The Base and Summit

Published September 5, 2011 by Jasmine

I recently came across Bill Phillips book “Transformation: The MINDSET You Need, The BODY You Want, The LIFE You Deserve” and decided to embark on his 18 week transformation. Each week I will be posting a blog talking about the transformation for that week. Most of the blog will be directly from his book with my thoughts interspersed. I hope to hear that many of you will join me and embark on your own transformation. What do you have to lose? 18 weeks are going to pass whether you start or not, so you may as well start now!

In order to set any goal you need to know your base and your summit. Your base is where you are starting from, and the summit is where you want to go. Without these two coordinates it would be impossible to measure your progress and success. Once you’ve clearly defined those points, then and only then is it possible to choose the right path for getting there. Once you get started, you have to take it one step at a time and stay focused on the moment you’re in. This last statement is so important. How many times have we missed things because we are so rushed, and only thinking about what we have to do next? Runners, how often do you actually enjoy the moment you are in? Probably not often as we are paying attention to so many other things that don’t really matter in that moment.

The beginning of this chapter he is talking about climbing a mountain, hence the “base” and the “summit.” As I was reading it, it reminded me of running. It is also essential to properly plan and prepare for the climb before you begin. This is especially true for long runs and marathon training. What route do we need to take to make sure we cover the proper distance for this week’s training run? What should I wear? Am I properly fueled and hydrated? And, once you get started, you have to take it one step at a time and stay focused on the moment you’re in. This is exactly on point for runners. Any distance can seem daunting depending on your background in running. You can’t look at the mileage as a whole because it might seem too overwhelming. So you take it step by step, mile by mile only focusing on the moment you are in not the fact that you have to do 5, 10, 20 miles. As Walter Elliot so wisely stated, “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” Another lesson I learned is that there is a high probability that you’ll experience adversity, even setbacks, during the climb. How many of you have wanted to quit during a run? I know I have. We are not always going to have perfect conditions or perfect runs. You will have some setbacks, but you’ll also have some comebacks. Remember, what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. Any time I’d slip and fall, I’d simply reach out my hand and someone in the group would be there to help lift me back up. I know that many of us don’t run in a group, but we don’t have to read this literally. One of the greatest attributes of the running community is how supportive it is. We know the struggles of others because at one point or another we have been there. Anytime we have a bad run, get injured, feel like quitting all we have to do is reach out to our running friends for inspiration and support. There were times when I didn’t ever think I would get to the summit; it just seemed too far to go, and my body was doing a remarkable job of convincing my mind that I had reached my limit. But halfway up the mountain is never a good time to quit. I think we can all relate to this. Our bodies are capable of so much more than we do or ever will give them credit for. Yet we still allow our minds to dictate the limits of our bodies. Halfway through a run is never a good time to quit. Anytime you feel like giving up, just remember all the reasons you held on for so long.

The simplest meaning of transformation is to go from one state of being to another. Whenever we try to change ourselves from the outside in, it never lasts. You see, as long as we are still the same on the inside, at the level of our thoughts, beliefs, patterns, and emotions, we simply haven’t undergone true transformation.

Where are you now in regards to your state of being?

This transformation will require work on your part each week. The goal of this week is to identify where you are now (base) and where you want to be in 18 weeks (summit) in various areas of your life. The first set of questions will help you determine where you are now in regards to your heart and soul; emotions; mindset; and your body. The second set of questions will help you determine where you want to be in 18 weeks in regards to your heart and soul; emotions; mindset; and your body.

  1. Having looked inward to do some soul searching, three heartfelt reasons for making the decision to transform my health and life are? The deeper and more heartfelt your reasons, the better and more satisfying your results will be.
  2. In recent days and weeks, the three most predominant inner feelings I have been experiencing are? It is important to both identify and then document your feelings at the beginning of this process.
  3. Three patterns of thinking or beliefs which may have limited my ability to change in the past are? It is important to bring these kinds of limiting thoughts and beliefs into the light of our conscious awareness so we can see them for what they are: misperceptions.
  4. Three objectively verifiable statements which reflect my physical condition right now are? To describe your starting point in even more detail, you can document health indicators such as your total cholesterol level and blood pressure. To complete the process of self-evaluation, it’s time to take a before photo.
I need you to look forward to a point 18 weeks from now and envision what you want the results of your transformation to be.
  1. Looking forward, 18 weeks from now, three changes I will have made that show I’m more aligned with what’s important to me at a heart and soul level are? What I believe you’ll discover by going through this process is that your heartfelt reasons for making the decision to transform will become part of your new and improved life.
  2. Looking forward, 18 weeks from now, the three most predominant inner feelings which describe what (emotions) I’ll be experiencing are? Very often, the most profound changes people experience by going through this process are in their emotional condition. That’s because, more than anything else, we experience life through our feelings. It’s not really about being out of shape or overweight that bothers us; it’s how we feel about it.
  3. Three new patterns of thinking or beliefs which expand my ability to make healthy changes for the better will be? …when you set your mind in the right direction, your transformation will take off.
  4. Three objectively verifiable statements which will describe the new and improved condition of my body 18 weeks from now are? Please note that these statements are your physical health transformation goals. It’s important to write them in a way that’s specific, measurable, and objectively verifiable. Saying “I want to be in great shape,” isn’t enough. That’s like telling the GPS system in your car that you want to, “Go to some place that’s really beautiful.”
I hope you are as excited about this process as I am. Once you have your goals written down, make sure to read them everyday. Visualize yourself as the person you want to be, and then start acting as if you were that person. Before you know it, you’ll no longer be acting!

DISCLAIMER: Most of the information contained in this post is from the book “Transformation” by Bill Phillips. Everything directly (i.e. word for word) from the book is italicized, and my thoughts are in normal font.

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