This blog is dedicated to our very own Andrea Daigle who epitomizes what it truly means to be BADASS!!
The word BADASS flat out grabs my goat. I HATE IT! I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe because it’s thrown around so often today on social media that everybody thinks they belong in the “BADASS” category.
Here’s the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts. Those people that truly are “BADASSES” never use that word and would never class themselves as one. They hide under the veil of humility. They are silent warriors. Why? Because people who embody what an ACTUAL “badass” is, are always looking to improve; constantly working on their weaknesses; trying to obtain mastery of their chosen profession/passion/pastime; ultimately to try and become the best version of themselves possible.
We all post photos of ourselves doing our most “BADASS” things so we can be viewed in the eyes of others as being such. I’ll be the first to admit that I too am guilty of this, but If you step back and truly analyze why we do that, the deep dark truth is that we are inflating our own ego. This is the complete opposite of what it means to be a “BADASS”. We inflate our ego to temporarily silence our insecurities.
I first met Andrea back in October 2017 when she was introduced to our strength and conditioning program by another client of ours, Dr. Holly Wyatt, who is the medical expert of ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss, author of State of Slim, Obesity Researcher at CU Anschutz Health & Wellness Center and physician.
Andrea’s competitive spirit was always present, but in the beginning it lay under a heavy burden of doubt and insecurity. Since our introduction, she has lost over 70 Lbs, became a nationally ranked Concept 2 rower for 1000m distance (33rd in the country 2018), is currently training to run her first half marathon (she couldn’t run one unbroken mile when we first met) and countless other personal goals that are too long to list here. She has not missed one training session in 12 months. NOT ONE!! That type of discipline/drive is hard to find and even harder to maintain.
The purpose of this rant is to tell you that you will not find her basking in the glory of her achievements or posting about them on Instagram. She tightens up her britches and gets to work on jumping over (or smashing through) the next hurdle. She will be the first to tell you that she still has “a way to go”. Every day for her is a battle so a lifetime means that she is at war and as Plato wrote, “only the dead will see the end of the war”. She, like many of us, are in the thick of it for the long haul.
We are bombarded by mainstream media of stories that highlights the achievements of the human spirit over adversity. I love these stories, but much like quotations I feel like they have lost their punch and I for one have regrettably become a little jaded by them. So why am I writing this? It’s because I know and am intimate with her struggle. I know that her body feels broken every time she shows up at the gym. I know that she still doubts her ability. I know how she feels when the alarm goes off at that ungodly hour and reminds her that pain is in her immediate future. There is nothing pretty or emotionally uplifting about this process. It is an acidic environment that can only be matched and overcome by one’s power of will and desire to be better. We celebrate (and post about) the big achievements, but it’s what goes on in the background, the blood, sweat, tears and the grind of putting in the work for little or no recognition when nobody is watching that provides the foundation for said achievements. Andrea does this day in and day out without a hint of complaint (ok, maybe there’s a little complaining). Up until now, she has received zero recognition from me for her achievements, which, before you criticize, is by design.
Andrea, you are the embodiment of what I class as a badass. Take the compliment, because I know you will down play it and also because you will never hear those words come out of my mouth ever again J.
Keep forging ahead and seek to find the best version of yourself. Keep running your own race and keep inspiring others by letting your actions speak louder than words. They say the pen is mightier that the sword. This was true before the introduction of the internet. Authenticity and leading by example is going the way of the dinosaur, but it trumps the power of the pen every time in the current social climate..including this blog.
Our journey together thus far has been my privilege.
I have recently started a new endeavor in life which requires my re-entry into the world of academia. In one of my classes a very interesting question was posed for our comment; if you had the choice of testing for a genetic disorder known as Huntington’s Chorea and this genetic test would let you know with 100% certainty you would contract this disease, would you get the test? Understand Huntington’s is fatal in 100% of cases within ten years of the initial onset of symptoms. At first symptoms would include temporary changes in mood, movement and cognition leading to difficulty in balance, swallowing and voluntary motor control and finally to the loss of the ability to speak, rigidity, dystonia and eventually death. Initial onset of symptoms can happen anywhere from early twenties to late adulthood.
The questioned posed was “how would a diagnosis such as this change your life?” Obviously this is a terrifying diagnosis and one that would most definitely radically alter your life. When given a finite amount of time in which to accomplish certain life goals, it is easier to separate the important from the trivial. A prognosis such as this can greatly change attitudes and perceptions. Attitudes towards friends and family will greatly alter. Additionally, what is important also changes. Perhaps the contributions to a 401K are not as important as that once in a lifetime vacation. Time with friends and family becomes much more valuable than time at work. In other words, priorities change and realign themselves due to a change in life perspective.
As stated earlier, given the onset of Huntington ’s chorea can develop at anytime between early and late adulthood., your response to this diagnosis would greatly vary during this time frame. As a young adult, behaviors may become more reckless; whereas, as an adult in your mid thirties, depending on marital status and children, you would realign your priorities so as to produce the best possible outcome for your family as the disease progresses and after passing.
Why in the world would I pose this question to you, as a reader of our blogs? It is to start the discussion about what is really scary, important or a priority in your life. A grim prognosis such as this is a life-changing event, even before any symptoms of the disease would manifest would change the way you perceive everything. I pose to you, why does it take such an event to alter our perceptions and priorities in life? No matter what, life is finite and we will all eventually die. So in a sense, we all have a terminal prognosis. Aren’t family and friends always important? Should you not always strive to experience new and exciting things and try to pack as much life into every day that you can? My answer is most definitely YES; although, I don’t put into practice as much as I should.
I want to take this opportunity to challenge all of our readers to see life as the precious, short-lived gift that it is and live life to its fullest potential everyday. Having trouble putting this into practice? We can definitely help! Start by taking one of our Battle Ready fitness classes. It will challenge you both mentally and physically. Let us take you out of your comfort zone and challenge you with a rock climbing, swift water or wilderness survival course; but whatever you do, live everyday like it you mean it.
I was recently contacted by the CEO of a company to see if I was available to talk to his executive team who he thought would benefit from “a rousing the troops” type of speech. Now usually for these sorts of engagements I have plenty of time to prepare and I feel I have the whole thing pretty dialed in when the time comes to deliver. On this particular day I had no such luxury. After several emails back and forth it was decided that I would do the talk on the provision that it was ok to have my 2 year old daughter with me (it was too late in the game to find reliable/trustworthy childcare) and the CEO was to make it plainly clear to his team that me being there was totally ad hoc. I started the speech by saying that I was underdressed (sandals, slacks and t-shirt) underprepared (I didn’t have any time to prepare)and had a 2 year old daughter tagging along who hadn’t as yet taken her late morning nap (it’s currently 3 o’clock in the afternoon). I continued by saying that it might turn out to be an interesting 20 minutes or so. From that point on I really don’t recall what I said, the limited notes I had made for myself went totally out of the window. People say when this happens you are experiencing moments of flow” – but in this instance I’m not sure if it was that at all. Mostly I just tried to be genuine and told the people there to sharpen their spears and fight the rising tide. Only by creating a unified front and enduring personal sacrifice would they achieve success. I really do enjoy giving speeches of this nature, although however I feel it is somewhat difficult to get 100% buy in. The biggest downside for me though is the lack of “the feedback loop”. Once you have given your talk you don’t really get to see the net result of it, if of course there was any net result in the first place. This brings me to my point.
More often than not, you have no idea how your words and actions impact other people. I think we all live in a world where cynicism reigns supreme and as a result we have a tendency to keep our thoughts and opinions to ourselves because “who listens anyway right?” Wrong. If you have the opportunity in any way to say or do the right thing then you should take it because ultimately the true measure of self is how you act regardless of the preconceived ideas or misconceptions your words or actions may or may not have on others. I am a little bit of a control freak and to speak to a crowd of intellects without the appropriate preparatory time in my mind was futile, but the big picture was that if I could create a shift in one person who then creates a shift in another then another then another – well you get my point. I fear failure, we all do but how can you know success if you don’t even try. The easy out for me would have been to throw excuses out there about childcare for my daughter, not enough lead time etc., but I chose the path of most resistance and after it was all said and done I hoped my speech created a shift. I will never know, but I would definitely have had zero impact if I didn’t do it in the first place. That was a guarantee. Choose the hard road, give the best of yourself to people even if there are no tangible rewards because in the end, when asked, you can say to yourself “I did my best”
To see how rogue Consulting Group can help create and strengthen cohesion in the workplace please visit us at www.rogueconsultinggroup.com
How Well Do You Play Your Role?
Outside of being a co-founder of Rogue Consulting Group, my part-time job is working as the Race Director for the Race Across America. This epic cycling event just reached its 30-year anniversary. It is a non-stop 3000-mile race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD where solo and team riders have two weeks to complete the course. – Think riding the Tour De France non-stop with no days off. It is an amazing test of endurance, determination, physical and mental strength and pure grit. I am continually inspired to see how these participants overcome hourly challenges and push though.
As amazing as the riders are, this blog entry is not about them. It is about their support crews…. Each rider or team is required to have a support crew following him or her at all times. These crews are made up of anywhere from 4 to 14 people in multiple vehicles. There is a saying in RAAM that “even the strongest rider/team can’t complete the race with a weak crew”. I have spent this past week watching what impact both a good and poor support crews have on their teams. Good crews are made up of people that all have specific roles but can do almost anything. The teams prepare and train for up to a year together so there is no confusion as to what needs to be done when. There are medics, nutrition experts, mechanics, massage therapists, drivers, cooks, navigators, media and even those whose main role is to be there for moral support. Most are just friends and family as well as those who just want to be part of something bigger than themself. All are volunteers. They have to take at least two weeks off from their jobs and don’t get paid a dime. Just like the riders, the crews have to endure sleep deprivation, cramped conditions, crappy food, and constant vigilance, as this is a very dangerous undertaking. Many have died (both riders and crew members) taking on RAAM.
What amazes me the most and how this blog applies to Rogue Consulting Group’s Leadership and Team Development ethos is seeing how each crew member on a successful team plays their role to perfection. They also devise a plan ahead of time that is very intricate (timing of nutrition intake, rest, communication etc.) and execute that plan to a T, never deviating. In close quarters, there is rarely pissing and moaning among the successful crews as they know that crew divisiveness directly impacts their riders and is a sure way to eliminate any hopes of completing the race. Successful crews are 100% committed to their tasks. Each crewmember not only knows their role backwards and forward, but also ensures contingency plans and backup supplies in the event of any unforeseen challenge that may arise.
Failure is commonplace in RAAM and most often this is due to crew failure, piss poor planning and execution.
Lessons learned from RAAM can be applied directly to the corporate environment. Simply put, ask yourself “How well am I playing my role”? Do you know your role forward and backwards? Are you 100% committed? How prepared are you for contingencies? Are you destroying team cohesiveness with your pissing and moaning? Take a moment and do a self-assessment to see if you are doing what it takes to be a successful “crew member” for your organization.
For some inspiration, follow the Race Across America live at www.raceacrossamerica.org and check out the crew stories in the media section. There are many cool daily recap video clips and write ups.
Don’t forget to share with your co-workers all of the amazing programs that Rogue Consulting Group offers that promote successful leadership and builds successful teams. Check us out at www.rogueconsultinggroup.com.
Have a fantastic week!!
In 1875, on the idyllic Fijian Islands, a disease killed 40,000 people, roughly 30% of the population at that time. That disease was measles. A vaccine was developed in 1963 which reduced worldwide infections from 4.2 million in 1980 to approximately 55,000 in 2014. Until recent years, the disease was eradicated in the United States which was completely contributable to the vaccination of millions of children from the 1960’s to the present.
In 2008, in the United States, there were 131 cases of measles, of which 122 were unvaccinated and the other nine had received only the first inoculation of the required vaccination regimen. Why would we not use a very effective vaccination, known to prevent a deadly disease, and save thousands of lives? It is because a correlation was made between measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and autism.
It is vital that I define the difference between correlation and causation. A correlation is defined as “mutual relation of two or more things” or “the degree to which two or more attributes or measurements on the same group of elements show a tendency to vary together”. In other words, as one particular observance goes up another seems to increase as well. In the above example, as the more children were vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, the occurrence of autism also rose. This does not imply a causal relationship.
Causation is defined as “the act of causing or producing”. As the correlation between vaccination and autism was observed, extensive studies were undertaken to determine if the cause of the increased incidence of autism was in fact attributable to the MMR vaccine. To date, every study undertaken has failed to show a link or causation.
You may ask why has the vehemence against vaccination gained such a strong foothold; the answer is in celebrities and pundits promoting the correlation between these two events, not taking into consideration the lack of causation. This deadly disease has now,once again gained a foothold in a place previously eradicated.
To quote the Talking Heads “you may ask yourself why” is John writing a blog about the MMR vaccine? The answer is, we all confuse correlation and causation on a daily basis. Without proper investigation and research, we might be doomed to abandon healthy routines because we fail to recognize the true causation of a failure. For example, I start a workout routine and after two months of regular workouts I see no noticeable change in weight; therefore, I might make a correlation that the workout isn’t effective. Is the workout really the cause? Could it be due to the fact that I have horrible nutrition or maybe I am not working out to my full potential or, perhaps the workout is effective and I am gaining lean muscle mass and losing fat? Given the fact that I don’t explore the cause of my lack of weight loss; I might change my workout routine or give up altogether. This is perhaps a contributing factor to the rampant obesity in the United States.
As another example, I could be a manager experiencing a precipitous drop in productivity and employee moral. You could make the correlation that the low employee moral is causing the drop in productivity. However, the cause of the loss in productivity could be because of a lack of team cohesiveness or perhaps a lack of leadership. Making decisions based on a correlation instead of causation could result in a significant loss of both time and profits.
When examining anything and trying to make informed decisions, it is vital that you separate causation from the correlation. We here at Rogue don’t have all the answers but we can help you when it comes to team building, leadership development, nutrition and fitness. Maybe you have given up on working out because you didn’t see any results and you just got frustrated; or you are out of answers to fix a dysfunctional workplace. We are experts at helping people just like you with these exact issues. Send us an email and let us see how we can help you.
Trust – The Common Denominator
As human beings we all require trust to survive. We are not good at everything, so it is imperative we surround ourselves with people who believe what we believe, amplify our strengths and make up for our shortcomings. The one key factor that determines who we choose to be in our inner circle is trust. Please don’t mistake trust for reliability either. If I give someone a list of tasks to complete by a certain deadline and they complete said tasks by said deadline that doesn’t automatically qualify them for the trust card. That makes them reliable, but not necessarily trustworthy.
Human beings are social creatures by nature. It is a set of values and a common belief in those values that creates country, culture, community and company. Remarkable things happen when you surround yourself with people who believe what you believe. One such scenario that highlights the concept of complete trust was the stand -off between 3 Massai warriors and a pride of lions that had just made a fresh kill. The 3 Massai warriors successfully chased off the pride of Lions to secure part of the fresh kill for themselves. In my opinion, 3 men is certainly not enough to take on an entire pride of lions (especially with a fresh kill), but the tribesmen had total belief in their power as a unit to confront the challenge and come out of that scenario unscathed. To pull off such a feat there must be zero doubt in your mind that you and the people who stand beside you will be successful in your quest. So much so, that the power it generates is literally tangible to one of the most feared predators on the planet – you can check out the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn4izCQmY7g.
With trust we are more likely to try things that we wouldn’t necessarily do alone. If we fail, if we fall, we know (not think) that those people in our inner circle of trust will extend their hand and help us overcome said obstacles. So how do you build this trust? Many people have many theories, but here at Rogue Consulting Group we believe that you have to experience a situation with others that induces a certain amount of stress which can take the form of mental, physical, psychological, emotional or a combination of all. It is only by experiencing failure or hardship and then have someone extend their hand will you truly know that they have your back. In today’s technological climate where “real” human to human interaction is going the way of the dinosaur I feel it is more imperative now than ever. Rogue Consulting Group has developed a course that allows you to experience what I talk of above. We are currently seeking CEO’S and successful entrepreneurs in the Denver Metro area to take part in one of these courses pro bono – so, if you are one of the above, or know someone who is, please contact us via our website at www.rogueconsultinggroup.com
Come and experience what we have to offer, then go out and share that with those in your inner circle whether at home or in work.
Variety Is Truly The Spice of Life!!!
By Jon –
From time to time we all find ourselves in some kind of rut. This is being stuck in a situation where you find yourself unhappy and seemingly unable to change. This applies to everything from your nutrition, your physical state, your mental state, and your personal relationships. It can happen any time and feel overwhelming.
Part of our philosophy at RCG is centered on the application of variety, in order to overcome our challenges and to enhance your life. We need variety in our life. It enhances our experiences; it stimulates our creativity and keeps our brain active and our body from stagnating.
Allow me to connect the dots how variety impacts all areas of our life.
Nutrition is where is all starts. Our body requires proper fuel to operate at our optimal levels. You may think you are eating healthy, but if you are not varying the foods you put into your body, then you are leaving out massive nutrients that your body desperately needs to function properly. We all have a tendency to stick with our go-to foods. This becomes habit over time and our body will build up a deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals. By exploring new foods (a variety of cruciferous vegetables, protein both animal and plant based sources, whole grains and fruits) you are keeping your body working hard and keeping organs active, as they have to process these different varieties of foods. This is a good thing! This takes creativity and some courage to try new things. The next step is what do you do with your properly fueled body? Put it to good use.
Variety is just as critical in your workouts as it is in your nutrition. If you are properly fueled but your workouts a lack variety, you are much more prone to repetitive stress injuries, under or over development of certain muscle groups, poor motivation and all around boredom. This is not the way to make physical fitness a lifestyle! Working out should be fun. For that to happen, you need variety. Get off the treadmill and jump over walls, do some yoga, trail run, throw around some weights, jump into a foam pit, overcome your fear of heights, climb a rope, swim or just challenge someone to a bear crawl race. Keeping it fresh is the best way to keep your muscles off balance and your mind interested. It also recruits all the small stabilizer muscles that often shut down with the same old weight or running workout. Trying new sports and activities and sucking at them ensures that you are always learning (which should be a continuous life goal for all of us) but also keeps you mentally engaged.
Ok, we’ve hit nutrition and the physical state, now lets talk about the mental state. Obviously I am not a Psychologist and I don’t claim to be an expert but I do know that it is incredibly important to our mental state to have a variety of outlets to challenge and stimulate our brains. Human beings need to maintain active mental stimuli coming from a variety of sources, books, music, writing, painting, and the arts in general.
From the start of life till the end, mental activity is an important aspect of life. The protective, emotional, physical, psychological and neurological effects of stimulating the mind are widespread. Mental activity or neurological stimulation can be described as anything that stimulates, activates or enriches the mind. Stimulation can be provided internally from thought or externally from the environment. Education, occupation, social and leisure activities are all important contributors to mental stimulation.
Mental activity increases the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the brain. It also acts as a signal, which promotes the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDGF). BDGF is a protective chemical, which induces growth and survival of neurons. The importance of BDGF has been determined through knockout studies. Knockout studies are studies carried out on animals, usually rats, where a certain physiologically important element such as a chemical, receptor or enzyme are “knocked out” of the animal through genetic manipulation. These studies have enabled scientists to determine the impact that not having a certain substance has on the animal. In this case, they have discovered that without BDGF, learning and attention is impaired because the transmission between neurons (known as synaptic plasticity) is reduced. Synaptic plasticity has been found to be increased after as little as a few weeks of mental stimulation.
Mental activity is clearly emerging as a safe and effective strategy for delaying cognitive decline and impairment. Cognition refers to thinking. Cognitive decline, therefore, is the process of decline in normal thinking patterns and speed. Cognitive decline is an aging process associated with dementia.
Dementia incidence is significantly associated with mental stimulation; the greater the mental stimulation, the lower the risk of developing dementia. There is a 46% lower risk of developing dementia in individuals who utilize high mental activity levels compared to individuals who would be considered to use a low amount of mental activity.
The data suggests the risk for dementia appears to be substantially modifiable even during older age. Mental stimulation or cognition “training” has been shown to be beneficial in providing a protective and persistent neurological effect when used for as little as 3 months in late life (over 60 years of age).
Depression is a common effect of lack of mental activity. The effects of mental stimulation have a flow-on effect. Activation of the mind increases physiological responses in the brain by inducing the flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients. Without activating these mechanisms neurons will eventually begin to shrink, as will the brain. These neurological effects impact on to the psychological effects such as boredom and depression. All this information indicates that making time each day to activate our brains in a variety of ways is critical to maintain mental wellness.
I have talked about how variety helps us maintain our body and mind, so now let’s talk about our interactions with others. Humans crave connection. We seek it in our personal relationships, our need for community, and our need for service to others. Our relationships can get stalled and even stagnate. This is where variety is so important. I am not saying to jump from relationship to relationship! What I am suggesting is to surround yourself with a variety of relationships through clubs, lecture groups, fitness programs, book clubs, travel etc. This takes work. Maintaining one relationship can be difficult at times, let alone many, however the enrichment you get from learning from others and constantly experiencing new things and people is the backbone of life. This also applies to your work relationships. By taking the time to not only understand your job, but also to understand others jobs and the challenges you all face will help you work together in becoming a cohesive unit. If you only think about the job you perform, you are limiting your potential and the potential of the entire organization. Reach out and strive to gain an understanding of all that happens in your company. It builds stronger bonds, greater knowledge for the team and increases exponentially the opportunity for success.
I don’t know who first coined the phrase “Variety is the Spice of Life”, but here at Rogue Consulting Group we couldn’t agree more. You can experience how we inject variety into everything we do from our nutrition programs, our Battle Ready Fitness programs, and definitely in our team building and leadership consulting business. Come and see for yourself. Contact us at email@example.com or visit our website at www.rogueconsultinggroup.com.
Cheers and have a great week!!
With Mother’s Day this past Sunday, I started thinking about all the unsung heroes that are within our midst. In my military career, I have heard of many heroes, men and women who have stared death in the face and said, “not today!” going on to perform unbelievable acts of bravery. I want to focus on the everyday heroes that we interact with on a daily basis.
It is hard to find someone who does not remember a teacher in their educational past, who had a positive influence in their life. A teacher who saw something in them, a special talent or an interest, and encouraged and cultivated that interest until it became something that helped possibly mold or change their life in a profound way. Sometimes, that might be the only educator we vividly recall. Why do teachers do this? More than likely it is not for the money, it’s most likely a love of educating and shaping young minds. They devote countless unpaid hours to grading papers, developing lesson plans, and mentoring students who might need a little extra help. A good and caring teacher can impact students in so many ways.
What about volunteers who devote time, money and a lot love to a cause they feel passionately about. These unsung heroes might feed the homeless or send care packages to soldiers overseas or show up after a natural disaster to help those affected in any way they can. More often than not, they get little more than a simple “thank you” and a warm feeling in their heart. These people profoundly affect those that they help in a myriad of unforeseen ways. Some travel far and wide and sometimes put their lives in danger just to help their fellow human beings.
We can’t forget about the healthcare workers, first responders and firefighters who protect our everyday lives. This is often times a thankless job with few accolades and recognition. These people put their lives on the line to protect our lives and property. Without these unsung heroes, life as we know it would not be possible.
I finally have to mention all the mom’s out there. Thank you for being just who you are. Loving us unconditionally, always understanding, always being there, making us who we are, making our lives fuller and richer, and making us better people. You changed our diapers and listened when we were brokenhearted after a teenage romance fell apart. Without you we would not even be here!
What do all of these people have in common? They give of themselves for the greater good. They don’t receive parades and accolades. Most of the time the principle motivation for these people is simple love. It’s a love for serving others, a love of life or the unending love for a child.
We here at Rogue Consulting Group want to celebrate the unsung hero’s in our lives. We want to thank them and encourage you to do so as well. Take time out of your busy week to thank the volunteer at the soup kitchen, the nurses, firefighters, first responders and teachers in your lives. Most of all, let the most important unsung hero in your life, your mom, know how much you appreciate all she does. To be rich in life is not to have money and power. To be rich in life means that you are surrounded by people who will do things to and for you. Surround yourself with those people and reciprocate in kind.
“When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will man realize that money cannot be eaten”
Ancient Cree Proverb.
I additionally want to give a shout out to MY heroes, all those who are currently participating in our inaugural Battle Ready Fitness course. You guys are awesome! So many of you are reaching deep and giving it everything you’ve got every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You guys are facing both physical and mental challenges like true heroes. Thanks to all of you! Keep up the hard work and know that Jon, Rhod and myself feel truly blessed to have you in our classes.
The Truth About Our Health – It Aint Pretty
- One out of every three Americans is now considered to be obese
- Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of our children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.
- An obese person in America is likely to incur $1,497 more in medical expenses each year
- Approximately $190 billion (yes that’s a billion) is spent in added medical expenses per year within the United States
- Obesity has been cited as a contributing factor to approximately 100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year
- About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths
- Every year about 720,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 515,000 are a first heart attack and 205,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.
- Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion (yes that’s another billion) each year.This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
- Diabetes is becoming more common in the United States. From 1980 through 2011, the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes has more than tripled (from 5.6 million to 20.9 million).
- Total health care and related costs for the treatment of diabetes run about $174 billion (oh look another figure that ends in a billion) annually
- We spend over one million million dollars (that’s a trillion) each year on disease care in America.
“For every inch you gain in girth, the body grows approximately four miles of blood vessels to nourish the extra tissues. Blood which would normally be sent to the head and brain remains in the abdominal cavity, aiding the digestive organs with their increased work load. ”
—Dr. Stephen Chang
Most of the statistics above I attained from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website and I could on and on. Why am I telling you this? The health and fitness industry has been plagued and driven by exterior body image for decades (maybe even centuries). Sure, we all want to look good on the outside but I will ask you this – how concerned are you about the health and function of your body on the inside namely heart, lungs, bones, blood vessels, intestines etc.?
The typical vicious cycle goes something like this – we get older, have children, are consumed by work, have way too much responsibility and have little or no time for ourselves. These factors then lead to a decrease in physical activity and a reduction in the consumption of healthy/nutritious food because of our misconception that healthy/nutritious food takes a lot of time to prepare. We then in turn eat more of the packaged/manufactured foods that cause cellular inflammation and resultant destruction of our epithelial/endothelium cells. Also, by eating these calorie-dense, fiber and nutrient deficient foods we slowly start to pack on the pounds which is compounded by a slowing metabolism and decrease in physical activity. It may be slow at first maybe one or 2 pounds a year, but then multiply that by 5, 10, 15 years! Suddenly you find yourself in a place you never thought you would be.
I feel that our response to this cycle is very similar to that of the cycle of grief. DENIAL – “I’m not getting unhealthy”. ANGER – “shit I’m becoming unhealthy – I hate the way I look and feel” BARGANING – “not to worry I’m going to start training and eating right when I get a little more time” DEPRESSION – “wow I never thought I would get like this” ACCEPTANCE – “well, we all die at some point so I may as well enjoy my life and eat what I want, besides its really hard work to try and get back to where I was 10 years ago- I can’t do that” – any of that look or sound familiar?
Jon mentioned in his blog last week that to start a journey, no matter what that journey is, all you have to do is take one step. Taking one step is psychologically far easier that thinking about the 5000 steps it is going to take to get you to where you need to be. The good news is that most, if not all of the diseases I mentioned in the statistic section above can be reversed by adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced nutritious diet coupled with bouts of physical activity. Most people in my experience either adopt one or the other. Here at Rogue we have the knowledge and capacity to provide you with the necessary tools to have both. You not only owe it to yourself, you owe it to your children and your children’s children. Life on earth, especially human behavior follows patterns. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem and help create a healthy lifestyle not only for you but also for tomorrow’s people.
Take away #1 – Help yourself and future generations! How? Contact us about our individual nutrition packages as well as our Battle Ready Fitness Program starting May 5th 2014.
If you work in Human resources or are a CEO of a company, part of your job description is to maintain profitability and reduce the number of lost work hours due to sickness/medical issues etc. The current model of prevention is reactive (take pills), not proactive (sort your training and diet out). What’s my point? Rather than having increasing medical costs every year for your employees, be a visionary and invest in a product that increases the health and wellbeing of the people that work for you and get kickbacks and reductions in medical expenses. Holy shit what a concept!!!! If you did a study on a workforce that were on a health kick program and compared it with production and/or profitability you would notice that both elements would increase dramatically (maybe even exponentially). Win win.
Take away #2 – Be a visionary! Help your friends, co-workers and your company! How? Share our information with your employer/HR Department about our corporate health/wellness packages and seminars.
I will end this blog by asking this – what do you consider extreme? Taking some small steps to improve the way you eat and try to exercise at least 3 times per week or have your chest split wide open then have a vein removed from your leg and transplanted into one of your blocked coronary arteries that ensure adequate blood flow to your heart all the while having to take 20 pills a day to “manage” all of your medical conditions?
I know which one I choose. Choose today and let your actions speak louder than your words. Invest in yourself and your people. Don’t settle for the common beliefs of age related illnesses. Give the proverbial finger to the unhealthy you and give us a call. We would love to help.
For more information for yourself and your employer, check out www.rogueconsultinggroup.com
Getting Your Ass Handed To You
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the bombings at the finish of the Boston Marathon. So many stories have been written about the injured, the aftermath and how a country came together to support such a great city and it’s event. After being exposed to such a tragedy, many were left in a daze. Many felt like giving up or felt like quitting. The resilient human spirit showed through and those who were knocked down got up and got on with life better and stronger than ever.
There is a lesson from getting your ass handed to you. Not that it happens, as much as how we all respond. Now the Boston Marathon is a massive example of getting knocked down, but we all experience it in many ways. It could be failing a math test, quitting your workout program, getting fired from your job, putting on 30 extra pounds of fat, falling on a climbing project over and over, hell even trying to get your weekly blog out when you are drawing a blank. How do you pick yourself up, rub some dirt in it and move forward when every fiber in your being wants to quit and give up??
Everyone has their own motivation for continuing, but there a few things I have observed that all successful people do when they get knocked down. (John addressed some of the philosophies behind these tactics in last week’s blog about resiliency. These are the practices.)
Step back and evaluate the good and bad. There is always good to take from any situation. Reflection is important, both self-reflection and situational reflection. It is easy to beat yourself up, dwell in self-pity, blame others, and focus on the negative. All of these do absolutely nothing constructive. Evaluate what went wrong and evaluate the opportunities that were present, either before getting knocked down that you missed or that came out of the situation. Then make a plan to change.
Plan for the long-term, act in the short-term and take one step at a time. I know that this may be loaded with clichés; however, clichés come from lessons learned again and again. Therefore, make a long-term plan (i.e. If you are trying to lose weight, create a realistic time line for achieving this goal, know what your optimum weight is for your activity level, ensure you have nutritious foods in the house at all times, and know what your end goal should feel like) Then act in the short-term (these are daily actions which keep you accountable and feeling as though as your are moving forward).
Always think Motion!! Motion creates momentum. The old adage “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion”. Motion is everything and is crucial to a comeback! Even if the motion is just a small action to build on, at least it’s something. (By the way, your body is incredibly active even in sleep; so don’t let your body down when you’re awake. Move!) Get in the habit of thinking about motion. It’s the only way to create momentum. In my humble opinion failure is not something to fear, inaction is.
When you make mistakes, minimize them, learn from them, and then move on. This is one of my favorite sayings, which came from a mentor of mine. He constantly said this phrase, which essentially told us not to focus on the fact that we screwed up, but fix it, do what it takes not to do it again, and get our ass back to work! Enough said!
Have the balls to ask for help or support when you need it. This one is key. We all at times need to figure things out for ourselves, but there are times when you need someone to have your back. A team is always stronger than an individual. Suck it up, grow a pair and ask for help when you need it. Everyone has the innate need to serve, but they need to be allowed to serve. If you don’t ask, huge opportunity lost.
Surely everyone has had their ass handed to them at one time or another. If not yet, just wait. It will happen. It happens to me almost weekly in some form or another. So get up, make a plan and move forward. If you need help, give us at Rogue Consulting Group a call. We’ll have your back. You can check us out at www.rogueconsultinggroup.com.
Have a great week!
Are You Resilient?
Resiliency is the ability of an individual to recover and maintain a steady state during and following a chaos-inducing incident. There are many different forms of resilience. There is physical resilience, which would be described as a person’s ability to bounce back from injury. On the other hand there is psychological resilience, which describes the ability of an individual to adapt and respond to stress. In my opinion, this is the more important of the two forms of resilience.
Taking into account the physiologic differences between us all and the disease processes which might hinder this ability, we all fundamentally have the same physical resilience. If I break a bone, it is going to take me basically the same amount of time to heal as anyone else. There are steps we can take to increase our physical resilience. Good nutrition, physical exercise, and proper stretching are just a few of the things that help us increase our physical resilience. Where we can set ourselves apart from everyone else is our psychological resilience.
The ability to adapt to stress is a vital skill today. Like me, you’ve probably experienced and adapted to a large amount of stress in your life. How did it affect you? Did you lose or gain weight? Did you sleep too much or not enough? Did you lash out or withdraw? We all adapt/respond in different ways, but some are better at it than others. So you might ask yourself, what makes someone more psychologically resilient than others?
In my experience there are seven factors that make someone more resilient. The first is awareness. It is awareness of the situation at hand and being able to control your emotional and physical reactions in that specific situation. By being aware of how you will emotionally react to a stressful situation, you are more likely to be able to control those emotions and have the ability to step back and think of new solutions to that particular problem. The second factor is understanding that stress and the problems that cause it are just a part of life. There is something cathartic about knowing that some problems are simply out of your control and are inevitable in the journey of life. The third factor is the realization that you have the power to make decisions, which can affect your situation, your ability to cope and the future outcome of said situation. Fourth is having strong problem solving skills. The ability to take a dispassionate, rational look at a problem and break it down to smaller, more manageable parts is a characteristic of highly resilient individuals. The ability to envision a solution to a problem is also an important component. Having a strong social network is the fifth factor that highly resilient people possess. Simply having someone to discuss your challenges with is a great way to gain some perspective. The sixth factor is being able to identify yourself as a survivor and not a victim. Staying focused on a positive outcome and not identifying yourself as a victim of circumstance is a key component of this factor. The final factor, and in my opinion the most difficult, is the ability to ask for help. We all have problems saying that you don’t have the resources to adequately deal with a particular problem. Sometimes the strongest and bravest thing you can do is ask someone for help.
How many of the above factors have you used or will you try to use in the future? Being more resilient can help you be more productive and successful in both your personal and professional life. Increasing your resiliency can improve your overall health, your physical fitness and emotional well-being. Check out our programs at www.rogueconsultinggroup.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us how we can increase you or your team’s resiliency.