Altitude training: an analogy for self-improvement

Published: March 10, 2017
Author: Steven Thomas

There are times when we have to dig in, to find a way to get through 'it'. It may be starting a new job or balancing study with a demanding family life. Or it could be that you're knee deep in an all-encompassing project. One that is stretching you in ways you never thought possible.

During times like these, we all go through a kind of transformation. I'd describe it as going through your own innovation or s-curve. In other words, you've kicked off an intense process where you need to find new way's to adapt and improve. By adapting and improving your transforming, getting better.

Seeing this as a process that has a beginning, a middle, and an end has helped me to get through these times. I've also seen this mindset having a profound effect on others as they go through their own journey.

When it's time to look back on that period, it becomes clear, that whilst it was hard, you got through it. Better still, you got through it and grew as a person.

When coaching others, I've often used another analogy for this. The analogy of an athlete experiencing altitude training.

Why do athletes put themselves through altitude training? Put simply, it places their body and mind under levels of stress that, in the end, lead to improved performance.

According to the Natural Athlete Clinic - "Upon returning from a stint at altitude, the athlete... will benefit from a higher red blood cell concentration. More red blood cells allow more oxygen to be delivered to working muscles. More oxygen leads to an increased ability to do work, leading to increases in endurance, speed, strength and recovery."

Reflect for a moment. The next time you find yourself on the precipice of entering a period of positive stress, consider it as your own form of altitude training. When you descend from your mountain, think of how fit and strong you'll be. There will be no stopping you.