Category Archives: Flow

Mountain Bike Maven Tracy Moseley

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Tracy Moseley has been competing on the World Cup mountain bike circuit since 2000. Over those years she won 16 World Cup races, multiple UK National Titles, 2 World Cup Overall Championships and finally in 2010 won the World Downhill Championships in Quebec, Canada.

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Tracy Moseley in the zone

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She recently changed her focus from Downhill to the new Enduro race division, which consists of multiple timed stages throughout a day. After years of dominating the downhill mountain biking scene, it’s no surprise that Tracy is conquering this new genre as well.

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Tracy Moseley in Les Duex Alpes

Consisting of timed downhill stages  and untimed transition stages, Enduro has been called “real mountain biking.” Much like the kind of day most riders have with friends, Enduro tries to capture the essence of the sport.

2013 was the first year of a World Series for Enduro, and Tracy won the overall World Championship Title, with first place finishes and two second place finishes. With still one more race to go, Tracy has already clinched the title.

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What makes a premiere athlete switch genres while still in her prime? Is Enduro the future of mountain bike racing? Find out this week on The Edge Radio when I talk to Tracy about mountain biking, racing and what keeps her in the zone.

Kyle Miller Takes Splitboarding to a Whole New Level

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Extreme athletes often shout about their accomplishments. But Kyle Miller is a rare breed, a pioneering splitboarder who has quietly ticked off an impressive list of ascents and descents in the Cascades.

A local at Crystal Mountain, Kyle’s mission started in 2007 when he summited, then rode, the five tallest volcanoes in the Cascades. Kyle hit full stride the following year, becoming the first to climb the entire top 25 Northwest volcanoes.

After recovering from that exhaustive feat, Kyle set his sights higher and pushed deeper tackling a massive project to ride the ten North Cascade subranges followed b the 10 highest peaks in Washington.

Lately his focus has been on traversing the remote high country of the Cascades including The Picket Range and the American Alps Traverse. In the process Kyle has raised the splitboard bar, laying down more than 100 defining lines that speak for themselves.

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Kyle Miller getting after it

Every season splitboarder Kyle  sets his sights high. In June of this year Kyle and his climbing partner Jason Hummel planned on traversing the as-yet-unclimbed American Alps Traverse.

And they succeeded.

What does it take to attempt such a grueling and formidable objective? How do you dig deep enough to traverse 120 miles and climb 60,000 feet in the heart of the most rugged range in the lower 48?

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Join me on The Edge Radio this Wednesday at 8 am as I talk to Kyle about his mission to raise the bar on exploration, splitboarding and getting out on the edge.

Extreme Mom: Barbara Peterson

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Barbara competing at Xterra

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Getting out on the edge may seem challenging enough. But imagine competing in and winning numerous offroad triathlons every year while also writing books, coaching other athletes, giving motivational speeches, designing jewelry, running a business and raising two daughters. That’s Barbara Peterson. Her specialty, however, is Xterra, a series of offroad triathlons that include swimming, mountain biking and trail running. In a nutshell, Barbara is totally badass.

Barbara is an award-winning athlete, an author, a designer and a mother. She is the founder of the Power of Exercise, a multi-faceted approach to fitness and personal growth, and the designer at Foreste and Hils, making wearable art.

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Beautiful and radiant Barbara

Graduating in 1984 with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, Barbara utilizes her degree to help people the world over find their inner strength and serenity, with a focus on the benefits of exercising. She practices sports psychology, acts as a motivational speaker, and is the author of multiple books relating to health and well-being.

With a first place title in the XTERRA World Championships for 2011 while in her fifties, Barbara continually proves that being fit and happy is achievable and accessible for anyone. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband and two school-aged daughters.

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Join me this week on The Edge Radio when I talk to Barbara about what it takes to be an extreme mom. Show airs live Wednesday August 7th at 8am Pacific. Call in with questions for Barbara or comment here. This is one inspiring woman.

The Long Way: Ultra Marathoner Lizzy Hawker

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What makes some people want to run ultra marathons? For some, grinding out all those miles through dust and mud and huge gains in elevation is nothing short of transformational. Some people were just born to run.

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Lizzy on the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc

Inspired by mountains and wilderness Lizzy Hawker ‘fell’ into the world of ultra-distance and endurance running more by chance than by design. She entered the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc on a whim in 2005, a race that gains 31,168 feet in 103 miles through the Alps. Lizzy surprised herself, and the ultra-running world, by winning that race, and then went on to win five more times.

She is a previous world record holder for 24hrs, and was the 2006 100km World Champion. She recently returned from Nepal where she competed in the Mustang Trail Race, an eight-stage race covering 200 kilometers, all done at an elevation of 3-4,000 meters, then, for good measure, added on the Everest

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Lizzy Hawker in Kathmandu

Marathon, called the “most adventurous trail run in the world,” setting the new world record running from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu.

Lizzy’s enduring passion for the mountains and nature has shaped both her life as an endurance athlete, and her professional career as a writer and as a scientist. A Natural Scientist by training, with a PhD in polar oceanography, she has been on many research cruises to the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean. These experiences and studies gave her an even deeper commitment to our responsibility of working towards both social and environmental sustainability in every part of our lives.

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Recently awarded the Nat. Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award in ultra running, Lizzy joins me this week on The Edge Radio where she’ll share what pushes her to run, what she loves about the mountains and why she gave up an elite job as a research scientist in the Antarctic to become a world-class endurance runner. You don’t want to miss this show.

Don’t Feel Guilty for Finding Meaning in Your Life

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“Women feel guilty for being in flow,” according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. “Men don’t ever feel that way.” I’ve been thinking about this comment ever since my interview with Mihaly yesterday, when he pointed out this vital gender difference in the pursuit of happiness.

Flow, for those that didn’t hear the show yesterday (it’s not too late, click here to listen; I’ll wait), happens when you are completely absorbed in the moment. The task is challenging, time slows down, you are totally focused, and the reward is the activity itself. In a word: your best moments. This is what gives your life meaning.

Which leads me to this question: Guilty? Women feel guilty for finding meaning in their lives? It sounds pretty ridiculous when you say it like that.

First a little context: Earlier I’d asked Mihaly a question about flow personality. Are some personality types more likely to get into flow than others? His comment was interesting. Individuals that are too self-conscious to lose themselves in an activity rarely get into flow. (I was thinking about teenagers here.)

Only later did he mention in an anecdote how often he encounters women when he gives his talks that say, “isn’t the pursuit of flow selfish?”

Gah.

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Queens of the Hill

Granted, most of us have pretty busy lives. Most of us have others relying on us. Most of us don’t even have enough time to brush our teeth, let alone search for moments of freedom and transcendence.

But we should make time.

We all should make time to find flow NOT because it makes us better mothers, more enthusiastic partners or more capable employees/business owners/etc.

We should find flow because it makes life worth living. Get that? Flow states are what we live for.

I hear myself justifying my pursuit of happiness by how it will affect others. I’ll be a nicer person if I can go hike the King right now; I’ll make a better wife and step-mom if I get a few hours to work on my book this morning. I’m going to paddle the SUP for an hour, and then I will be nicer, kinder, calmer. Well, guess what?

That’s bullshit.

Instead, I should be finding flow activities because that’s what I want to do and it makes me happy, not because it will then make me a better person for others. As it turns out (hello?!) I’m not here for the exclusive betterment of those around me. I’m here for me.

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Snow Angel

Well, duh.

Men don’t feel guilty for being in flow. Why? Because its not a normal human reaction. That means that women, too, can shake off this pesky guilt and get after it. We can stop justifying our best moments and just say, “I’m going surfing because that’s what I want to do.”

Sure, when you get back from your surfing session (or making snow angels, or skiing or watching a sunset, or whatever gives you flow) you will probably make lunch for your kids. You’ll do all the other important tasks in your life, and you’ll probably be happy to do it. But just remember, that’s not why you need to follow your flow state. Flow is for you. Period.

So go out there today and find some flow and don’t justify it based on how it will help your spouse/kids/parents. Do it because it will make you happy and give your life meaning.

And that is reason enough.