Exciting news…Kris’ Hot Yoga and Coach Loran partner-up for Wednesday Night Running Barre extravaganza…Class begins June 5, 2013 at 5:30pm. New to running? Experienced runner? Want to learn the three keys to better running? Posture, position, and cadence are the “Big 3″ to make your running more enjoyable. But that’s not all, combine 20-30 minutes of good running form with 20-30 minutes of amazing HOT BARRE that only Kris’ Hot Yoga offers to get a one-of-a kind workout in Des Moines. Temps will be anywhere from 85-95 degrees, both inside and outside…You’ll not only be sweatin’ but you’ll be smokin’ hot after these workouts! All levels of runners are welcome. This 50 minute class will always end with a 10 minute value-added conversation on nutrition, shoes, summer hydration, and more.
To quote Winston Churchill and now Debra Peckumn, “Never, Never, Never give up!” Enjoy the read….
In December 2011, I set two goals for the upcoming year. First, I wanted to get in shape and lose 50 lbs. Secondly, I decided to apply for a position on the team that would serve as caregivers on a trip to Nepal in September 2012, supporting a group of cancer survivors. This would be the third such trip sponsored by Above and Beyond Cancer, an organization whose goal, among others, is to understand the cancer journey is one that can challenge us to discover the strength and courage in each of us, while learning that we may also need to rely on the talents and support of others. Inspired by my friend, Wendy, who received her cancer diagnoses in the Fall of 2010, I knew I wanted to represent her amazing, brave spirit on this journey, where we would carry with us prayer flags to fly at our summit and perform the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
In late July of this year, I did receive news that I was selected to join the team to Nepal. I was grateful for also having been successful in getting to 90% of my weight loss goal. But, it was “go” time. In six weeks, I would be in the Himalayas climbing mountains and I needed to assess if I was really up to the task. My friend, Wendy, had just lost her battle to cancer on June 18. My inspiration was not only the strength and grace by which she fought her disease, but also that this was the epitome of how indiscriminate cancer really is. By the books, Wendy did everything right – she was a triathlete, healthy diet, lifestyle, active choices, preventative wellness checks. And yet, her initial diagnoses was Stage IV colon cancer with metastasis to the lymph nodes and lungs.
I learned Loran had been Wendy’s trainer, and had modified her regimen throughout her treatment time so she was constantly able to stay active, something she always mentioned as ‘giving her strength’. My contact to him was to have him determine if it was possible for me to train enough in the few short weeks we had to be ready. The first thing he said was yes, but I needed to learn to run. My response was that at age 58, I had never run and with painful knee joints, as a result of many years of competitive racquetball, I wasn’t sure that was going to happen.
He coached me through my fears, whining, and even crying. My first attempt at running one minute/walking one minute for a total of 30 minutes almost reached a point of calling the EMT team after the first 60 seconds, after which I was certain my watch was not functioning. Five weeks later and one day before I was getting on a plane to Nepal, I drove out to Raccoon River Park for my final outing. Each time in between that my goal was to go further than the time before and further than I thought I could possibly go. So, I put my ear buds in and started out, praying for this to be a strong outing and asking my dad, who has been gone for 30 years, to be the wind beneath my wings. My previous longest run length had been 22 minutes before a minute rest. This morning I made it 30 minutes running, took a 90 second walk break and finished my 4.2 mile route with another continuous 14 minutes of running. It’s turtle speed, I realize. But, I knew I was ready.
I’m still processing my trip to Nepal. But, I was physically ready and never struggled for leg strength or cardiac readiness. I summited two peaks – one at 16,000 ft. and the other at 18,500 ft. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done – life altering, without question. Altitude sickness took me out of the running to attempt the final 20,000 ft. peak. But, it didn’t matter. That was what my journey was meant to be and I learned a lot about myself and my personal mettle. I felt so proud to take Wendy’s spirit with me as we flew over 1000 prayer flags at Imja Tse (Island Peak) of persons in the cancer journey – those who are still fighting and those who have lost their battle
And, it wouldn’t have happened without the support of Coach Loran, who believed in me and told me I could do it, when I wasn’t sure I believed in myself. I admit that it helps to have a goal – a big one. Mornings, at 5 a.m., it was mostly fear that was my motivator when I wanted to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. Not fear about my Coach, because he provided unconditional support – “it’s about progress, not perfection”, he says. And, when it came to those absurd mountain climbers he was having me do, that was an excellent mantra, as I was determining if the wet pool on the floor, after that exercise, was more sweat or tears. It was fear to reach my fitness goal. I knew I had to be my best, because this was going to be a challenge. Coach Loran made it possible, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful. Wendy’s spirit lives on as she made one more amazing thing happen in my life.
Every year about this time is birthday-palooza at the Storts house. Four of the five members of my family have celebrated birthdays in the past 30 days. Sleep-overs, gifts, cake, and favorite restaurants are all part of the festivities. For whatever reason this year the idea of “lease periods” has resonated in my head; after all we only have a “lease period” of 18 years with our kids before we set them off into the world. My oldest daughter turned 15 yesterday, that means over 83% of my lease with her has expired! It struck me when this morning on the way to school she started to talk about which colleges she is interested in attending, eeek! Hopefully, we have trained her well, equipped her with the right tools, and given her the confidence that they truly can live a life of significance. The same holds true for my 12 year old daughter and 8 year old son, we just have a little more lease period left with the two of them.
Each of my children are uniquely crafted, they have many similarities yet are completely opposite in so many other ways. How can the same parents create such different children? Pretty simple answer…WE all have been UNIQUELY crafted. Just as our fingerprints are unique to us, so are our personalities, our passions and our gifts. Like it or not, there is no one else like you so might as well embrace your uniqueness.
If you have been following along with my most recent blog postings, I have been discussing the Five Laws to Stratospheric Success, with the meaning of “success” equaling significance. There is a formula that we are building on that through last week looked like this, “V” x “S” x “I” . Today, we are adding an “A” to the formula with the “A” representing Authenticity. If you are embracing the concept of “Giving” as a way to reach Stratospheric Success then you understand this idea applies at work, at home, in friendships, in marriage, anywhere! In business we talk about improving your financial balance sheet, but this idea of giving improve’s your life’s balance sheet.
Plain and simple, the most valuable gift you can offer, and/or Give, to others is yourself! If you want to be successful, or significant, just be yourself. What is at your core? How do you like to give? Is it that you have time to give, or talents that can be used, or did you do well financially so you can give your treasures. As we already discussed, giving attracts people, people attract other people, and so on and so on….
How does this all tie back into birthday-palooza? I love my wife, I love my kids, I love all their unique abilities, I love that they are different physically/mentally/spiritually, I love that they have different passions, I love them. What I hope I teach them is that to be significant they need to GIVE, and the best thing they can Give is to Give of themselves! Embrace their unique design because they are “one of a kind”.
Next up is the Fifth Law of Stratospheric Success….give and you shall receive! Have a great day!
Every day is a great day in my life, I truly believe that! Reflect back on my April 26, 2012 blog post, it was all about the First Law of Stratospheric Success. Basically, it is a simple example of giving. So, on Wednesday night a friend who I had not seen for 3-4 months stopped by our house. Laced into our conversation about life & kids she was excited to share with me a cool thing that had happened to her that day. Here is where I stop believing in coincidence and call it just plain “too cool”. While in line at Caribou for her morning coffee she had a pleasant surprise as she pulled out her money to pay, the individual in front of her had already paid for her coffee. Hmmm? Winner, winner, chicken dinner! My question to my friend was, “Did you keep it going? Did you pay for the next person’s order?” More on her response in a later post.
OK, the giving formula is growing “V” x “S” x “I”. What does the “I” stand for? It stands for “Influence”. The Third Law of Stratospheric Success states that your “Influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first”. Each of us has someone in our life that magnetizes other people; they always have a crowd around them, they also energize others, they always are highly-spoken of by others, and they have an aura about them that is hard to describe. Go ahead, think of that person that you know. What is it? Answer? Pretty simple, they are givers and givers attract (magnetize) other people.
These individuals don’t look at life through the lens of creating “win-win” situations & relationships. They focus on one thing, the other person’s win. Because focusing on a “win-win” relationship is really a disguised way of keeping score. Making sure we all are equal, “Even Steven”, “I do this so you will ‘owe’ me own”. It doesn’t work in relationships because it creates a creditor environment. The only winning proposition is when you focus 100% on the other indiviudual, you focus on their win.
Your mission should you choose to accept it (ok, directly out the show Mission Impossible), think about three people you know that are true people magnets. Invite one person to lunch, or coffee, and ask them one question, “How do you serve others by giving of your three T’s (time, treasure, or talent)?” Then just listen. You may hear how they have been blessed, and again being blessed is not always about monetary success. I think what you will hear is the common denominator of they give, give, give.
Next up “V” x “S” x “I” x “A”…..
Quick refresher, if you did your homework you understand the First Law of Stratospheric success, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” How did it feel to give more than you expected to receive?
If we were building a mathematical formula (or recipe, you pick what makes sense to you) that helps you reach a state of Significance then we would call the First Law “V”. The Second Law goes like this, ” Your true worth is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.” So let’s call the Second Law “S” with the “S” standing for serve. So our formula so far is “V” x “S”.
This past weekend I was “happy” to be running the Drake Relays 8k. I call it “happy” because running makes me “happy” but I find “joy” in the relationships that running has brought into my life. Anyway, during the race I had the “happiness” of running with a friend, running with some of the Dowling boys, and hearing “Go Loran” or “Go Coach Storts” from the sidelines. Yet as happy as I was, I found joy at about mile 3.5 when I glanced up and saw in the distance the familiar stride of Coach Dennis. Thirty two years ago I met Coach Dennis, he was my freshmen track coach at Clinton High School in Clinton, IA. He changed my life by believing in me, he invested in me, I looked up to him, he taught me running, he taught me life through running, he served me and hundreds of other high school boys. For all the endless hours and investment he made into my life he probably made $500 per track/cross country season. Once I caught Coach Dennis I gave him a quick pat on the back but I knew I would see him again. After all, Coach Dennis is the one who taught me how to race, so when you pass someone you pass them definitively!
Fast forward to the finish, I had to stay near the finisher’s area so I could talk to Coach Dennis. A flood of emotions came over me as I was reminiscing with Coach Dennis, I found myself saying “thank you” to him several times because I wanted him to know how much he impacted my life. His wife Sue joined us and we continued to laugh and share stories about all the stupid stuff we did as dorky high school runners. At that very moment I got it, Coach Dennis was the very first man of Stratospheric Significance in my life. He provided so much value for the little was paid (payment), plus he provided such a level of service that he impacted hundreds of lives. Because of his significance in my life I had the courage at age 45 to leave the corporate world and pursue coaching. Totally different story but inter-related….more on that at a later date.
Who is the Coach Dennis in your life? Have you gone about thanking him or her for that investment? Now on to your second piece of homework, if you are looking for more success (or significance) in your life then find a way to serve more people. It’s that simple! How about not only buying the coffee for the person behind you at Caribou (see First Law blog) but also buy a 10 cup to-go container and serve the people at your work. And serving doesn’t mean leaving the container of coffee in the break room, actually walk around and serve them coffee complete with sugar & cream. Just an idea but try it, you will like the way it feels to SERVE others!
“V” x “S” x “I”… what’s “I”?
“What you focus on is what you get.” Isn’t that so true? Focus on conflict, you get conflict. Focus on the water between the tee & green, you get the water. Focus on bad drivers on your way to work, find more bad drivers. “Ultimately, the world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated.” What about the flipside? Go looking for the best in people, and you will be amazed at how much talent, empathy, kindness, and good you will find.
Think about a recent experience at a restaurant. Outside of the quality of service, what made the dining a good or bad experience? For me, a good restaurant tries to provide a good quantity and quality for the money it takes. In other words, I want to feel that I received more (food, service) than I gave (price of meal). When this happens two things happen; I tip the wait staff BIG and more importantly I tell others about the restaurant. This restaurant owner gets the First Law of Stratospheric Success; “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”
Seems fairly easy when someone else is providing the product to you, heh? How about when you are the person that needs to provide more value than receiving in payment? Wow, now that is hard to put into action! Again, there are no simple answers to my questions, you have to think, and look for opportunities to give more value. In your work, maybe it is passing that next big prospective to a partner that can better serve the prospective client. My favorite is the “pay it forward” game while waiting in line at Caribou coffee. My order is always $2.43 for a large decaf coffee but as you drive up to the window to pay, go ahead and pay for the individual’s order behind you. Don’t do it with the hope it is only $2.43! Just pay for it, it is a great feeling, plus if you could see the expression on the next person’s face as they receive their free order, priceless! What you can not control is if that person pays for the next person’s order, and so on. But at the very least, you may have made the difference in one person’s day by giving. Even better, there are times when my kids are in the car when this happens, ”Dad, why did you do that?”, “Dad, what if the next person’s order is $42?”, “Dad, how long do you think people will pay for other people’s orders?”
So, your homework before tomorrow’s blog is to provide more value than you receive. Try it, you will like it!
A great benefit of my profession is that I get to engage with people everyday, ask probing questions, listen, ask more probing questions, listen more, ask questions that I would not have felt comfortable asking in a “business” setting….Twice on one day this week the topic of happiness came up during a workout. Once I call it just it a random event, twice within two hours not so random. My response to both individuals was pretty simple, “are we talking about happiness or joy?” To which I heard the same response, “Hmmmm, I never thought of what the difference was between happiness and joy”.
By definition, happiness is “delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing” while the definition of joy is “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation”. On the spot that was not quite the definition I spewed out. Mine was more like, happiness is a choice every minute, every situation, of everyday. As for joy, it is a state of being, it is your core, it is the thing you put your Hope in. Happiness is temporary while joy is eternal. I can be unhappy about a particular thing while still being a joy-filled person. I can be happy or unhappy with the quality of the coffee I received at Caribou (my favorite coffee shop, I am always happy with their coffee..unpaid solicitation) but at the same time know that I am blessed & loved beyond my own comprehension.
Each day we are challenged with choices; the choice of what we will eat, the choice of our attitude, the choice of loving someone (love is not a feeling it is a choice), choice of being happy, and ultimately the choice of living a joy-filled life. This weekend think about, or even better create a list of things that make you happy/unhappy. Next week we will compare that list to a joy-filled list.
Have a great weekend!
“Good Morning class!”…. “Good Morning, Coach Storts”! So, how did you do with your homework from Monday? Your assignment was was two-fold; number one was to check your own “natural” running cadence, and number two was to do a simple word problem. Your cadence? Greater than 180? Less than 170? As for Sally, in doing your math who covered more ground, or which “Sally” was “faster”? Quick-cadence Sally covered 3420 inches more in her 10 minute run, which translates to 95 yards further in 10 minutes. This may not sound like a big number but for all you 3+ hour marathoners multiple 95 yards x 21 (3.5 hour marathon). Over time that 95 yards really adds up to a faster time for longer distances!
“How does one start to change their respective run cadence?” Great question, class. There is no quick solution, it takes an individual that buys into the plan that higher cadence is better for them long term. When running our body’s impact on the ground during each foot strike is 3-5 times our body weight, landing on your heels causes all sorts of jarring force on feet, ankles, knees, hips, back… Watch the little clip here
. Going back to the question, how do I change my cadence? Practice, practice, practice…It may mean less overall miles logged but still the same amount of time logged. To learn to run Naturally you need to change the way you approach your runs. You need to say to yourself, “I want to run more efficiently, reduce the chance of injury, and enjoy running again.” If that does not sound enticing then class dismissed.
If you did say,” I want to run more efficiently and reduce my likelihood of injury”, then welcome to your Advance Placement class! My M.O. is to keep it simple, the word of the day is big, but the concept is simple. Today’s word is “proprioception”, or the body’s ability to sense the ground and immediately react by positioning and moving itself accordingly. You can not feel the ground in the big, bulky, high-cushioned running shoes on your feet. Quick cadence is all about quick feet, which is all about quickly feeling the ground at impact. Big shoes reduce the feedback from your feet due to the thickly dampened layers of foam.
Take off your shoes, really? You mean run barefoot? Yeah, there is no quicker way to feel the ground than taking off your shoes and running the way we were naturally built to run…barefoot on natural surfaces (grass, soft clay, dirt). Before you get all bent out of shape about barefoot running, I don’t mean directly moving to running barefoot on hard concrete. The first time you take off your shoes and run barefoot can be a fascinating experience for your feet, freedom of movement, and your first step in developing natural running mechanics. Without shoes your foot naturally looks for the ground by landing mid-foot, where it receives immediate feedback and transfers that feedback to your brain.
Running barefoot makes a lot of sense but so does the idea of wearing shoes. We live in a world that has hard concrete, glass, nails, and other debris. Bottom line, running barefoot is small, controllable doses will improve your natural running style. My recommendation for you is to find a safe place to run barefoot. For me, my favorite place is the infield of our local high school track. It is safe and for the most part kept extremely clean and free of debris. Start slowly, your first experience may only be 2-3 minutes of easing jogging without shoes. Run your normal number of minutes, finish the run at your safe place, slip off the shoes, and run. Remember the feedback your body immediately gives you…good feeling, bad feeling, refreshing feeling?
Caveat, barefoot running is not for all, if you have a medical condition, or your doctor said “no way” to this, listen to your doctor or your own body. If nothing else, know that there are over 7000 nerve endings in your feet, take off your shoes, walk barefoot, and enjoy the free massage!
“How does all this tie back to higher cadence?” Another great question, you are an Advance Placement class after all! Well, to quicken your cadence you need to be able to quicken your feet, to quicken your feet you need to feel the ground. When your feet feel the ground they will naturally land mid-foot, which will naturally shorten your cadence, which is the first step in increasing your cadence. Get it?
If you are really digging this information and want more then I encourage you to do some advanced reading, here are my favorite online resources:
Tune in tomorrow for running drills that will help you develop Natural Running skills. Class dismissed.