Preparing the Fields

I am sometimes conflicted inside as to the purpose for what I’m doing.  I say conflicted – it’s not a battle that rages on inside but rather a small question mark in the back of my mind.  I’m fairly grounded in my “Why” and am intentional in my “What” and “How”.  As I enter into some new endeavor – whether it be a new career, coaching my kids sports teams, or attending a business appointment, I pray a prayer for guidance and wisdom.   It goes something like this:  “God, if it is your will, please guide me to do my very best and bring you glory to You in what I’m about to do.”  This has treated me well, though there’s often a small lingering wonder whether or not I’m on the right track.  Sometimes (like when I left a 10 year career and business I’d built up), the answer and guidance seems loud and clear.  Other times, I wonder, waiting for direction.

 

This morning I was listening to Dr Kevin Elko’s podcast “The Monday Morning Cup of Inspiration” and he told the simple parable about faith that I’ve heard many times before.  “Two men prayed for rain and an abundant harvest.  One went out to prepare the fields for what was to come.”  While I’ve heard this story since I was a kid in Sunday School, it struck me a little differently today.  It reminded me that God created me (and each of us) with a purpose.  He gave us our own unique gifts.  He gave us our own special personalities, likes and talents.  Our opportunity is to go use those talents to our very best ability, with the intention on bringing Him glory and modeling the tenants of our faith in all we do.  Our faith is shown not when we sit back and “wait for a sign that we’re on the right track” but rather to move forward boldly with this intent to bring glory.  He’ll always guide us when we’re off track.  But rather than waiting around for “a sign”, I’ll choose to step forward with confidence and humility today, open to future guidance down the road.

Posted in faith

Stepping Into Your Edge

One topic I hear mentioned often in my coaching is fear.  Fear of changing careers.  Fear of not making enough money.  Fear of what others might think.  Fear of what my choices might lead to in the future.  These are all legitimate fears and concerns.  I know because I too face them every day.  Our opportunity to breakthrough in our lives comes from harnessing fear.  I like to look at it from the lens of where our fears and our excitement overlap.  Where we’re scared, anxious, have butterflies…yet also have an excitement and feeling of being alive.  Where these two come together is what is referred to as The Edge.  This is what pushes us out of our comfort zone and into an area of growth.
ReeseOverEdgeThis past weekend I took my daughter Reese climbing in the mountains.  At 9, she has been climbing for a few years, but has never rappelled (descending down the rope off a cliff).  She said she wanted to try.  After I got her rigged up in her harness and rope, I instructed her on what to do…keep her right hand on the rope, slowly move back toward the edge, lean back over the cliff, and begin walking down it.  She paused at the cliff edge, and for a minute I wasn’t sure she’d go.  Then she took the next step and before we knew it, she was rappelling down!  At the bottom she was ecstatic and screamed “I wanna do that again!”  Before the end of the day she was “free rappelling” down overhangs without her feet on the rock, shouting to her little brother “Jack, you’ve got to try this!”reese_rappelling

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Posted in blog, overcoming obstacles

Our Deepest Fears…

TheCutoff_UghIt’s been a little over a month since Leadville.   I’m still processing all that went into that day and all the thoughts, feelings, emotions and desires that came out of it.  Bottom line, I raced my heart out and after 50 excruciatingly painful miles, I arrived at the Winfield 50 mile cutoff 15 minutes late.  They cut my race bracelet, and I sat down in a chair, absorbing the myriad of emotions that sat with me.  Mostly, I just focused on how incredibly good it felt to sit in that chair after 14 hours and 15 minutes of perpetual motion and mental strain from the constant pain.

TwinLakesBlistersSince then I’ve entertained thoughts such as I wish I’d been a little faster, what if I’d cut 20-30 more pounds, would that have changed things?, I’m proud of my effort, I left it all on the course… and so on.  When it comes right down to it, I am proud of my effort.  Yes, I could have done some things differently leading up to the race, though that is all in the past.  I cannot change it.  So I choose to focus on the wild and amazing experience that Leadville was.  I focus on the fact that I attempted something extraordinary.  And you know what, running 50 miles at over 10,000′ is pretty extraordinary in my book. Success to me is so much about the intention, the journey, the stepping into the arena when our deepest fears say to stay hidden and play small. Read more ›

Posted in blog

Incessant Focus on What I Want

PU052714_FlatironsYesterday I ran with my running coach, Joe Grant and my client, Scott Richards to the top of Green Mountain above the Flatirons in Boulder.  It was an epic run, with an early start, golden hues on the majestic rocks above us, and a scene straight out of Monty Python as an angry grouse chased us up the trail, pecking at my legs.  I finished the run after 2700′ of climbing… feeling elated, and was so excited for our adventure through the San Juans in July and my Leadville 100 run in August.

Then this afternoon I went out for a 3 hour run to back up yesterday’s strong effort.  It sucked.  I shuffled along, legs aching, body sore, and my mind wandering.  After the three hours were up, I hobbled home asking myself “How on earth am I going to run 100 miles when my legs are screaming after 14 or so today?”  This evening as I’ve been typing up my pacing plan for the race I’ve been hit with the stark reality that 100 miles will be a long trip no matter how you look at it.  My doubts have been creeping in, causing a twinge of early race anxiety. Read more ›

Posted in blog, overcoming obstacles

Broken, Battered, and Certain of God’s Plan

John Ramstead shouldJohnRamsteadPhoto not have lived.  And if not dead, then he should be a quadriplegic.  After a horse riding accident that broke 20 bones in his face and skull, broke his back in three places, collapsed his lung, broke 4 ribs, and left him blind in one eye, he has survived, thrived, and is changing lives with his testimony.  You see, as John lay in the pasture, broken and dying, he received a visit from God, who assured him by saying “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called, according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)  It was at that moment that all pain left his body and he knew that he would be OK.

Listen to John’s testimony here and witness one of the most powerful stories about survival, overcoming adversity, and faith that you will ever hear.  Please also visit his website at www.ramsteadgroup.com to read more and hear more interviews.

After listening to the audio, ask yourself:

What has God called you to do?

How deeply do you love God?

What doubts do you have about your ability to do your work?

Then consider:  How could you have any doubts about your ability if it is God who gave you the gifts and talents you embody?

** If interested in follow up stories on John and his experience, as well as other thought provoking and inspirational stories, please subscribe to this blog to the right.  I will only send out articles on occasion when there is something meaningful to share.  Thanks, Brad

Posted in blog, inspiration, overcoming obstacles

Failure. Persistence. Commitment. (Part One)

How do you react when 3 months of planning for a project you’re deeply passionate about leads to an abdominal failure?

Two days ago I led an evening retreat of 5 people at Mt Falcon Park in Morrison Colorado.  The goal was to bring together a group of like minded endurance junkies that desired to identify a running project that we design together (think Rim-Rim-Rim of the Grand Canyon or a trek across Zion National Park), train over the course of 6 months, and each explore how we can get more from life by living in an energized, conscious, committed way.

After three months of planning and untold conversations, the day arrived to launch the project.  As I arose from bed, I saw my iPhone blinking with new messages.

I fully expected to join you tonight but kids activities have me busy, busy busy!  Have fun! 

My knee is sore.  Not going to make it.  Have fun!

And at least three that said Work is just crazy.  It has me buried.  No way I can make the run.  I hope you have fun!

Crap.  I’d invested dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars for this evening, and had dreams of 7-10 people signing up for the project.  My list was dwindling. Read more ›

Posted in blog, overcoming obstacles

Choosing Myself

Hope_Pass_WebI’m reading a cool book by James Altucher called “Choose Yourself”.  It’s a bit intense and quite “raw”, but it strikes a chord with me.  The premise (I’m about 6 chapters in) is something like this:  Most people go through life living up to the expectations of others.  Most people have long ago checked out and are unconsciously drifting through life.  Most people are merely trying to please others so as to not “rock the boat” or cause disagreement.  Yet the only person that is guaranteed to be able to look out for your best interest is you.  You are the only one who can decide what is truly best for you.  And you are the only one that can design a life that you can be passionate about and proud of. Read more ›

Posted in blog, goals