Stuck in a tent at 19,000 feet on the highest peak in South America, in a vicious storm, which had us pinned down for days, we had nothing left to read, were out of snacks and running dangerously low on coffee! We'd just come in from helping some climbers get down from above and I'd been complaining to my partner, Jeff that "People should be better prepared before climbing these peaks".
Jeff had recently started climbing mountains and was very good at it. He was also getting worked at his high intensity job with Microsoft. He shared a dream he had, of climbing Mount Everest and like any good coach would, I encouraged him to go for it. Jeff asked me what my dream was. I told him how outdoor adventures and being in nature had changed my life and that I wanted to help people breath life into their dreams of using nature and the outdoors as a way to be fitter, healthier and happier. I had a name for this program adventx made up from the words 'adventure' and 'exercise'
Two months later, I was getting ready to visit my family. I was looking forward to going out in the Scottish highlands with my Brother, Keith and Father, Geoff. Our plans changed, he had a heart attack and died. We all did the same hike we had planned, only instead of three of us coming down, we left his ashes up there, on his favorite peak
That next month, April 2003, I started adventx. It was, in my mind, a way to honor my Dad's life. To celebrate the happiness that he enjoyed as a result of getting in shape and living the best years of his life -- in nature and going hiking in the Scottish mountains.
The idea was simple. To help people get in great shape for climbing mountains. It worked really well and before long we had groups of people training. Before very long, people began bringing their friends to training and we grew from a training company for climbers, into a resource for people who wanted to get out of the gym and into the best shape of their lives.
We are still doing it! Since that day we've trained hundreds of people who've followed their dreams. adventx won awards -- 'best fitness program' from Seattle Magazine -- Top fitness trainer in Western Washington, by King 5 news. I realized a long time dream of writing and publishing a book, with Mountaineers Books. Fit By Nature, was published in 2011. I now do book talks as a way of inspiring people to get in shape for their dream adventures
Jeff climbed Mount Everest and liked it so much he did it again, twice!
Several attempts at writing a 'mission statement' have not yet led to one being produced. Our values are clear though, we use nature as the venue because I believe there is no better place to be healthy and fit. Patience, kindness, compassion and boldness -- are the key values in our training. In coaching, I assume success each time, then go about figuring out what it will take to win.
It takes guts to take on a new challenge. There are setbacks and failures along the way, so we go for the long-play, anticipating the roadblocks and committing for the long haul.