Report from TLA HQ!

I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to call this post, so it is indeed a report from TLA HQ! Technically, every post I write comes out of the headquarters of The Lifetime Athlete so I guess that’s pertinent. I’ve worked with a couple clients in Europe and South America so I can literally say I’m writing from the international headquarters of TLA 🤠!

Regardless, I thought it would be a good idea to provide an update mainly on what’s going on and and a little bit about where things are headed as we close out one year and progress toward another. There will probably be several such missives coming out but this one will deal primarily with what we’ve been up to recently. I’ll touch on some future items briefly but will save the details for another time. I think there will also be a shout out and salutation edition because well, so many of you/us deserve it. In fact, that’s where the “we” comes from. Last time I checked, since I closed my corporation 7 years ago, this company is me. But I have so many amazing clients and colleagues with whom I collaborate…it’s definitely an “us” thang.

Whether I’m writing (typing), talking on the pod, standing in front of the camera, or shaking your hand in person – I appreciate you for being a member of our community and for providing me with a job I love. It was back in the 8th grade (doesn’t quite seem like yesterday but I still remember it) when I received the school award for creative writing and I think that may be my greatest literary accolade to date. Although I’ve written several books, a number of magazine articles, and hundreds of blog posts, I’m a work in progress. I guess we all are. Or should be. I really enjoy communicating, and even though these days it’s so fun to use audio and video, the written word still holds, and forever should, a special place in the conveyance of information. So classic.

I’m not sure you’ll call me classic, but most of the time I try to be classy. That desired outcome may not be a reality on occasion…but I’m a fallible (and vulnerable) human. That was one heck of a rambling intro so I’ll cut to reflecting on the year and discussing some recent items.

This was a busy year for my enterprise at TLA. Not the kind of silly “busy-ness” that suggests near-chaotic scrambling. I’m getting too old for that nonsense anyway. You know, the hamster-wheel, washing machine condition that many people equate to high levels of virtue and morality, but really only describes relatively unproductive wheel-spinning. Like when somebody says “you keeping busy?” They mean well most of the time, but I think the best answer (and the goal) is to say “Why, no…I’m not too busy but I’m extremely productive, successful, and happy.” I’m careful who I might say that to because an injection of piss-off is not what I’m shooting for. But yea, there’s been a lot going on. I’ve been challenged a lot and I’ve made some breakthroughs for sure. Sometimes for me it’s just been figuring out where to put my relatively abundant energy. 

My online coaching services are where I put a lot of my energy and enthusiasm. This is rightly so because the clients with which I engage deserve (and get) the best service I have to offer. I’m probably equal parts proud and humble about the system I’ve developed over the years. I keep learning and growing but I’m also confident that the clients have an outstanding user experience. Those services exist under the umbrella of human performance that has covered me since 1984. You could say I wear several hats as a performance specialist, a physical therapist, and a health educator – but to me they are really all the same hat – human optimization. In the coaching relationships I mainly do 3 things which are helping clients to:

  • Get and stay pain free.
  • Become lean and healthy.
  • Smash performance goals.

Those elements all fit together and their interdependence has become so clear. You can’t ignore any one of them and you can’t separate them. It’s true across the lifespan and this is undeniably evidence-based. 

What’s really been significant for me this year pertains to a word I just mentioned…relationships. That’s what it’s all about. I’ve known this for a very long time but I’ve come to appreciate it immensely in 2022. Being a coach is a huge responsibility. Sure, being good at movement analysis, program design, and athlete guidance is critical. But more importantly, deep relationships with other humans centered in caring and respect are what it’s all about. Many people have trusted me to be a part of their lives and I’ve honored and valued that to the greatest degree.

The Training Tribe has continued to be a source of joy. Through T2, I’ve gotten to know some amazing, like-minded people from around the country. Those who share a zest for learning and living, and who don’t need to be convinced that athletic longevity is one of the major secrets to life success and satisfaction. They’ve embraced the concept of balanced athleticism, an annual training plan using the principles of seasonality, and an online platform which facilitates education and community. I love putting together the programming and I look forward to seeing this model evolve further. 

The online courses and programs, of which I’ve had a number over the years, will be coming back out in 2023. Several of the popular ones, such as Effortless Weight Loss, The Healthy Workstation, and Developing an Online Coaching and PT Practice, will return with version 2.0’s. Without giving too much away, there will also be several courses centered around specific types of training programs, which audience and community members have requested. And of course, Fit for the Field, the conditioning system for backcountry hunters and mountain athletes, will be back in its latest iteration for the spring and summer. This year we’ll be adding a live conference in addition to our online summit and weekly team meetings.

Speaking of the last topic, the backcountry hunting community has been nothing short of sensational in embracing and utilizing my products and services. I’ve coached, trained, and rehabbed a bunch of hunters – more this year than ever, and it’s been great to interact with folks who take their sport, passion, and lifestyle so seriously. I celebrate athletes of every type, age, and ability, but I recognize the hunter as human history’s original athlete (the warrior was second). Modern backcountry hunters are the reincarnation of that beast and I’m loving working with them as much as they are benefitting from my experience and skills.

My major writing project has taken fits and starts for about a decade. I’ve been researching this concept of the athletic avenue into longevity and quality of life and it’s taken many turns. I’ve got files upon files of notes, text, ideas, and observations. I think I finally see what I want to say about that topic, and I’m glad it has taken such a long time. I’ve had a lot of bias (still have some), been wrong on a number of things, and gained a perspective that only now I think is worth sharing. No crazy talk here, but we’ll see if I can produce something in the coming year that can get a worthwhile message out there. I think someone famous said “It’s not about being right…it’s about seeking the truth.” That resonates with me and the book (if and when) will be a mix of “we’re pretty sure this might be true right now based on what we know as the best evidence available but here’s what I think since I’m allowed to share my observations and opinions.” Or something like that.

The personal athletic journey that I’ve been on has elements of humor and acceptance as well as some determination and accomplishment. I experienced a couple of setbacks over late 2021 and early 2022. As I was recovering from my shoulder reconstruction and working on rehab I also managed to sustain a relatively minor knee injury. All that is doing pretty well right now but I had literally 6 months where I was fairly limited with the whole train/play/compete thing and was basically just trying to be active, and healthy as I rehabbed the old body. Despite my best efforts there was some deconditioning and weight gain, but I’ve got that turned around now. Honestly, it’s been a year of hard work and dedication and I’m just now beginning to feel like I’m at a place where I’m moving well and ready to set and chase some goals for next year. Not sure what that is yet, but as it takes shape I’ll probably report on it here. We are all in this together and it’s good to know none of us are alone with these struggles. It makes it easier to accomplish goals and to share in the successes, whether they are yours or someone else’s.

So that’s a lot of what’s been going on. I didn’t say too much about what’s coming up but once a few things solidify, I’ll issue the appropriate diatribe. Thank you for joining me and I’d love to hear how your year has gone and what you foresee in your future. Cheers!

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