Lew Hollander has competed in over 2,000 races. He’s finished every race that he has ever started. He is most known for his triathlon accomplishments however. He completed his first of many in 1985, and now holds a world record as the oldest person to finish an Ironman. He did so at 84 years old. If you aren’t familiar with the event, it includes a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. In other words, it is the type of event that would humble most adults who are a fraction of Lew’s age. Meanwhile, Lew is busy preparing to break his record again. He plans to compete later this year as an 85 year old. As for Lew’s secret to success, he is a product of consistency and hard work.
The Ironman – Lew Hollander
The video below offers a brief introduction to his philosophy. To no surprise, there is nothing fancy about his approach. A summarized version is that he exercises at a brisk pace on a regular basis and limits his intake to real food.
Lew Hollander’s story is the type that deserves national attention. Unfortunately, his name is hardly known outside of the ultra-endurance community. Apparently, hard work over many years coupled with common sense nutrition does not make for a flashy front-page story. There’s no controversy, transformation, or miracles involved. All that you have is a hard working man who is willing to share how he’s aged gracefully and lived an active life.
What Do You Take?
One of my favorite stories about Lew Hollander comes from an interview that I read a while back. He retold a story of a man who approached him after hearing about his triathlon success. Lew was eighty years old at the time. Clearly amazed by his success, the man immediately asked Lew what he took. There had to be a magic pill, right?
Lew’s response to him was classic.
The man didn’t want any part of it.
Invest In Yourself
Another classic quote from Lew Hollander can be seen below.
The idea of investing in your health is something that more people need to hear. A hearty bank account will not preserve your quality of life if you lack the health to accompany it. There’s a distinct difference between being alive and living your life to the fullest.
Fortunately, you don’t need anything fancy to do the latter. Lew Hollander offers a prime example. He is not sitting idle waiting to die. At 85 years old, he’s still pushing himself each day in hopes of breaking another world record. He knows that no one can do it for him. Instead, he wakes up each day, ready and willing to tackle the difficult goals that he has set for himself. There aren’t any secrets or excuses. It’s just a man on a mission who refuses to settle for anything but his best.
If that type of commitment over so many years doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.
By MARC CHERNOFF ( marcandangel.com )
When I awake in the morning, my mind gradually gathers, and I begin to move as the early morning light is just starting to seep through the windows. My family is still sleeping. It’s a peaceful beginning.
I stretch, have a glass of water, start the tea kettle, and practice a gratitude meditation for ten minutes. Then I enjoy a cup of tea as I read one chapter of a good book. And finally, I write for an hour before the busyness of the day begins.
Once my family awakes, I pause to join them for a short time and we follow some simple morning rituals together too.
This is just a rough sketch of my mornings, and they make me happy.
It wasn’t always this way though. I used to awake in a hurry, rushing and cranky before stumbling into work and errands and meetings. It was awful, but it was my life. I didn’t know any better, so I didn’t think I could change things. Thankfully, I was wrong.
I’ve changed my mornings, so they work for me and not against me, with just a few simple rituals. And I’ve shared these morning rituals with thousands of coaching clients/students over the years, and many of them come back to me a month or two later and say, “Thank you!” Perhaps they will help you as well.
1. Get an early start.
If your mornings are chaotic, the simple solution is to get up a little earlier than the chaos. This, of course, starts the night before by going to bed a bit earlier too.
Adjust gradually, wake up just 10 minutes earlier each week forthe next 6-9 weeks, and you’ll barely notice the change from day to day. This extra time will help you avoid stress, speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches.
2. Meditate on the goodness.
Begin each day with love, grace and gratitude. When you arise in the morning think of what an incredible privilege it is to be alive – to be, to see, to hear, to think, to love, to have something to look forward to. Happiness is a big part of these little parts of your life; joy is simply the feeling of appreciating it all.
Realize that it’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. Make a habit of noticing the goodness that’s already yours first thing in the morning, and you will see more goodness everywhere you look throughout the day.
3. Stretch it out.
Simple, but so often forgotten… stretching your body in the morning has these key benefits:
If you’re uncertain about how to stretch properly, you can find hundreds of great tutorials on YouTube. Choose one that you think will suit you best and practice it for a minute or two every morning. You will sense a change in yourself, guaranteed.
4. Drink a tall glass of water before consuming anything else.
Another obvious practice that goes by the wayside…
Your body is more than 60% water, and when you’ve been sleeping all night without drinking any water, it gets dehydrated and desperate for hydration. So quench your thirst with exactly what your body needs. Avoid drinking coffee, tea or other beverages before you have at least one tall glass of water. By doing so your body will start to wake up and you’ll naturally feel more energized and alive. (Read Healthy Habits.)
5. Keep things simple.
One of my personal mistakes several years ago was trying to fit too much into my mornings. When I first started waking up early I wanted to workout, meditate, handle household chores, read, write, cook breakfast, reply to work emails, run errands, etc., and it turns out I couldn’t do all those things. I was waking up early and stressing myself out. I made my early mornings just as packed as the rest of the day.
What has helped me is having a few key things I do early, but not being over-committed to lots of goals and agendas. I’d rather have space and flexibility, which makes the time much more peaceful and useful. So the glass of water, stretching, gratitude meditation, tea, reading and writing are the only agendas I have on most mornings, but I’m flexible with those also.
6. Do a few things that move you.
Again, DO NOT fill your mornings with things you have to do… but, DO have a few things you can’t wait to get out of bed and get started on. For me, that goes back to my short list, which includes reading and writing – two of my greatest passions. For you, perhaps a long meditative walk, yoga, prayer, painting, or simply reading the morning paper.
In other words, don’t just have a long list of things you think you should do but don’t really want to do. Give your early mornings to yourself as a gift.
7. Read, review or listen to something that nurtures your mind.
Some of the happiest and most successful people I know read a bit of scripture each morning, some read inspiring books, articles or quotes, while others listen to radio, podcasts or audio programs that move them to get their day started. The key is having a ritual focused on absorbing small doses of self-improvement content to stretch and nurture your perspective and knowledge base. It starts the day off on a positive note with positive, productive ideas to guide your day’s journey. And that’s crucial, because your thoughts guide your reality.
So indulge in something positive every morning when you awake, and let it inspire you to do something positive before you go back to sleep at night. That’s how memorable, manageable days are made. (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Inspiration” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
8. Be present, breathe, and appreciate the space between activities too.
Your early morning moments aren’t just about the things you do; they’re also about the open space between the things. That means the space itself is something to be appreciated as well.
So if you meditate and read, the morning isn’t just valuable because of the meditation and reading… the space around those two activities is also incredible. The time spent walking over to your meditation mat, or finding your book, or turning the pages, or pouring a cup of tea, or sitting and watching the sunrise… these little open spaces are just as important as anything else.
Pace yourself so you’re not hurrying from one thing to the next, but instead noticing and appreciating the spaces in between, too.
9. Move on gracefully to what’s most important.
As human beings we are goal oriented. We like making progress. When we accomplish one of our goals, we smile about it. That’s why the happiest people I know are also some of the most successful people I know.
As your early morning winds down, the key is to funnel your attention directly into the right things, not the urgent things. Because at some point we all wonder, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?” And the answer is stunningly simple: We’re doing too many of the wrong things.
Several research studies have shown that people never get more done by blindly working more hours on everything that comes up. Instead, they get more done when they follow careful plans that measure and track key priorities and milestones. So if you want to be more successful, less stressed, and a lot happier at the end of each day, don’t ask how to make something more efficient until you’ve first asked, “Do I need to do this at all?”
Simply being able to do something well does not make it the right thing to do. I think this is one of the most common problems with a lot of time-management advice; too often productivity gurus focus on how to do things quickly, but the vast majority of things people do quickly should not be done at all.
A great morning isn’t something that magically happens – it’s created consciously.
You don’t have to implement all these ideas, but I challenge you to try one or two and see how your mornings improve.
I bet you’ll begin to enjoy them as much as I do.
The floor is yours…How do you like to start your mornings? What helps you start the day off right? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.
By Jessica Matthews ( @fitexpertjess )
1 of 8 - Horse Stance Cross Punch
Skip the gym with a total-body routine that uses just one piece of equipment — a resistance band. This portable and affordable training tool is perfect for squeezing in a sweat session anywhere, anytime, whether on the road or in the comfort of your own home.
How it works: On two or three non-consecutive days a week, perform each move, in order, with little to no rest between exercises. Repeat the entire circuit two to three times, resting 1 to 2 minutes between circuits.
You will need: Resistance Bands
A. Stand on band with feet wider than hip-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Hinge hips and bend knees, lowering into a horse stance. Position one end of band behind back and hold in right hand with elbow bent and hand at shoulder height.
B. Maintaining squat position with core engaged, punch the right hand across the body, rotating with upper back, creating a "Z" with the band. Recoil back to starting ready position and repeat. Do 6 to 8 punches on the right before switching sides and repeating.
2 of 8 - Single Arm Row With Toe Taps
A. In a split stance position with left foot forward, anchor band under left foot with left knee bent. Holding band in right hand, perform a single arm row drawing right hand toward ribcage, keeping elbow close to body.
B. Re-extend arm and step right foot up to meet the left, tapping the ground before quickly returning right foot to starting split stance position. Repeat sequence. Do 12 to 15 reps on right before switching sides and repeating.
3 of 8 - Squat With Single Arm Arnold Press
A. Stand on band with feet hip-width apart, holding end in left hand with elbow bent and palm facing front of left shoulder. Keeping core engaged, hinge hips and bend knees, lowering into a squat position.
B. Extend legs while simultaneously performing a single-arm Arnold Press, rotating palm to face forward as left arm extends overhead. Reverse the movement and repeat. Do 10 to 12 reps on left side before switching sides and repeating.
4 of 8 - Lateral Lunge And Lean
A. Stand with feet together, anchoring band under left foot only. Hold end of band in left hand at shoulder height, palm facing forward.
B. Step right foot out to the side and lower into a lateral lunge. Simultaneously, reach left arm up and over to the right. Reverse the movement and return to start position. Do 10 to 12 reps to the right before switching sides and repeating.
5 of 8 - Balancing Biceps Curl
A. Stand in slight split stance with band under left foot, holding end in right hand. Balancing on left foot, lift right knee 90 degrees while simultaneously performing a biceps curl with right arm.
B. Re-extend right arm and hinge forward, extending right leg out behind while continuing to balance on left leg, creating a ‘T’ shape with body. Reverse movement and repeat sequence. Do 8 to 10 reps on right side before switching sides and repeating.
6 of 8 - Snatch And Squeeze
A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended in front of body, holding band with both hands. With core engaged, hinge hips and bend knees, lowering into a squat position.
B. Extend knees and hips, and, once standing, extend both arms overhead without bending elbows. With arms fully extended, pull slightly on the band, creating a ‘Y’ shape with arms. Reverse the movement and repeat.
7 of 8 - Reverse Lunge Triceps Extension
A. Stand with feet together and hold resistance band behind back with right hand behind neck and left hand behind lower back. Step right foot back to a reverse lunge, bending both knees.
B. Keeping left hand still, step right foot back to starting position while simultaneously extending right elbow, performing an overhead triceps extension. Repeat the sequence, completing 10 to 12 reps on the right before switching sides and repeating.
8 of 8 - Seated Crisscross Row
A. Sit with legs outstretched, knees slightly bent. Wrap band around feet and grab straps with opposite hands, creating and ‘X’ shape. Hold ends of band with arms extended.
B. Keeping core engaged and palms facing floor, perform a mid-row, bending elbows and keeping palms in line with shoulders. Re-extend arms and repeat.