VLOG #11: Bikin’ til the Legs Cramp!

West Seattle to Vashon Island and back with my Uncle

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On Thursday my Uncle Paul and I took off on an epic bike ride, throwing fifty miles onto the pedals and converting my legs from solid transport vessels to Bill Cosby’s favorite dessert… waiiiiit a sec… I meant, JELL-O!  Sorry for the confusion.  Anyways… watch this fun vid!

For my last Quest Update, Click Here!

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

VLOG #10: Bro’in’ It Up in the Olympics

Here’s the promised footage of my brother and I camping and hiking out in the Olympics last week.  What a pretty and fun day hike.  It was super easy, but definitely had us sweating a bit due to the heat.

 

Click Here for my most recent Quest Update!

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

Winning. Losing. Just Being.

An Update on the Most Epic of Quests.

What is up, party people!?  There is a lot in this post, so please read all the way through.

We’re well into month eight of my Quest, and holy moly is there a lot that has transpired since my last update.  Adventures I have gone on.  Soul searching I have done.  Work accomplishments that have come and passed.  Books I have read.  Let’s get into the nitty gritty and break down this on-going self-improvement quest into its five key areas of focus.

Mental Health.  I have to say my mental health is pretty steady.  Besides having random bouts of self-doubt, I have maintained a pretty optimistic outlook on life, am successfully practicing non-reactivity, and am trending in a direction that I am content with.  That is not to say I don’t, at times, find myself slightly down or unmotivated, but I am able to define where my negative feelings are coming from and isolate those feelings to whatever obstacle is responsible for the negative thought loop.  Once I do that, I can break that thought loop.  Often, any negative feelings can be traced back to my impatience with my career or financials, or not being able to do something I want to do.  When there is nothing I can do about the outcome, or if the solution is one that will take time to achieve, I have started to breathe through my discontentment and reframe my perspective to take the action needed to help me get where I want to be.

My meditation practice has seen some significant growth and is bleeding into my daily routine, meaning, I am finding myself clearing my mind by noting my breath when feelings of anxiety, stress, or self-doubt begin.  That is a massive change that has significant benefits, maybe even the most significant development that I have undergone during this process.

Physical Health.  Stated simply, I’m in shape.  I am strong, I am lean, I workout 4-7x per week and am maintaining a weight at around 182-185 lbs.  Although I would consider that on the lighter side for my frame, I feel fantastic and think that adding any additional muscle mass is only going to benefit me aesthetically.  My diet could use some work, but if I just got rid of the momentary lapses in discipline that urge me to shovel spoonfuls of PB with a delectable honey drizzle into my gaping mouth, then I would be doing just fine.  I, also, tend to drink an iced hazelnut americano at some point during each day, which I have started being cognizant of, not just from a health perspective (the syrup and cream), but also because of the sheer amount of plastic that a habit like that generates.

Here’s what my diet regularly looks like:  In the morning, I, typically, fast until 10 AM -1 PM.  I break that fast with either a protein shake or some eggs over a bed of greens (with an avocado if we have one).  Lunch is often a salad and some leftovers, but if I’m in a rush, a sandwich or burrito from Whole Foods or PCC may be indulged.  I have, as of lately, been cooking my dinner on the grill.  After my daily workout I drink a large whey protein shake.

I, also, take some supplements, here is what I am currently taking:  Whey Protein, Creatine, Pre-Workout, Alpha Brain by ONNIT, Brain by Host Defense, CoQ10, B12, Krill Oil, Vitamin D3, ZMA (Zinc Magnesium Asperate), 5-HTP, Collagen Peptides, Aniracetam (nootropic – take only as needed and sometimes with my pre-workout for added focus)

Creativity:  Honestly, I have not been doing all I can here.  My focus feels somewhat divided between work, the outdoors, the gym, and I have been neglecting to let my creative juices flow like the river they could be.  I haven’t even been updating this blog very regularly, but what I have been doing is enjoying editing and recording videos of my adventures, which I have posted to the “a Life to Summit” YouTube Channel.  I, also, am feeling more inspired lately and feel that I have a lot of pent up writing to slog through.  One of my goals for this coming month is to make some progress on the book I am writing.

Relationships:  In some ways, this has seen tremendous growth.  My girlfriend and I have been fighting and bickering much less than normal, and I feel like we are understanding one another better and acknowledging what sets us off.  It’s not perfect, as no relationship ever is, but we’re making strides, and I’m very pleased with that.  My other relationships with my family and friends are going just fine, minus the fact that there is just not enough time to adequately spend with all the people I care about.

On the other hand, I have further written off the most toxic relationship in my life, and harsh, but incredibly honest, words were conveyed through text messages to that person and their significant other.  I have come to terms with the fact that some people cannot be changed, and no matter who that person is supposed to be to you, if they are negatively impacting your mental health, they do not need to be in your life.

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Career/Learning:  I have sold two houses so far and have been busily growing my pipeline.  I am, currently, in between very active buyers, believe I have a couple listings coming up and am generally looking at this career move as the best decision I have ever made.  With that said, I am somewhat stressed out, the lull between clients has been too long and led to some self-doubt, but think I will make a solid career out of this venture once I have fully ramped my business up.

I am reading daily and applying what I read to my life.  Great things are coming from that.  Listening is the other thing I am working on, and my Audible and Calm apps have been great tools to hone that skillset.

 

As I have been gearing up my real estate business and further growing this blog, I have been paying attention to how people interact with their social media, and there are a couple things that have bothered me about what I have witnessed.  One of those things is that I feel like there are a lot of phonies out there.  Frauds, if you will.  People who convey that they are someone that they truly are not, and I want to do my very best to ensure I do not fall into this category, because, in reality, I am not some zen-minded intellectual, rather, I operate in chaos and my life has been a series of me stumbling into stupid decision after dumb outcome, rinse, repeat.  The whole concept of this year has been to find balance and learn to clear out that chaos.  It’s a step that has been needed to be taken to correct an unstable path.  With that said, these people I have deemed as phonies might not deserve such a harsh critic.  In fact, it is a negative time suck to even judge these people who are just trying to figure out who they are in this digitally connected world.  Or maybe they’re just trying to make a buck.  What drives someone else is completely separate from what drives me, and it is very easy to choose which lens you decide to view others through.  What I am trying to say is, I have kind of been a dick for a lot of years, but I think I might be coming to a place where I am shedding that dick skin. 😳

If I could offer advice to people out there battling with their online personality versus their true self, I would say to just get out and do what it is you claim you do and make it part of who you actually are.  For instance, if you are claiming to be a bad ass personal trainer who is a crazy hiking machine, then get the fuck out there TODAY and go hike something extremely hard.  Then do it tomorrow, too!  Followed by three more next week.  Show the world you can do things others cannot and set a precedent for yourself to stop encouraging half ass efforts just so that you can get a picture on top of some easily attainable mountaintop that makes people unfamiliar with the area say, “Oh, wow, they’re on top of a mountain, that must be hard.”  It’s easy to be on top of a mountain, it’s hard to find the steepest, longest route, and push yourself beyond what you know you are capable of.

Stop talking, start doing, and don’t stop doing until you get the results you desire.

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Lastly, I had a discussion this week with a childhood friend.  That friend is Antone Gerontis.  I am going to write a whole separate post regarding Antone’s journey, but am bringing your attention to him now, as his story is one of the most inspirational and heartbreaking things I have come across.  His mental strength is unrivaled and I am so honored to have had the chance to converse with him.  Antone and I went to elementary school together, and, unfortunately, he has become very, very sick for the last six plus years.  As we were talking he was prepping himself for a surgery and had a gaping hole in his chest.  Even with all of that, he had nothing but the kindest words to say and was telling me his dreams and goals for when he is healthy, again.  I know he is going to get there, but he needs your help.  He has spend all of his money battling his disease.  Please go visit his site and read his updates.

https://www.youcaring.com/antone-gerontis-563753

 

When an issue seems like it is too large and burdensome to bear, remember that any issue at a certain distance vanishes completely from sight and is no longer an issue at all.  I have spent a lot of time feeling like I am winning or losing at life, recently I have realized that I am just being, and will continue to just be until that vanishes completely from sight as well.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

P.S. WHOEVER DONATED A THOUSAND DOLLARS TO aLifetoSummit.com’s Patagonia trip!  HOLY SHIT!!!!!!! THANK YOUUUUU!!!!!!! I, literally, just saw that and am so emotionally overwhelmed and thankful.

P.P.S.  I have alot of footage to upload to my Vlog, including a trip into the Olympics with my little brother.  Here is the recently uploaded video of us climbing Saint Helens in May.

P.P.P.S. Here’s what one of my recent workouts looks like:

Warmup:  1300 meter row on 10 difficulty in 5 minutes.

Squats
135 lbs x 10
Pause set: 135 lbs x 10
205 lbs x 10
255 lbs x 6
315 lbs x1
255 lbs x 6
255 lbs x 6

Shoulder press dumbbells
50 lbs x 10
50 lbs x 15
50 lbs x 12
50 lbs x 10

Single-Leg Leg Press
90 lbs x 10 ea
180 lbs x 10 ea
270 lbs x 4 ea + 180 lbs x 8 ea

(Superset with)

Isolated High Row on Hammer Strength (Plate Loaded)
90 lbs (180 lbs total) x 10 each
115 lbs (230 lbs total) x 10 ea
135 lbs (270 lbs total) x 10 ea

Lateral and Frontal (Alternating Sets) Dumbbell Raises
25 lbs x 10  L
25 lbs x 10 F
25 lbs x 10 L
25 lbs x 10 F
25 lbs X 10 L
25 lbs X 10 F

Low Cable Crossovers
80 lbs (each stack) x 10
80 lbs x 10
80 lbs x 10
80 lbs x 10

Rear Foot Elevated Lunge
25 lb dumbbells (50 lbs total) x 10 each leg
25 lb dumbbells x 10 each leg
25 lb dumbbells x 10 each leg

Sauna and Steam.

 

Vlog #8: The Most Epic of Fails; The North Cascades

Earlier this week, my trusty hiking/climbing buddy, Austin, and I headed into the North Cascades to summit Silver Star Mountain.  After getting there and getting setup to do the climb, we were disappointed to find that the trail was lost in intermittent snow with no visible boot pack and a raging river we would have to ford.  After wasting an hour of morning we decided to try to find the second entry point but it was not where we had thought it was.  So, we decided to just head up the middle of a basin and see if we could climb a peak.  Seemed like a decent idea…

 

And….. Lesson learned.  I will be back in the coming weeks with a successful summit!  It is now a must.

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Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

VLOG: How to Grow and Harvest Lion’s Mane

Nootropics.  They are all the craze in Silicon Valley.  Whatever can make you smarter and gives you the edge over your peers.  One of the oldest and most credibly researched nootropics is a mushroom known as Lion’s Mane, though it’s official name is one of those hard to pronounce Latin ones that make you sound like an idiot when you try to pronounce it.  In fact, Lion’s Mane is not some new nootropic, no, knowing it came  but has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a very long time.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, here’s an article written by the king of mushrooms himself, Paul Stamets, that was published by the Huffington Post in 2017:  Lion’s Mane: A Mushroom That Improves Your Memory and Mood?

So, we –being, my girlfriend– grew some, and then we harvested, cooked and mowed them down in some butter, garlic and lemon.  I hate mushrooms, but this was dumb fucking good.  I’d seriously eat it every day.  Here is Part One documenting the process.  Enjoy.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

To The Summit of Mount Saint Helens

Trailer for my upcoming VLOG: To The Summit of Mount Saint Helens

Guaranteed to be less impressive than this cinematic masterpiece.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

The Constant Battle Against Self-Doubt & My Thought Process To Overcome It

No matter what progression I make, there always seems to be that one day or week that I trip really hard and catch myself with my forehead on the pavement.  A single event, but usually a chain of them, occurs that strips away my blooming positive outlook.  Sometimes these mental clouds are as trivial as a business call gone awry, a rude prospect that forces me to look inward, a friend who disappears from my social media feed, an argument with a significant other, not getting my way with a service provider, or a client/friend who decides to work with someone else.  Whatever the cause, once that snowball starts rolling down the neural pathways of my noggin, a darker and more pessimistic overview can quickly take shape… What was it that I said that offended these people?  What turned them off?  Am I not likable?  Annoying?  Stupid?  Of course, in reality, it’s completely beyond my control, but being “liked” is something most of us desire.  Something, as a people pleaser, I definitely desire.  But, if you do not believe me, then go look at your own social media feeds and see how many pictures and “thoughts” you post.  Are they just any photo?  Just any thought?  Not likely, instead they are probably photos that people will view favorably, that people will “like.”  Or something that your “tribe” will “like” that will persuade the clearly unreasonable opposition to see your point of view.  Even if you are not in your own photos, one’s intent is often to paint the portrait that you are good at, in the simplest case, taking those photos.   Check out my sexy montage of #mountainscapes on my Instagram account.  Ohhhhh yeah, I’m soooo good at pictures.  Don’t you think?!?!?!  Like them all a thousand times per!!

Most people don’t want you to see them at their worst.  Maybe they feel that type of honesty would jeopardize their career or image, maybe they’re not proud of who they really are, maybe it’s fear, maybe they’re private, maybe they’re depressed, maybe, maybe, maybe… the list of reasons goes on for infinity.

I’ve met some incredibly kind people lately, but I’ve also met some vicious assholes.  Funny thing, the kind people who I have come across do not loom in my head as long as the negative interactions do.  I am unsure if this is a “me” thing or if this is human nature, but I would bet on the latter, with an exception being the small percentage of people who have broken out of that type of restrictive thinking.

IT IS PART OF THE JOB:
Everyone knows that a career salesman has many confrontations with rejection.  As we’ve all been told, it is part of the job, and one that we, as salespersons, must become fairly comfortable with and learn to overcome.  Being a salesman who has had to cold call businesses and work his way through the phone lines of Seattle’s technology industries, host open houses, sell gym memberships to people in the artery clogged state of Indiana, travel to Montana only to find his client forgot that we had a meeting (yes, that actually has happened to me more than once), etc., I have become well-adversed with rejection.  It, literally, happens more often than not and typically isn’t bothersome.  What we don’t typically get is verbally “sized-up” by some random prospect.  I had this happen recently, and although I felt I was being attacked, I do not think this individual felt as if he were attacking me.  After helping this not-so-gentleman with questions pertaining to a home he was viewing and the cost of homes in the area, he started lambasting me and told me he was “not impressed” and “not sold” on, basically, what… me?  If it was not ME that he wasn’t sold on, I missed his point, although when I asked him, he seemed to say it was not.  Oddly, I was not pitching him, I was simply assisting him, to the best of my knowledge, with his many questions, and so this came across as an insult.

“Excuse me sir, I just want to be clear, I am trying to help you with the questions you have asked by getting you the answers.  As is my job, I would love to assist you in the purchasing of this home or the sale of yours.  If I said or did something to offend you, I apologize, but I am unsure where the miscommunication here is occurring.”

He, again, said that I had not done anything wrong, but his tone was such that I had not done, at least, something.  Otherwise, what was he not sold on or impressed by?  He had expected a level of service from me that he was unsatisfied with.  I left that Open House feeling somewhat deflated, mentally going through the conversation and where I could have ventured off-piste.  I ranted to a couple of friends.  I was left ruminating on the question: What did I do wrong that would merit his response?

LOOKING INWARD & RUMINATION:
Once you start falling into the pattern of negative thinking, it makes you over analyze everything.  Was I coherent and present during the conversation we were having?  Did I come off as too pushy?  Was I impolite?  The answer is: OF COURSE I WASN’T PERFECT.  I am a pretty new agent.  To have perfected a new craft in just a little over two months does not reflect the true nature of the human learning curve.  Even just from a sales perspective, I could have controlled the conversation with more authority.  But, that’s not what I was thinking right then, that comes later, because rumination does not end at the one event that started it off, it leads to: Is that why So-&-So did not respond to my message?  Emails, phone calls, text messages, DMs, or any other attempted contact that went unresponded to start adding weight to my mental plight.  Clients that changed their mind, do the same.  All of a sudden, something that had not bothered me is bogging me down, making me doubt my capabilities… my likability… this is self doubt.  I have (temporarily) lost.

THE REALITY:
People are busy!

“I would’ve responded if they had contacted me,” I say to myself, but is that always true?  Do I miss calls and forget to text people back?
     Yes, dude, you do it all the damn time.

AND, People are dicks!

Dane, when was the last time you decided you wanted to yell at someone who really didn’t deserve being bullied?
     Uhhh….

Did you, Dane, ever lose it on a lady at Papa Murphy’s over a coupon?
     Oh shiiiit, why ya gotta bring that up? 

Did you mean to make that poor pizza maker’s night utter and pure shit or were you just irritated over a coupon policy that was out of her control?
     Well…… 

So, maybe this guy did or didn’t have a reason to talk to me like that, but, dude, just brush it off, learn from it and move on.

and, PEOPLE ARE NOT YOU:
I am unique.  You are unique.  Everybody interacts differently and has their own opinions and thoughts.  There is not one right or wrong way, there are just infinite ways and infinite outcomes.  Even the people I idolize most will have completely varying and contradictory thoughts to my own, also, they’ll have completely complimentary and similar ones.  One person’s negative opinion does not define me, nor does their positive opinion.

As much as we want people to act in a certain way, it takes some sort of voluntary or forced control to have them comply, such as an authoritarian regime or employment.  In fact, the more we push our own agenda on others or try to control them, the more others will tend to turn from it.  Don Juan DeMarco has women swoon over him while a love sick puppy repels the same ladies.  .

The loudest voices receive the harshest criticism, something to be kept in mind when we decide to speak.  If we decide to yell, we might get attention we do not want.  This is both literal and figurative.  It applies to both the three-dimensional world and the digital.  It applies to getting in political fights on Twitter, peacocking in a bar, posting a provocative photo on Instagram, claiming expertise in a particular subject, or even just holding a forward facing job where interacting with people and social media is a necessity.  Everything is subjective and not everyone’s opinion will be fair to you or I.

NOW, THAT I’VE HAD MY PITY PARTY:
And it’s a good thing I did, because then I did some thinking and if I don’t have that occasional shitty pity party, I then don’t do that thinking, and I then forget all the things I’ve been teaching myself.

  • I forgot that social media is a negative time suck, and though I need to play in this world, I, also, need to keep my wits and not fall into comparison models, the judging of others, or self-critiquing.
  • I forget to turn off the TV or video games and journal, write, meditate, exercise, and get outdoors.  The foundation that has gotten me where I am right now.
  • I forgot that my life is the only one I am in control of and that the actions of others are exactly just that: their actions.  They don’t matter to my goals.
  • I forgot that I can do whatever the fuck I want to do if I just stay on MY path.

After some reflection, I remembered my goals, and realized that, for just a second, I had let someone else’s opinion of me enter into my world and make me question it.  But, now, I’ve reframed my thinking and I also remember the cool CEO who was nice enough to respond to a LinkedIn message that I had sent him a couple weeks back about his inspirational panel discussion.  I remember the hiker I met at the top of Mailbox Peak who wrote for Powder Magazine and Teton Gravity Research, who gave me incredible feedback and advice on my writing.  Who told me to OWN IT.  I remember the clients who agreed to work with me.  The family, friends and co-workers who are rooting for and support me.  The hikes I get to go on.  Ski-days I take.  Physical feats I’ve accomplished and the ones I want to.  All of a sudden, I’m like, “hey, fuck your own doubts, dude.  And, fuck those, for lack of a better term, haters.  I’m pretty Gad damn rad!”  The fact here is that I am just jumping into something feet first and it takes time to perfect that.  It takes throwing myself into situations that I’m uncomfortable with, and that one guy who disapproved of whatever it was he disapproved of, is nothing more than an opportunity to learn how to make him my fan.  And, then, it’s like, BOOM, laser beam focus back on, until the next thing throws me off and I GET TO reevaluate everything all over again.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane