Active Recovery

I’m working on Active Recovery in my personal life as well as my professional life.

As a mountain biker, this is a term used to define the continuous momentum after a hard push or steep incline (aka a long slog). Honing this skill takes practice, mental toughness and a tenacity for improvement. Even when my lungs are burning, my legs are shaking and my mind is screaming to take a break.

I’ve learned though, the amount of energy needed to get going after I allow myself to stop (or in some recent cases, throw down my bike in defeat) isn’t worth the small amount of rest. I’ve realized gathering up the momentum to get back on the bike, start from a stand-still, overcome the mental block of having just completely stopped, just isn’t worth it. If I can get past the initial urge to quit, to slow my pedaling, shift into a lowest gear instead of hopping off my bike, concentrate on my breathing to slow my heart rate, keep my mind focused on moving forward, all while continuing to pedal, I am in much better shape, both physically and mentally.

Active recovery applies to any strenuous, tough, or arduous life task and something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately with so many uncertainties, so many things on my plate. It can be overwhelming at times, often causing my to-do-list to go out the window, the wheels in my head to start spinning in no particular direction and the actual accomplishing of tasks to flee the scene. Scattered is the state I have found myself in over the past few weeks and active recovery is something I’m conciously working on.

It’s ok to slow down, and can be beneficial after a hard push towards something. To allow yourself to focus on the goal at hand, not every little thing you need to accomplish, has helped. But I’ve realized that I need to just keep pedaling, no matter how slow, no matter how small the task is or how long I still have to climb. Concentrate on my breathing, keep my mind focused on the positive outcome I want and I move forward.

And dang, the summit is almost always worth it.

Wild Wild West: Our Utah Ski Adventure

(To note: our trip took place in late January, only a month before the Coronavirus shut down mountains, towns, many businesses and drastically changed our lives….so feel extremely lucky to have had this time!)

Living out west, deciding to head where the mountains were in reach, has been one of the best decisions we have ever made.  The joy that we both get, during all seasons, really can’t be matched and wouldn’t be possible had we not decided to take a leap of faith and pick up our life to move to Colorado. In the winter, we find ourselves giddy each time a forecast calls for the fluffy white stuff and for the past two years have bought the Ikon pass, which allows us to adventure to other mountain towns all over the state and country to explore. This year, our beloved ski crew decided to head to the mountains of Utah, where several mountains we had never experienced beckoned. We found a fabulous home at the base of Brighton ski resort to rent for the first half of our trip, where 13 of our closest friends would snuggle in to mountain living for the weekend. Mike and I had decided to extend our stay for 11 days – as I would be able to work from wherever and our Investment property was finished. During the middle of the week, I had planned to stay with a long-time friend who lived in Park City, and then a second fleet of friends would head out for another long weekend. Our mountain adventure would be epic!

Mike and I left Denver on a Thursday, early afternoon to head to Brighton, where we’d meet 13 of our closest friends. Our buddy Zach, was heading out from the east coast to ski with our crew, so we scooped him up from the airport, stayed in Salt city for the night (experiencing some of the Utah bar scene at Squatters Pub). The next morning, we had continental breakfast and fresh POW for breakfast at Alta. This mountain, with it’s jagged peaks, steep chutes, plush trees with deep, deep powder between, could not have promised more. There’s really something to experiencing a brand new mountain, one you’ve never set skis on, that amplifies your excitement, gets your adrenaline flowing. Especially with fresh snow to float around on. Our #powningtown group explored the steep, steep terrain, zigged through the trees and lapped the zero line resort all afternoon, smiles permanently fixed on our faces!

We found our way to Brighton, where our house (The Great Western) sat at the base of the mountain, for a ski in ski out treat. It wasn’t quite time to check in yet, so we headed to Molly Green’s, the Apres A-Frame mountain bar. Complete with a moose-head and waitresses with dreads, we got some beers and cheers’ed to an amazing first day. At 4pm on the dot we went over to the house to check out the digs. Literally a 30 second drive over to the house, the ski in ski out feature was super clutch! Within 30 minutes of us arriving, the rest of our Colorado crew started showing up, piling their ski gear, food and lots and lots of beer into our mountain chalet. The weekend had officially started!

That night, we feasted on a soyrizo veggie bake, got silly over a game of fishbowl & discussed which slopes we’d slay in the morning. Solitude won out and we all agreed to get up and at em’ around 8 to hit it. I had breakfast duty, so as soon as I awoke, threw in my pre-made egg bake and we hit it. The crew walked over to the Millie D lift where we were able to ski all the way from Brighton over to Solitude, where the blue bird skies and great snow kept us smiling all day. Mid-afternoon, we all met up at the lodge where snacks and beers were drank. There were 13 of us, so it was pretty impressive that for the majority of the day, we all stayed and skied together. The terrain was extremely impressive, something for everyone, and the terrain was as aggressive as you wanted it, with shoots, bumps and steeps. An awesome day had by all, with amazing weather. By early afternoon, Mike, Zach and I decided to call it and head back for some apres & hot tub goodness.

The next day we awoke early and got out in the Wasatch mountains for some back country goodness with a good friend from back east. He had lived in Utah for the past 15 years and knew the area well, plus had been a guide. Utah had very different canyons with parking lots for all the back country fanatics. We parked, booted up, and crossed the street to Mill D North Fork trail. When we got to a fork in the path, we chose to go the route less traveled and wow, it was a slick boot packed trail, that gave us a run for our money with our AT gear. Finally, we found the trail that shot up the mountain, straight up it seemed like, to extraordinary views.  The day was perfect, amazing blue-bird skies, a steep approach (about 2,000 feet of vert) and an awesome crew. In total, we got 5.35 miles in and the pow was fluffy and light. After heading back to the car, we headed to The Silver Fork Lodge and Restaurant, where beers were drank and the biggest plate of nachos were eaten.

That evening we were pretty beat, so headed to the house to hot tub, headed to the Brighton Store to check out the goods, then drank a few before hitting the hay early. The next morning, we awoke to snow, so headed into Brighton where we had fresh trees all day! I had never been to Brighton and the mountain didn’t disappoint. That night we went back to the Silverfork Lodge for this first crew’s last meal together before most headed out. It was a beautiful evening, with great friends and good food!

The next day, I had to work, so we headed to Park City where we spent the next few days with a buddy of mine who I’d been friends with since middle school. That night he took us on a night skin up Deer Valley Resort, where he told us casually ‘to duck if we saw a cat’. Yeah, it was super cool! We skinned up, trying to stay close to him (he’s fast AF!) and found ourselves at a fort tucked into a tree halfway up a run. A buddy of Patterson had built it years ago, spent every Sunday there, and it was a cherished place. Patterson fired up the small stove and we cheersed to one of the coolest dinners I’ve ever had! The night got better when after dinner we skied down into a posh lodge in Deer Valley and listened to a free concert with Young the Giant. Epic night in Park City!

The next two days were uneventful for me, as I worked, while Mike skied Deer Valley – although we did have a great dinner with Patterson’s little girl. We said our goodbyes and thank yous for letting us crash and headed into Salt Lake to finish out the weekend with the second crew! We rented a house in Salt Lake, about 40 minutes from the slopes, and it was super cute with a hot tub. And the girls who drove out had brought Winnie!!

Next few days were bluebird, full of great fun (no fresh snow) and lots of laughs. I even got to see my cousin and his kids for dinner one last time.

Looking back, now in May 2020, with the ski season cut short, this trip has new meaning to me and I appreciate the time I spent in the beautiful mountains, with the best ski crew ever. Cheers to skiing in 2021!

2020: My Year of Focused Motion

 

Happy New Year! Mike and I brought in the New Year as we have the past several years: In the back-country trails of Colorado, on skiis, in the snowy quiet. Brainard Lake was the perfect skin in-skin out location, a trail that was flowy and quiet, where we both could reflect on the beauty around us and the year (and decade) coming to an end. Last year  was an epic one, in every sense, and we accomplished so much – together in our business, and personally (check out my highlights of 2019). 

Happy New Year from the Back Country

When looking back on past years, the goals I’ve made, plans I’ve set up for myself, I realized there were some fundamental faults with them. First, many of my past goals were broad statements, without deadlines or quantifiable metrics around them. (Here are my 2018 Intentions – Here are the 2017 Goals – Here are 2016 Goals) Don’t get me wrong, the previous bars I’ve set have guided me, helped steer me towards greater, albeit a lazy river kind of steering. Yes, I was still moving, but with a broad focus and not really a  sense of urgency. Now, not all of my previous goals have been so lackadaisical, in fact many have been extremely audacious and bold….and I’ve been able to accomplish them! Hell, last year’s financial goals set me on FIRE for a life I get to control, a life that will be full of meaning and purpose.

So this year, with the help of my Money Minded Mavens Financial Group, I’ve gotten very specific with my goals, the why behind them, and the metrics around completing them. I’ve focused on the important areas of my life, the areas I value the most and want to have the most movement. One of the things our group gave as ‘food for thought’ was to think about a word that would help summarize what you want to manifest in the coming year, a word that will motivate and propel. A word that would steer you forward during times of questioning or doubt or lulls, when things aren’t uber exciting.

Having gone through multiple exercises, listening to a number of podcasts around goals, I came up with the following action plan for 2020. Cheers to an amazing year!

My Word: Focused Motion 

Ok, so it’s two words…but I need them both for the big year ahead! Focused motion speaks to how I want to achieve my goals this year. I have huge goals and the only way they’ll be accomplished, is by focusing in on my priorities, high ROI goals, clearing distractions, and moving forward. Many things I want to get done this year require small amounts of planning but will require huge focus in one area. Without focused motion, my plans are just scattered dreams! Anytime I become scattered, or pulled in a different direction, or feel like I’m aimlessly drifting along, I will come back to focused motion and settle back into the rhythm of my goals. Paula Pant says that every choice that you make is a trade off against something else….your time, your energy, your money. This year I want to be extra mindful of where I’m putting my focus. 

Business 

I have three major business goals for Happy Homes, with an action plan that will help me achieve them.

    • Purchase another Rental Property by end of year (2020)
    • Get Zephyr rented by 3/1/2020 
    • Get my real estate license and start setting up my next steps by 5/2020
    • Action plan:
      • Set up a monthly business meeting, where Mike and I sit down and discuss our business, what’s working, what’s not, expenses…you know, all the good stuff.
      • Complete 3 real estate classes a week to complete the 168 hours of classes before taking the real estate exam

Financial Goals

I won’t reveal all of my financial goals (booooring) but I do have a few things I’ve been doing that I’ll carry over into 2020.

  • Continue to track expenses
  • Save an extra $100-$300 a month
  • Action plan:
    • Input spend on the 30th of each month
    • Try to drink less during the week, eat out less, be extremely mindful of where my money goes each month (especially because we have some big plans in the coming months!)

Family 

The past few years, both Mike and I have spent great amounts of time with family and I’d like to spend even more time with our family this year, be mindful of the precious time I get with them.

  • Put together a will by the end of 2020
  • See my family once a month. With my taking real estate classes, adding an extra 12-15 hours of studying to my week, this will be tough, but think it’s important

Fitness 

This area is crucial to my success as there are so many adventures I want to do in the coming years that will require strength, endurance and can-do. That means putting in the work now. Plus, being physical every day helps decompress, focus and keeps me energized.

    • Continue to strength train once a week at least and log  it in Strava 
    • Be outside, active, as much as possible – I know goals should be specific, but this one is built into my DNA, so I’ll use the metrics from last year as benchmarks.
    • Action Plan: Beat my stats from last year & schedule a strength training class once a week. 
      • Last years stats
        • Bike: 225 miles
        • Run: 22 miles 
        • Hiked 148 miles
        • Back Country Skied 30 miles 
        • Walked 123 miles

Mindfulness

Live more meaningful around that which brings me peace and calm. Being mindful of the thoughts and 

      • Do 15 min of yoga a day – track via strava 
      • Journal daily – I created a journal based off of one a girlfriend uses, that prompts questions, has weekly goals, areas to reflect on and celebrate. I started December 31st and I’ve loved it thus far. 
      • Assign a day for myself, to do something new, something that brings me mountains of joy  

Friends & Fun  

This area doesn’t need much work, as the crew I’ve found in Colorado so aligns with my soul, it’s unreal! But, I do have some goals around strengthening these relationships, as there are so many areas my friends and I see eye-to-eye on, I’d like to invite them to be accountability buddies. If you’re interested in this concept, here’s a great podcast about accountability buddies. Some of these goals will need to be implemented in the next quarter of the year, as I’m laser focused on my real estate license right now, but they are on my mind for this year.

      • Get an accountability buddy and schedule time to meet with them.(Some of these are already in place!)
        • Writing/Business work/learning – Aaron 
        • Guitar – Mark, Ryan, Matt  (1X a month) – Wednesdays 
        • Physical – Stacia/Amy – go to Motion Fitness – up my stats from last year 
        • Financial – Money Minded Mavens (1X a month)
        • Romantic – need a date night once a week – with zero tv/something new/romantic we can do together – Puzzles, Walks, make dinner together, ski day/skin, Play in Denver
      • Plan an international trip for my 40th – this is a big one, and there are a ton of places on the list! I’d like to have our plane tickets sorted by May – so the fun of planning can commence!

So, those are the big goals – when I boil them down there are 14 – too many to focus on for this first quarter of the year – so I’m focusing on my business, fitness, family, mindfulness to start the year. Michael Hyatt, a wonderful resource and thought leader around this space, states you shouldn’t have more than 10 goals at a time – it’s just not feasible to concentrate on all of them at once. His advice is to have a goal queue, that when you finish one, you can add another. I think this is a great way to outline when you’ll have the capacity to actually work on what’s most important.

Have any goals this year? Would love to hear about them – and your action plan around completing them!

Cheers to an amazing 2020!