(At the age of 30 my life was going nowhere. I was a pack-a-day smoker (sometime two packs per day), I would drink with my buddies day after day and did nothing of significance with my life. I started to constantly feel sorry for myself and slipped into a bit of a depression. Finally one day, just before New Years Eve 1999, I woke up. I realized I had not accomplished anything of note over the past 30 years and needed to change.
So I decided December 31, 1999 would be my last day smoking and the first day of the rest of my life.
Unsure of where to turn after that decision, I looked to my brother John for inspiration. My brother was a great athlete who had found his passion in life. I thought that maybe if I treated my body better and I did something different, things would change for me. And that’s how it started; I decided to model someone who I saw as successful.
A week after my new, ‘smoke-free’ life began in 2000 I decided to go ice climbing with John.
I thought I was going to struggle and not be able to keep up so I was shocked as the day progressed and I was still moving forward. When I finally made it up and over the top of that 100ft ice sheet something inside of me snapped… we totally underestimate ourselves as human beings. That sheet of ice was my version of Mount Everest and I had made it to the top… that moment showed me that anything is possible if you just do it and stop making excuses why you can’t.
From that point on I started getting more and more involved in extreme sports and my depression became a thing of the past. I all of a sudden had purpose and enthusiasm for life.
A few years later in 2003, I was reading a magazine article about ultra marathon runners. Up until that point I had never been a runner but was struck by how ‘normal’ the people in the magazine seemed and decided that I wanted to try it. Never having run even 5 km, I decided to enroll myself in an extreme marathon race in the Yukon. People thought I was crazy.
The “Yukon Arctic Ultra” is the world’s coldest and toughest ultra marathon race! The Yukon is located in the very North of Canada and covered with ice and snow. Half way through the race I was ready to quit – my feet were dragging through the snow and I was starting to give up. Read more: http://clubasteriaeducation.com/authors/nothing-is-impossible/