My wife runs a hot yoga studio here in the Rocky Mountains. As a self-appointed member of her support staff (and we have an incredible staff), I’ve found the most meaningful contribution I can provide to the operation is to shuffle through the snow, warm up the car, and act as chauffeur to the studio in the predawn hours.
Dawn in the mountains is a beautiful thing; so quiet, peaceful, majestic. It can also be cold as hell. Living in the Rockies is a dream come true for yours truly but I’m also human, and waking up before dawn several days a week to warm up an internal combustion icicle carries a unique set of challenges both mental and physical.
Recently a cold front moved through the valley and the task was considerably elevated. The thermometer in our vehicle read 13 below zero (I still maintain this was conservative). Dodging snow plows as I peered through the small gap in the windshield that wasn’t frozen, my inner monologue secretly pined for a heated garage - a heated steering wheel at the very least. As we pulled up to the studio I noticed two things: the icy vapor of breath from one of our members as he awaited our arrival, and the fact that he was sitting on a bike. As in a bicycle - you know, with pedals - in the dark hours before dawn in temperatures well below zero. No doubt seeing the astonishment on our faces, his response was a genial smile and shrug: “It’s just cold, that’s all. Once you move past that it’s no big deal.” As we trudged up the stairs my wife softly remarked, “I guess it’s not that big of a surprise: he IS an Olympian.” Gut check received and catalogued.
I have always admired Olympians. As a child the admiration was segmented primarily to their athletic prowess, however as an adult it is their discipline, inner drive, and mental fortitude that I find so inspiring. Toiling in relative obscurity for the better part of four years for a mere moment of glory requires a work ethic so far beyond what many of us can imagine. Physical talents aside, it is the mental makeup of these individuals that empowers them to transcend from “really good” to world class.
Karamojo was founded on the principle that all of us have that wild and unconquerable spirit within us; it is only when we truly let go and embrace the unknown that it is awakened. As humans we thrive on adversity - it must be courted as opposed to avoided. Olympians like the ones at my wife’s studio already understand this, and it is a driving factor of their success.
Your aspirations may not be Olympic in their magnitude, but we all have goals, milestones and life changes we’d like to achieve and surpass - it is ironically our desire to remain comfortable that stands in the way of our own success.
There are a million reasons not to do something, and if given the opportunity our survival instinct relegates our path to that of least resistance. Only by stepping into the fire can we begin to fathom our full capabilities. We ALL have that fire within us, eagerly waiting to be primed and stoked.
Plenty of obstacles stand between you and your dreams - do your level best to never count yourself among them.