We all know that exercise has many benefits for both your mental and physical health but what about combining both physical and mental challenges? What if you could get a “double whammy”- effectively a 2-for-1 whilst up a mountain?!
What can we learn from how we are on the mountain?
I first came up with the idea whilst skiing a particularly tricky slope (for me!). I noticed I had reverted to my default way of skiing when well out of my comfort zone… weight too far back, jamming on the brakes before launching into the next turn…. It was exhausting and in fact counterproductive!! I didn’t enjoy the slope and it set off a chain reaction of thought processes resulting in a dent in my confidence. My mind naturally took me to how this physical and psychological reaction to challenge could be linked to how I react in life and particularly in my business.
For me, the mountains are the perfect environment to really take time out, give yourself space to think clearly and reflect, in order to gain clarity for the way ahead. Combining both physical and mental challenges can really help to raise self-awareness by highlighting thinking patterns and behaviours that serve us well and those that might be holding us back.
There are many, many lessons to take from the mountain – at it’s most basic, a mountain represents both a high point and a low point. Have you thought about the peak you’re aiming for? Are they the mountains you want to be climbing? Have you taken the time to really know, deep within, if this mountain of life you’re on is the one you’re meant to be climbing at this moment?
I decided to combine 2 of my biggest loves - skiing and coaching in the Peak Potential Programme – an annual week-long intensive coaching experience in Courcheval, France. The underlying question that frames the week is: “What can we learn from how we are on the mountain?”
Taking the time out to work on you and your current situation with professional coaches in a supportive and challenging environment means that you have the potential to:
Why do exercise & learning make a great match?
Exercise and learning go hand in hand. Physical activity not only facilitates the birth of new brain cells, it also produces smart chemicals that promote learning. Exercise balances neurotransmitters along with the rest of the neurochemicals in the brain. The more you use your brain, the stronger and more flexible it becomes. The more your body exercises, the better your brain functions!
“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So. . . get on your way.” ~ Dr. Seuss
This time next year our Peak Potential Programme 2022 begins in Le Praz, Courchevel, France!
On 19 to 26th March 2022, a small group of 11 will immerse themselves in the experience of BEING on the mountain. They will leave with clear plans for the future, a positive mindset, coping strategies for stressful times as well as feeling motivated and inspired to make 2022 a year of PEAK POTENTIAL for them and potentially those around them! Join Annie Lee Associates in Courchevel for the perfect post lockdown tonic - skiing, Peak Potential Coaching, delicious food, wine & more! Prices currently start at £1495 with one week to go for early bird discount! Book a FREE 30-min discovery call to find out more!
Last week on 4th March was World Book Day 2021 celebrating everything to do with literature and reading. I wanted to share some of the books that I’m currently dipping into and why I’m drawn to them.
I rarely have just one book on the go and 4 books is a bit extreme even for me! However I’m currently juggling reading all of them for various reasons...
Olive Mabel & me by Andrew Cotter
Olive and Mabel went viral on social media with their sporting contests during the COVID-19 lockdown, with Andrew Cotter’s unique commentary propelling the videos to over 50 million views and certainly contributed to keeping my chin up during lockdowns. The new book from broadcaster Andrew Cotter and his famous canine companions, Olive and Mabel is laugh out loud brilliant!
Second Wave Positive Psychology by Ivtzan, Lomas, Hefferon, & Worth, 2015; Wong, 2011
The positive psychology (PP) movement, launched by Martin Seligman (1998), is celebrated as the most significant phenomenon in contemporary psychology. PP continues to flourish and evolve in light of new theoretical formulations and research findings and the ‘second wave’ of PP (PP 2.0) represents a maturing of PP that is more nuanced, balanced, and inclusive. This is my current area of study – my “brain food”.
English Pastoral by James Rebanks
This is a fascinating book around our changing landscape and it really takes me back to my roots - growing up on a smallholding in the Peak District alongside the hardiest of farmers. It’s the story of an inheritance and legacy but most of all our changing relationship with the land. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. Then how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy and hope for the future.
From Field & Forest: An artist's year in paint and pen by Anna Koska
This is stunning! Anna (my fabulously talented cousin) celebrates the natural world; the changing of the seasons, the blossoming of flowers and the ripening of fruit. Anna's illustrations are reproduced in beautiful detail and they are accompanied by her musings and observations of objects, engaging us in the everyday realities of her artistic practice. Truly inspiring us all to take time to appreciate our surroundings.
An eclectic bunch of books - I know! but I think it’s a pretty sound reflection of me & my interests!!! The natural world, our inner world and a good dose of humour!! How does your bookshelf reflect you?!
While many start by cherishing one book at a time, there are several advantages of switching to multiple stories at a time. You’d be surprised how easy it is to keep track of separate books. Plus, reading multiple books at once can actually help you finish faster. If you don’t like a book, you have a backup. If you can’t remember a story, re-read it. This way you can also balance reading for work and reading for pleasure or both!
Reflecting on the best books I’ve read in 2020 - most of them were about running!!! However here are my stand outs: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, Finding Ultra by Rich Roll, Set Free by Emma Slade & The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.
The book I recommend to everyone in 2021 - Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat
Why do I love this book? So many reasons but the short answer is it is logical, challenging, well researched and Mo has a unique way of looking at happiness. His story is one that hits you square in the stomach (I strongly encourage you to listen to his audio version if you can!) and helps keep all of his insights fresh in your mind. What I also love about the book is that it doesn’t hold the ‘golden ticket’ until the end – it doesn’t promise five sure fire ways to reach optimum happiness!! It is a rich discussion looking at happiness from a multitude of angles which can challenge our way of thinking.
In fact, I love this book so much that I’d like to give the gift of either this book or a bouquet of Freddie’s Flowers to anyone who recommends my 1:1 services in 2021 & their referral signs up with me. Just tell your connection to mention that you recommended them, and I’ll be in touch with your gift!
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a bit about my bookshelf – I’d love to hear what you’re reading, any recommendations and also what you think your bookshelf says about you!