Maintaining passion and competitive intensity throughout life, especially as we age and how we must manage the realities of aging with grace, is one of my favorite topics to discuss. In this episode, I’ll walk you through 14 tips and strategies to help you stay on the edge, while also avoiding the pitfalls of an overly stressful, unrealistic, exhausting approach.
We’ll be talking about the most important and highly effective concepts to implement in order to adapt and age gracefully, such as adopting a primal mindset, doing something that “scares the shit of you every day” a la Brian “Liver King” Johnson, founder of Ancestral Supplements, and engaging in activities that foster healthy competitive intensity and support longevity. We talk about why it is extremely important to put your ego demands aside and honor your 80-year-old self, and remain patient with the long-term journey of leading a healthy, fit lifestyle while setting long-term, big picture, intrinsic goals. Instead of offering generalities like, “I’ll stay in shape as I get older,” pinpoint some specific objectives—this is because the brain responds much better to goals that are specific and measurable. Mark Manson, number-one bestselling author of The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck, explains that the emotional “feeling” brain rules over the rational “thinking” brain, even though our rational brain likes to convince us that this is not the case. Only emotion motivates us to action, but the emotional and rational brain need to work together to keep you both excited and focused over the long run.
We also talk about the importance of spending some time formulating specific and detailed goals that will elicit an emotional response and therefore, can be efficiently tracked and quantified. For example, can you cough up a list of clever centenarian Olympics events you’d like to participate in when you turn 100? How about pulling from longevity research and setting up some personal benchmarks for squats, pushups, or the one-mile run? Once you have identified some challenges that you are particularly passionate about, consider using tools like a vision board (more at JackCanfield.com), mind movie (more at MindMovies.com), journaling, or your own rich imagination to create a powerful impression about where you are heading and why. With beautiful overarching goals in place, you can blend them successfully with immediate, fun, and even superficial goals.
Brad gives 14 strategies to adapt and age gracefully. [01:44]
Primal Mindset is where we acknowledge that pursuing goals and challenges is what makes us human. The good example of Brain Liver King Johnson is described. [04:08]
Some studies show that we are softening. Our life expectancy is shorter than our parents. [06:53]
There are benefits from sleeping ancestrally resting on the floor or ground. [09:38]
The longevity in your gene pool does not necessarily determine your fate. [13:09]
Cultivate a healthy, competitive intensity. [17:49]
Pursue goals and behavior patterns, training schedules that support longevity. [25:25]
Set long-term, big picture, intrinsic goals. [34:45]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- The Liver King
- Podcast with Martin Brauns
- Prime Endurance Mastery Course
- The Hacking of the American Mind
- Dopamine Nation
- Podcast with Dr. Craig Marker
- Podcast with John Assaraff
- “The essence of sport is that while you’re doing it, nothing else matters. But when it’s over, you file it away in a place not very important.” (Bannister)
- “Now that I’m retired, I am being coached by my 80-year-old self.” (Whitfield)
- “Struggle gives meaning and richness to life.” (Bannister)
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It is breather time people. Hello, and thank you for listening to numerous shows of multiple parts. In recent months. One of ’em was called balancing peak performance with longevity parts one and two, lifestyle tips to minimize diseased risk parts, 1, 2, 3, and four Brad’s daily routine parts, one and two, and, trends and hot topics in 2022 parts one and two. And so now I want to title this one Strategies to Adapt and Age Gracefully, especially for those of us in the upper age groups that still like to pursue competitive challenges, stay fit, try to get better, try to keep the edge, try to stay strong, all that great stuff. And you know what, that’s the essence of living a long, healthy, satisfying life. I call it pursuing peak performance with passion throughout life, title words from a website homepage. But you have to do it the right way.
And I think there’s a lot of potential pitfalls when you’re trying to hang on. And your approach is perhaps flawed or more appropriate for different periods of your life, uh, when you were younger and stronger and in the prime of, competitive years or what have you. So, uh, the idea is to maintain that competitive edge and set age appropriate goals that promote health, that promote longevity, and still allow you to unleash your competitive intensity and gain all that physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing and satisfaction from not just sitting on the sidelines, uh, uh, uh, uh, and not be a quitter, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, no matter how bad you just wanna fall flat on your face and collapse, that’s Em and Em from the Super Bowl show. That’s right. Why should we just sit on the sidelines and watch TV and watch others perform when there are so many potential wonderful directions we can take and dial into something that we can cultivate passion and competitive intensity for and gets us up in the morning, gets us focused and gets us pursuing goals and recapturing some of that magic that we can all reminisce about back in our prime.
And of course the athletes have stories to last a lifetime. You know, how the veterans gather and talk about the good old times when they were, uh, facing the crisis of war and how that brought out the best in them. So, Hey, look, tomorrow, today, it’s right in front of us. There’s an open road ahead, and we’re gonna go out there and kick some butt. And I’m gonna provide 14 different tips and strategies to help you stay on the edge, but avoid the aforementioned pitfalls, potential pitfalls. When your approach gets overly stressful, unrealistic, exhausting, and potentially a poor fit for your other lifestyle responsibilities and the time, the season of life that you’re in. And so the first one I’m gonna call primal mindset. And this is where we have to acknowledge that this is what makes us human is pursuing goals and challenges, and trying to be better, trying to conquer our environment and basically cultivate an incredibly compelling purpose for living our life.
And this is going back to our homo sapiens, genetics, our hard wiring that make us the true survivors as my friend, Brian, the Liver King Johnson, founder proprietor of Ancestral Supplement, my partner with the MOFO product. He calls us the baddest mammalian predators ever to walk the Earth. And this guy was existing in the background until recently. And I just love how he lives his incredibly intense, competitive, healthy, strong fit lifestyle. And now he’s come forth and shared his gift to the planet. So I want you to go check out the liver king on Instagram and a lot of people snicker, because he’s going over the top. His physique is just astonishing and the amount of work that he does and these amazing workouts, like the barbarian workout that you can read more about at the MOFO link on Brad, kearns.com.
But let me tell you something, this guy is the real deal. I’ve spent time with him at his ranch in Texas, and he goes at it like nobody, and he lives a primal lifestyle to the level that of no one I’ve ever seen before. I’m talking about sleeping on the ground. I’m talking about going on a five day fast every quarter for that cellular and organ renewal effect and putting that focus and discipline in to where it’s no problem. For most people that would be, uh, you know, highly daunting, but get this at the start of his fast. He does it with his wife too. Uh, it’s not kicked off by a lavish banquet of a meal, but rather by an extremely exhausting depleting workout. So he wants to deplete his glycogen at the outset of the five day fast. And that accelerates the benefits of course, makes it a lot tougher.
But his whole stick that he’s bringing to life on his Instagram videos and photos is that we have gone soft as humans and all these comforts and conveniences and wonderful advancements in technology that allow us to live a soft, easy, relaxing life are also, potentially compromising our health. And I shouldn’t even say potentially because, um, look, we’ve turned the corner now. And the data show that today’s generation have a lower life expectancy than their parents for the first time in recorded history. And this is attributable to some modern lifestyle problems you could possibly categorize in here. The EMFs and the wifi and the extensive, uh, use of mobile technology, hyper connectivity, getting us out of, uh, our natural environment, spending time in nature. We reminisce about how kids used to play outdoors until the dinner bell rang. And then they sprinted home and enjoyed a home cooked meal, and then reading by candlelight and now, oh my gosh, it’s iPads and video gaming and very little time spent outside outdoors getting physical.
So Brian’s got a free ebook where he is talking about his nine ancestral tents. He wants you to get out and enjoy the sun. He wants you to go bare feet, walking on the earth to get that grounding effect. And the health benefits that accrue he’s a huge fan of cold exposure. And I remember trying to talk him into getting a chest freezer for his cold exposure therapy, especially in the hot summer months of Houston. And he is like, ah, I don’t know. And then, he ended up rigging his spa in his pool system. He rigged it into a cold tub rather than a warm tub and it’s circulating water at 38 degrees Fahrenheit. So the water moving like with the spa jets, I don’t know how he did it, got some refrigeration unit connected to his proper spa pump.
But you go in there with moving water at 38. Oh boy, that is a real challenge. It’s a lot more difficult than sitting in a chest freezer with still water. And my water is usually around 38 degrees and I can spend three or four or five minutes in there. My body warms up the water a bit, so that at the end, it’s probably not 38 anymore. But in Brian’s case, he’s sitting in there for up to eight, eight minutes and he asked me, is that, uh, a long time? I’m like, yeah, that’s pretty long, man. But go check out his amazing workout regimen and his incredible zest for life that he acknowledges is driven by this desire to reconnect with our primal roots. I mentioned a few of his things. He also has no wifi in his home, no cell phones allowed in his home.
So when you go in there, what you’ll see is an assortment of 50 or 100 foot ethernet cords that you’re welcome to plug into to get some work done as a visitor or his kids his family. Uh, but there’s no, uh, no dirty, dirty electricity going on in that house. He and his wife sleep on the ground on a very thin pad. And that of course has an assortment of health benefits. Katie Bowman was the first one to promote that and, uh, makes a lot of sense that we get that ground reaction forces. I believe they’re called. We talk about the ancestral or the archetypal resting positions and the benefits of sitting on the ground and changing around to kneeling or stretching sideways or stretching your legs forward. One leg extended, one leg, bent, whatever it is. And all these ancestral resting positions provide a stretch and compressed effect for the different joints and muscle groups.
In other words, you’re getting somewhat of a workout when you’re supporting your own weight on the ground and dealing with the gravitational forces of the ground, as opposed to relaxing into a chair. So even at nighttime, when you’re resting, it’s better for your skeleton. It’s better for your muscles, probably takes a while to adapt to, uh, but when I’m, uh, on my own, which is not often, I enjoy sleeping on one of those fold up pads, much more so than a bed. And it’s kind of cool because you’re right there connected to the ground. A lot of times I’ll just drag that thing outside, wherever I’m visiting and enjoy some outside air, some fresh air when I’m sleeping at night, a little change up from the typical obsession that we have with mattresses and a soft mattress. And Hey, the mattress cooling pad is cool, also..
But how about sleeping on the ground as one of those things on the list of ancestral practices? But more so I think most prominently, he’s the carrying the torch for the nose to tail diet and all the organ meats that are featured in his diet. And of course all the capsules that are around too, if you’re not inclined to cook organ meats frequently. And then the unbelievable workout regimen and just pushing and challenging that body to do more and more and forget about the influence of chronological aging. If you can keep a first class diet and a first class exercise regimen for years and years, the chronological aging is going to be of minimal significance. Of course it matters. And we’re gonna be talking about how to manage that as I go through these tips, but adopting that primal mindset that you have a purpose in life, and you are here to push and challenge yourself.
And that’s where the rate of satisfaction comes. That is the gateway to aging gracefully and enjoying a long, healthy, happy health span. Right? You know, the difference between lifespan and health span. Lifespan being how many years you made it until you kicked over, or maybe they just dumped you outta the wheelchair at the end. And your quality of life was very poor, even if you made it to a long lifespan, which is pretty common these days. We’re seeing people live a long time through medication and the wonders of modern medical care. But what about the last decade being bedridden or having poor cognitive function that you wanna avoid. And that’s what that term health span conveys is that your healthy, energetic, happy, productive for the duration and then like the famous, uh, t-shirt that Mark Sisson commissioned years ago that we gave out at the primal events.
There was a graph and the slogan on the shirt was live long, drop dead. And there was a graph of having high quality of life for a lot of years. And then basically, the graph line going off a cliff, in other words, you die quickly and with minimal suffering rather than a long steady decline. And that path of the typical modern human was also represented as a line on the graph. And so you see this diagonal line sloping down, down, down as the decades pass where your functionality continues to diminish, and then you have this long, slow, painful death, so much, uh, more choice is to go hard, go strong. And then when it’s over, it’s over., I mentioned my dad frequently, Dr. Walter Kearns on this show, he was a great example of having that long, enjoyable health span.
He went from 1922 to 2019 that 97 years and 95 of them were pretty fantastically awesome. He was a competitive golfer all the way until deep into his nineties shooting his age every time that he played golf. So in shooting under his chronological age, and then the final two years, he had a nice pain free, steady and slowing down and taking more naps and taking shorter walks and playing fewer golf holes. And it was very graceful and didn’t have any of that pain and suffering and anguish for family members or caretakers. It was just a wonderful way to say goodbye and something that we could all aspire to. And a lot of people make the quip when we’re talking about our relatives and, uh, the, the, the life expectancy or the stats on the sides of the family.
Boy, aren’t you lucky don’t you have good genes. And I think that’s nice to acknowledge, but I think it’s also the main point is that there was a lot of hard work and dedication and devotion to healthy living behind my father’s quote unquote, good luck that allowed him to live a long lifespan. You listen to the experts, David Sinclair, the anti-aging expert. Other people have talked about this where your age potential does have really strong genetic components. And so those of us who can reference aunts and great aunts and uncles, and great-grandmothers that lived up into the nineties even generations ago, that does indicate some, uh, some fabulous, good fortune with your genetics. And then those of us who have a lot of family, history of people dying before their time, that puts you at a disadvantage that you really have to recognize and acknowledge and go deeper into your lifestyle practices so that you don’t follow in line with that adverse familial genetics.
So we’re gonna talk about homo sapiens, genetics, and then there’s familial genetics, which are the stuff that’s been that you’ve inherited for, from your immediate ancestors. So we all have those homo sapiens genes that we can turn on and off as a response to our lifestyle behaviors, that’s called epigenetics, the effect of the environment on your genetic function. There’s also, an emerging field called nutrigenomics. That’s the effect of diet of on your genetic function. So if you get those dialed in and you have adverse family consequences, guess what? You are gonna have a great chance to skate free of those, especially these days when you can measure and track everything. Martin Brauns my former boss in Silicon valley and old time podcast guest, you can find his show on the channel from him a few years ago. he has an adverse family history of heart disease.
And so he’s been very carefully tracking everything and trying to optimize his diet, exercise, lifestyle practices. And when he goes to the doctor and gets a blood report, it looks fantastic. So he’s nullified those bad genetic fortune with what he does every single day throughout his life. And then they’re as people who have a cavalier attitude or cavalier approach to this kind of thing, and think that the fate is in the hands of their genetics and maybe even point to you know, some, some good luck in their family history. But they can certainly unwind that. And I will say my father’s brother and sister, those closest to him genetically, did not live as long and did not have as breezy of a ride, due to different lifestyle practices. Okay. So there’s the primal mindset is that we wanna optimize the homo sapiens genes that all of us share.
The next on the list is a healthy, competitive intensity. And boy, I can’t say enough about this. Obviously I might be biased coming from a lifelong journey as a competitive athlete and how important and enriching that is for me to proceed to a competitive environments and try to put my toe on the line and get better and record the results and really get excited about it and, you know, have a, have a desire to improve. But I really think that competing intrinsically is the best approach rather than I think it’s really gotten outta hand, especially these days, especially with, for example, youth sports and in general in life where we’re comparing ourselves and our achievements to others, a lot of people do it in a career realm or the realm of material wealth and especially in the sporting environment and in the big leagues where we see these performers on TV and this complete obsession, this fanaticism with sports, that’s why the word fan is short for fanatic.
It’s kind of ridiculous how important winning has become as opposed to the appreciation of the journey. And when you can kind of unwind that a little bit and realize that a healthy, competitive intensity is where you absolutely are enamored with the process, with the preparation getting ready for whatever competition it is. And then the competition is a celebration, a joyful experience, whether you win, lose, or at times get a flat tire and bomb out of the race. Those were kind of a bummer for me, but I tried to remember it those times when I was racing on the triathlon circuit and flew, on one occasion, halfway across the world to Australia and it got a flat tire and couldn’t fix it in what was then called the richest race and the history of the sport. So people were cashing the biggest checks we’ve ever seen in triathlon.
And I was dealing with a flat tire on the side of the road and having to fly home empty handed. But I tried to remind myself at those low points that, Hey, here I was, you know, laying it all on the line and getting to see the world and compete against the very best and, you know, maintaining a belief that my day would come when, when things lined up and came together. So it’s great to celebrate the successes. And that’s also part of cultivating a healthy, competitive intensity. It’s okay to wanna win really badly, to want to excel, to want to achieve your goal, but you have to remember that it’s the process of preparing to win is where all the richness and the true rewards lie. Um, I love the late Sir Roger Bannister, the first human to break the four minute mile barrier.
He wrote a book when he was only 24, 25 years old, which was how old he was when he retired from elite international competition at his very peak to go become a doctor and pursue his medical studies in England. It wouldn’t happen today, I don’t think, cuz these guys are getting waved at multimillion dollar contracts, right? But Roger Bannister did his thing and he wrote this wonderful book with a whole bunch of quotes that I still remember and dog-ear and write down and appreciate years later after reading the book. And one of ’em on this subject of healthy, competitive intensity, goes like this quote, the essence of sport is that while you’re doing it, nothing else matters. But when it’s over, you file it away in a place not very important.
How about that? And yeah, you can fill in something else besides sport could be your career, right? You go to work, you do your best. If you’re an ambulance driver or a high school football coach or whatever you’re doing, you do do your very best. And then you leave it behind and you come home in the evening and relax and let things go. knowing that you did your best. The quote has literal significance to me because my race results from my nine years competing on the professional triathlon circuit are literally in a file in a file cabinet. So, you think about how every single one of those pieces of paper in there, and I go and look at ’em once every five years, it’s possibly coinciding with a phone call with Andrew McNaughton, my former podcast guest and training partner for most of my rear there.
And you know, you look at a piece of paper and it says, Phoenix, Budlight, 1991, US triathlon series event. Here’s my splits. I swam at 18:04 in the swim, rode a 56 minute bike and came home with a 31:54, 10 K my fastest time ever. And we still remember all the details of these events. And you can look at the slip of paper and it was, uh, listing the race in Manchester, England, or Gold Coast Australia and all these wonderful places that we went. But right now they’re just sitting in a file cabinet. But at the time, of course, I was living and breathing every single one of those stops on the triathlon circuit and fighting it out. Okay. So that is number two, cultivate a healthy, competitive intensity. And I mentioned intrinsic competitive goals, meaning you want to pursue your own personal best and Hey, that’s great.
If you are ranked number one on the tennis ladder or you get ranked in the master’s national track rankings, but when I’m out there high jumping, oh my gosh, I am competing against the bar, people, and I am supporting the other competitors in a wonderful camaraderie and festival like experience. In fact, last weekend I did my first official track meet in a couple years, thanks to the quarantine. Wasn’t much around there. And I met another high jumper who was celebrating his 60th birthday on that day. He had a fantastic jump ranking him among the highest in the 60 plus division in the entire world, certainly in the United States. And boy, it was it exciting to meet, another high jumper out there. And, oh my gosh, it was the furthest thing from my mind, whether I was gonna beat him or lose to him because we were both supporting each other and giving tips and filming each other.
And that’s what I see as a healthy, competitive intensity. And I’m mentioning this because we, we spend so much time with the fanaticism of major sports, you know, pitting each pitting opponents against each other and, you know, forming these fan bases where we boo the other player because he plays for the wrong city. And that stuff’s just ridiculous. In fact, one of the, the most amazing and memorable sporting spectator experiences I’ve ever had was with my son, watching the great Kobe Bryant come to town and Sacramento and challenge the Sacramento Kings with his Los Angeles Lakers. This is now about 12 years ago and he played so incredibly well that he actually won the crowd over. And by the end of the game, the entire crowd in a visiting city was chanting MVP MVP, which was a chant that he got frequently when he would take over the game at the end.
And it was just astonishing to see, I mean, of course there were a lot of Lakers fans in the stands to in with, but it was getting louder and louder and louder. And there was a true appreciation for a legend performing at the very highest level, even if your team, which I don’t think many of the people in the stands had part ownership of the Sacramento king. So it’s kind of ridiculous to be that attached to whatever your, your favorite is to try to root against the other team. I go watch sports. Now I’m rooting for a well played game. When I watch the NFL, I have my fingers crossed, rooting for safety of the players. And that’s my little, my little pitch for being not only healthy, competitive intensity, but healthy fan intensity. All right, and this is a big one.
The next one on the list. Number three is pursue goals and behavior patterns, training schedules that support longevity. I mentioned this quote from my friend Simon Whitfield, Olympic gold medalist in triathlon.Olympic silver medalist eight years later. Had a fantastic career on the pro circuit. And I interviewed him for the Prime Endurance Mastery Course, and he gave one of the most epic one liners that I’ve ever heard when it comes to, training advice. And I said, you know, Simon, you’re now retired from your professional career. Uh, what are you doing for fitness, for competition these days? And he said, you know, today, and this was about five years after he retired from his amazing journey on the pro circuit and taking life, uh, a little easier in Victoria, British Columbia, his home. He says, you know, today I’m coached by my 80 year old self.
And that means that he wants to answer to his future self and make his future self happy and smile and nod his head rather than that future self, looking down from the sky and shaking his head, telling you that you’re gonna be paying for this later. And it’s such a great insight to think, am I going to appreciate this in the future decades? Or am I going to be paying a severe price? And, speaking to the NFL guys, oh my gosh, I know you’re enjoying life now, but boy, that is a very severe price to pay when you’re beating up your body in a high impact sport. And short of that since I don’t think we have too many NFL players listening to the show, we have to reflect a bit if we’re talking about folks that are deeply immersed into the endurance community or the CrossFit community, or just your local gym, where you go and you see the same person climbing the stairs for, you know, what seems like hours every single day, but there are a lot of people that are locked into a pattern of overdoing it,
as we’re now learning with some of the interesting research about dopamine, I had my guest, Dr. Robert, Lustig talking about that a little bit, his wonderful book, The Hacking of the American Mind. I have an upcoming show with Dr. Anna Lembke, author of Dopamine Nation. And when we go into these dopamine triggering pursuits, it’s very easy overdo it to the extent that you’re kind of stuck needing an excess of whatever the stimulus is to not only not get a high, but rather just stay at baseline level. So those in the overtraining rut will be putting in hours and hours of exercise far more than as optimal for general health immune function, longevity, just to feel normal. And it’s kind of attempting to recapture that endorphin high, that first kicked in perhaps when you first got serious or first did your, uh, your, your first long distance bike ride or run, or your first week of CrossFit training or your first month of CrossFit training.
So we have to be careful in that pursuit of instant gratification through strenuous exercise and be reasonable and sensible and intuitive about the level of stress that we apply to our, our fitness protocols and boy, oh boy. Um, I am talking to myself here right now because I have so much when I head over to the running track and it’s like a special event, a special experience for me. I’m not going there every single day. Right. I’m going there once a week. Probably yes, once a week, I would say is my average over the long term. And when I get there, oh my gosh. You know, you’re put into that environment and you start to get pumped up, cuz I know I’m gonna be working hard today. I’m gonna be timing myself. I’m going to be putting a bar on the crossbar and jumping over it rather than just doing preparatory exercises, such as my morning routine, stretching, strengthening, lifting weights, things that I’m not necessarily competitive at.
And now it’s time to put it all together and see how I do. So it’s very, very easy to overdo it in the moment while I feel fine. I feel great. I feel fantastic. I’m not tired. My legs are strong. My mind is strong, but there is a great potential for overdoing it when you’re in that inflamed high stress hormone fight or fight state, which is of course optimal for performance when you’re trying to get through a hard practice or a hard CrossFit session. But we have to kind of watch ourselves. We have to watch our backs to make sure that we don’t overdo it. Not only in the moment, uh, during the workout, but also in the frequency of our workout patterns. So we have to be sensible and establish some checks and balances so that we never drift anywhere near what could be considered a chronic exercise pattern.
And we keep that stress/rest balance in check at all times. And I’ve had some great shows, HIIT versus HIRT with Dr. Craig Marker. And of course, content in many of the series that I just mentioned, where I’m talking about balancing peak performance with longevity and harping on this point over and over is that you have to apply that intuitive approach and take breaks and tone things down and leave a little in the tank, especially when you’re doing an exhausting or a strenuous high intensity workout. You don’t want to go to that point of exhaustion. You wanna leave a little bit in the tank and walk away from that track or whatever the venue is that CrossFit workout with a bit of a bounce in your step rather than feeling exhausted, depleted and famished. So some of the indications that you overdid it, duh, getting injured, right, getting an overuse injury, getting an acute injury.
And I’m not talking about making a mistake, turning your ankle during basketball game, but rather pulling up with a hamstring glute strain, which happens to me when I’m sprinting too hard. So we have the chronic overuse injury where the runner get shin splints from repeated bouts where you have a little bit of pain signaling that you ignore, or you get an acute injury because the workout itself was too strenuous. And on your seventh sprint that’s when your hamstring went. So injuries is a great sign that you overdid it. Getting an upper respiratory infection that was most likely brought about by over exercising. Some other ones are interfering with optimal sleep. So if you’re sleeping poorly in the aftermath of challenging workouts or challenging succession of workouts, that’s an indication that you’re over balanced, you’re outta balance on the sympathetic nervous system stimulation that fight or flight, and you need more parasympathetic, which is rest and digest and taking it easy and doing recovery restorative workouts rather than challenging ones.
If your improvement is stagnating, that’s a clear sign that your training’s not working. And of course there are an assortment of overtraining symptoms that can be, uh, you can learn about, uh, plug in with great importance to monitor. One of ’em is I think, uh, for me, one of my most profound ones is feeling fatigued during the day. So if your workouts, you’re devoted 6:00 AM blaring alarm session, you jump up, you get on the bike and you do that kick early morning spin class. And then you’re feeling like crap at 2:00 PM and looking around for the nearest binge of sugar, that’s an indication that even though you did well during that fight or fight experience, that was your morning workout and you would be better served to do those early morning jam sessions, less frequently, or tone down the degree of difficulty of the workout.
And so many people, so many fitness leaders are echoing the same message. I’ve listed them before Joel Jamieson, Craig Marker, Phil Maffettone, Firas Zahabi that was on the Joe Rogan show. And I’ve sent that video link before all these people saying, look, just, you know, work within your capabilities. This is indeed how the elite athletes operate. So elite athletes are not out there puking on the side of the track routinely because they’re so awesome and they work so hard. Nope, they’re extremely talented. They’re resilient. They can recover well. So they train very, very hard, but it’s within their limits. And so we wanna model that by going, pushing hard only when you feel great and keeping a bit in the tank every time and doing a lot of workouts that are comfortable and just give that nice, appropriate amount of fitness stimulation without being epic and heroic.
And so that all goes under the category of supporting longevity with your goals and your training patterns and honoring your 80 year old self that oftentimes takes putting your ego aside and being smart and thoughtful and intuitive and personalizing your fitness journey as well. Because a lot of times we get sucked into the group mentality, the group experience, and we follow along with what possibly a well-meaning coach or leader is presenting, but it might not be optimal for you. So you have to be willing to adjust and back off and maybe do less work, less mileage than your counterpart is more adapted for a, a, a more higher degree of difficulty schedule.
New Speaker (34:45):
Okay, now we get to the next one on the list, which I call setting long term big picture intrinsic goals. So I mentioned those, I mentioned intrinsic goals briefly, but these are the major things that, uh, frame your fitness experience and motivate you day after day. Peter Attia has a great little, uh, spiel about his centenarian Olympics. And he calls the centenarian Olympics, the goals and objectives he wants to perform when he’s 100. One of ’em is hoisting himself up and out of a pool deck on his own. Another one is being able to squat with a kettle bell that weighs a similar weight to a grandchild. John Assaraff, wonderful guest on the show a couple times the brain training expert talks about his overarching fitness goal these days is that he is training right now to teach his grandchildren how to ski. No, he does not have grandchildren yet, but he has kids in their, in their twenties and he knows someday they’re gonna have grandchildren. So is looking far into the horizon and imagining himself. And remember, this is the, the imagination king. So he is picturing himself with great intensity and clarity on a ski slope with some little kid last name Assaraff and he’s teaching him how to ski in 20 years time or 15 years time or whatever it is.
So the more specific you can get the better. We could call these the bucket list items that you want to write down, enumerate, visualize, put up a sticky note in a prominent place. My sister, good example, this is a few years ago now. She decided that she wanted to hike the Inca trail in Peru and get over to Machu Picchu and read up on a guided tour. That was a super challenging. It wasn’t the usual tourist route, but it was many days of treking, uh, topping out at 16,000 feet elevation. And, one of the days was walking, nine or 10 miles or something crazy up at high altitude. So she signed up for group for fitness training and did the workouts for years before she departed for her trip, ready for action to carry a backpack and, and Trek it long distance.
Jon Stahley, who I mentioned on a recent show that did the double crossing of the Grand Canyon and was also my guide and counterpart for the amazing Cactus to Clouds hike in Palm Springs. He relates how in preparation for these big events. He goes out on the weekends in San Diego and will hike for five hours up to the top of Mount Soledad and back down and back up and back down and back up, however long it takes, but doing these epic hikes, frequently, not too frequently, right? But just going out there on the weekend and going long maybe a long bike ride now, and then, but lots of long hikes, lots of long bike rides. And then when he departs for the amazing epic experience in the Grand Canyon, he’s ready, he’s prepared. He enjoys it to the fullest. It doesn’t destroy his body.
It’s not be, I mean, of course it’s extending to his fitness limits and harder than anything he’s ever done, but he’s prepared for it. And in contrast, I remember him relating to me that when they finished their amazing what is it, 47 mile hike with 13,000 feet of elevation gain taking all day long. And they barely made it to the south rim before dark. And this was in May. It’s getting cold, it’s getting rainy here comes the sleet. So it’s, you know, 37 degrees out and here comes the sideways slushy stuff. And he made it to the lip safely and looked down into the Grand Canyon and saw dozens of hiking lamps. And these represented the rookies who were down there far too late in the day, because their effort had taken way longer than they anticipated. Maybe they weren’t prepared.
Maybe they didn’t bring enough food. Didn’t bring enough water, didn’t get fit enough. And now they were putting themselves in great peril. And we love to laugh at those stories that we see on the internet out these crazy hikers or adventurers that have to get rescued. And boy, I don’t wanna be that guy. Who’s turning on his headlamp in the dark, in the Grand Canyon when the frozen sleet is slowing down, snowing down, and I’m getting tired and wished I was at the rim. So there’s a plug for setting these long-term big, your intrinsic goals and preparing properly for these wonderful experiences rather than winging it and struggling and suffering. Another great quote from Roger Bannister struggle gives meaning and richness to life. And I interpret that to me appropriately framed struggle, not struggling because you goofed off and didn’t bring the right stuff on your hike to the Grand Canyon.
And it sleeted and snowed on you at nighttime when you should have been in your tent enjoying the fire. So the struggle appropriately framed and appropriately prepared for balanced with a nice happy, healthy stress- balanced life is what gives meaning and richness to life. And so this is the set long term, big, big picture intrinsic goals, and make them really clear and distinct. So imagine yourself out there, I’m imagining myself trying for the world record in the 95 plus division in the high jump, which right now stands at 0.97th of a meter. And so all I have to do literally is jump into bed, the height of a typical bed off the ground. And I will break the world record if I’m still high jumping at 95, excuse me, when I’m still high jumping at 95. And so the more distinct you can make, written visualized a vision board or a mind movie, you can learn more about that at jackcanfield.com.
The use of vision boards, mind movies.com. Is a cool website, but it basically entails putting together a, you can make a little video. I make one on my phone on with a bunch of different snapshots of dreams and goals that I have in my future life. So there’s a picture of me high jumping, and maybe I’ll have a slogan on there, like raise the bar or an actual goal that I intend to achieve, like 01.60, and then 01.65. Those are metric measurements for five, three, and five five in the high jump. That kind of thing, where you can really see yourself doing it and do not succumb to the cultural norms of getting pushed to the sideline and being content to watch sporting events on TV and talk about how you used to participate in the past. So I think that frames a nice part one here, because I said we had 14 tips and strategies and we covered number one, primal mindset, number two, healthy competitive intensity, number three goals that support longevity and number four setting long term, big picture intrinsic goals, and making very clear and distinct.
Thank you for listening. Way more to come on this important topic of aging gracefully. Thank you so much. Bye bye for now. Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please. Email podcast@Brad ventures.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list to Brad kearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bi-monthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list. And if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with apple podcasts or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad Podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called Overcast allows you to actually record a soundbite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and member B.rad.