed that they could train more, sleep less, focus more, and eliminate stress by eating plants.

It took some convincing, I watched movies like What the Health and Food Choice and they kept me inspired on my journey. In addition, I found out one of my role models, Tony Robbins was a vegan for over 18 years! I wanted his energy!

My recovery time was incredible, my body would miraculously heal itself so fast. I started to sleep better without wrestlers interruptions! I was able to accomplish more because I did not have the crash that I usually would encounter around 2 or 3 pm every day. The weekends became two more days I no longer needed to rest on but live in.

My life changed so much, and had so much success in work, relationships, and triathlon I have decided to write a book called The Gazelle Mindset. I am releasing it in December. I am not taking any profit from it because this gift I have been given of a new life I want to share with you!

Until then, make this weekend a little different! It’s Friday the 13th! Go listen to Rich Roll’s book Finding Ultra or if you want something easier to do Watch What The Health or Food Choices. Try scaring yourself and go Vegan this weekend!

And associate today as your LUCKY day!