Last week, my sweetheart and I drove up and hiked a bit of the Tahoe Rim Trail. I’m pretty athletic and the hike wasn’t super difficult. So I was surprised to find myself out of breath until it dawned on me that we were about 7,000 feet higher than home.
“Oh yeah,” I thought. Huff puff. “The altitude.”
This instantly brought back a memory of a trip I took to Boulder a few years back. I was training for a half marathon at the time, and my plan was to explore Boulder by running 7 or 8 miles a day, just like at home.
I checked into the old Boulderado Hotel, geared up, and set out. I got roughly three blocks before I was gasping for air. I realized in that moment exactly why the Olympians go up there to train: the altitude.
Altitude training is no joke. The higher you go, the less oxygen is in the air. The less oxygen is in the air, the harder your body has to work to get it, even when you’re at rest. When you work out at elevation, your body has to work much harder than normal to get the extra oxygen your workout requires out of the air and into your lungs.
When you first arrive and work out at high altitudes, it is very, very hard. Even if you’re very, very fit.
Back to Boulder. I ran every day as planned, though not for anywhere near the distances I was used to. After my weeklong trip, though, something wild happened. I got home, geared up and headed out on my normal training run. And I ran. And ran and ran. EFFORTLESSLY. I felt like Wonder Woman, for real. Seriously, I ran faster, freer and further than I had before and it felt like an easy breezy walk in the park.
My takeaway was this: altitude training gives you superpowers.
This is true in life, too. In life, as in sport, altitude training involves two parts. The altitude part involves elevation: the climb toward closer alignment with your higher self, which nearly always triggers some internal resistance. It just the way we’re wired. Altitude is also atmosphere: being immersed in or surrounded by new challenges or constraints.
But the second part is training: the intention, focus and movement and focus you use to follow inspiration, despite the resistance that may have come up inside.
Train at altitude and you’ll feel breathless, unequipped and overwhelmed—for a little while.
But the rewards of altitude training are also no joke. If you keep at it, you get the double-whammy of growing your capacity intentionally and being expanded by simply being in the challenging atmosphere itself. You don’t have to go all nose-to-grindstone. Simply answering the call to the adventure of training at elevations will pull new capacity out of you, if you let it.
This is true whether your personal altitude training is taking on a new leadership role, signing up for online dating, shifting a difficult habit or dysfunctional pattern or writing a book.
Keep this in mind: a newly challenging environment is not new forever. Either you return home, or you acclimate to the atmosphere and no longer find it challenging. Whenever you get out of the challenge, though, you’ll realize three things:
- That you have new capacity, new superpowers. You have been changed by the process.
- That you now know about capacity you might have always had, but never before needed to tap into, and
- That you can turn your powers on when you need them, and you can exercise the discretion to rest and recharge them when you don’t.
You also learn that you can go back to the atmosphere and train some more, grow some more and expand your capacity some more anytime you want to.
This was my experience of writing each of my three books, and it is my experience writing the one I’m working on now. (!) You wade on into the void, stretch and challenge yourself. But at some point in my personal process of book writing, I acquired some new powers. I learned some new things about how to manage myself and my life skillfully when I want to create something.
For example: I learned that I am more creative, inspired and productive when I do things that still, clear and soothe my mind than when I try to be it’s disciplinarian or tough taskmaster. Stuff like that.
At some point, writing books shifted from an overwhelming grind into an adventure of personal expansion and spiritual connection. It’s an adventure into clarity and insight that I can take anytime I want to turn on my power to create anything.
This is precisely the process I’ll be sharing with the conscious creators and transformational leaders who heed the call to adventure of my newest program—One Quarter Book, aka 1QB.
I’ve been tucked away in Monk Mode creating this, and am so proud to share it with you and the rest of the world today:
Note: Registration is open, but I’m putting a cap on enrollment and closing registration next week before the first session on February 3rd..
I’ll share much more shortly but let me make one thing clear, for now: this program is not for writers. It’s for leaders and creators who have an approach or insight to share, or a personal story of resilience that gives them a unique worldview. It’s for people who are ready to write the book they have inside this year.
Here’s a quick video I made about the program:
I’d be honored if you’d click through and learn more here, or share this link with anyone you know who should know about this Adventure!
Learn more or register here: Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s One Quarter Book: The 90 Day Book Accelerator for Conscious Leaders.
Head up + heart out,