Adapt and reach your goal at the top of the mountain

Imagine you are climbing a mountain. This mountain not only changes elevations, but has several valleys and rough terrain, unknown animals roaming about and could push you past your limit. However, there is a remarkable reward awaiting you at the peak.

Smoky Mountains

It is intimidating. It requires advanced preparation and training. It is something only you can determine is worth the discipline, focus and tribulations to see it through. Are you up for it?

New Zealand (I think Roys Peak)

Have you ever set a goal so lofty it seems at the peak of a mountain? I have not set a goal to climb a mountain exactly, although I’ve had the opportunity to hike a few different mountain ranges in the U.S. and internationally. As you can see above, the beauty in the Smoky Mountains and Roys Peak in New Zealand were well worth the climb for the views.

Today, another mountain was introduced to me: John Meadows of Mountain Dogs Diet. On Saturday, Oct. 29 at the Elite FTS S4 Compound, I joined approximately 60 other powerlifting and bodybuilding enthusiasts for an UGSS event, including a workout and seminar with John Meadows, Dave Tate and other high caliber athletes.

As I’ve said before, I’ll say it again. The best way I have found to improve myself is to be surrounded by people better than me. This goes to all aspects of my life. Within the fitness industry, this was another opportunity to learn and train so I can develop and ultimately share my experience with others.

Going into the gym, I knew I wanted to do a leg day workout. However, I had nothing scripted and wanted to go with the flow. That was until I started talking to a physique competitor named Julia, who mentioned she would be training legs and invited me to join. I’m always up for a challenge. However, maybe I did not quite think out accepting her offer. She is in peak weak for a bodybuilding show next weekend.


Needless to say, it was a brutal workout. However, it was gratifying. I know I’ll be sore for a bit but that kind of push to climb the mountain made me feel inspired. It is not every day you get the chance to train with a professional bodybuilder, let alone one with many years of industry experience and national awards. Since I usually train alone, it’s a whole new dynamic with someone physically there to push me harder than I think I can go. This is one element that makes personal trainers and coaches that much more valuable. My coach and friend Alycia was also there, pushing me harder. Naturally, us three had to get a new photo. The last one we had was from 2014 at Ohio State BarBELLES seminar.

Alycia, me and Julia at the end of the UGSS event.

After the training [while I caught my breath and tried to cure an acute headache], John presented about his experiences and methods for training and nutrition. I always enjoy hearing other people’s stories and perspectives. Listening to John and later, Dave Tate, discussing where the industry has been and where it is going, motivate me to work hard, focus on goals and adapt.


Just like climbing a mountain, you must adapt for any goal. Your mind and body become lazy. It is proof you are more knowledgeable, smarter or stronger. If you don’t take time to put thought and effort into becoming better, you may stay stagnant at that level. Some people are OK with that. I’m not… after reading this, are you?

As Dave shared in closing, we each must develop our own philosophy and goals. Focus on them and don’t let others try to take your time you’ve committed to your values. Ultimately, you are in control. Choose your mountain and climb.

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