I had an incredible opportunity a few weeks ago to complete my second endurance challenge called 29029 Everesting, where we take over a ski mountain, and you have 36 hours to climb the height of Mt. Everest. You climb up, gondola down, and repeat until you reach 29,029 feet, the height of Mount Everest. I’ve been thinking about some of the lessons from the mountain. I planned to share this super motivational post about my takeaways, but I felt low, negative, and flat last week. Life threw me overwhelming and stressful situations that triggered my anxiety. And so, I found that I needed my own lessons from 29029 to pivot and move past “the grey.”
One of the reasons why I started the Keep It Real with Amy Talk is to bring authenticity and a “keep it real” vibe around nutrition and overall health and well-being topics. We all have seasons of stress and overwhelm, which can often lead to feeling tired, negative, and alone. Add social media to the mix, and it can make you feel like everybody has it together but you (so not true!). I think we need to amplify and turn up the dial on these conversations. I thought I would keep it real here and share a few lessons from 29029 and how they applied to my own situations. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on how you move through these seasons and shift your mindset.
Lessons from the Mountain
Everything is temporary.
During the first few ascents of 29029, the weather was miserable. The third ascent in particular. I got rained, sleeted, and snowed on. I thought I would never be able to finish. What choice did I have? I guess I could have quit, but given how long I trained and traveled, that option was off the table. I decided to not think and just put one foot in front of the other. I put my head down and took one small step and then another. One ascent later, the rain stopped, the clouds broke, and it was a completely different (and better) situation. Recently, I had a very stressful situation with one of my children. There were mean things said and the mom guilt was fierce! It was hard and even a little bit heartbreaking. I had some comfort in remembering that everything is temporary. We turned the page, learned from it, and moved on.
You can rewrite the story.
I believe we are the stories we tell ourselves, and we have the power to rewrite them. During 29029, I had an opportunity to climb with someone I had just met. We hit aid station #3; in my mind, this aid station meant we were almost done with the ascent, and it was smooth sailing up to the top. My new friend said, “Man, I’m glad we’re hooking up here because this is the hardest part of the hike.” And I thought to myself, hmm, I didn’t think this was a hard stretch?! And wouldn’t you know it, that part of the ascent and for the next 2, were brutal! That part of the climb became the most challenging part for me. After some time, I thought to myself, I have to fix this, so I made it my mission to change it up. I re-engineered my routine from aid station #3 on up by switching up my food, playlist, mantra, etc…whatever I could think of! I kept asking myself, what do I have control over so I can start thinking and feeling differently? I’m reminded that our thoughts are not fixed. We have the opportunity to rewrite our own stories. As I found myself in this recent grey space, I turned to tactics that helped keep me focused on taking positive action. My go-to strategy is to identify three promises I will make daily around mindset, activity, and nutrition. These are small and achievable goals. This video details my commitments, but the key is to make the goals tiny and doable. The whole idea is you can check the boxes and keep promises to yourself. When you keep promises to yourself, you build confidence. Once you get a streak of a couple of days, you create momentum.
I hope these ideas may help you to pivot off of a challenging moment or season. I would love to keep curating ideas so share with me what’s working or other thoughts and ideas you have. Thank you and let’s keep this conversation going…
Curious about other ways to boost your mood? Check out these 5 tips for nutrition and mental health.