The ultimate success formula

Over the past 18 years as a trainer, I’ve seen a lot of people try to make changes in their health and fitness or reach goals only to fail.

Over the past 18 years as a trainer, I’ve seen a lot of people try to make changes in their health and fitness or reach goals only to fail.

I watch with great sadness when I see someone give up after a brief try. Thankfully on the flip side, I do get to celebrate when a far greater number succeed. There is a key element to success, whether your goal is to get fit, run your first 10k or something bigger. I remember being on a training run for Ultraman Canada and at 48km into a 60km run with 5 hours of running completed my body was empty. I could have quit. That would have been the easiest thing and I think most people would have understood, but quitting isn’t what I’m up to and it certainly doesn’t get me to my goals.

Through the tough times there is a success formula that I follow to get me through. It’s something I learned in a course about 16 years ago:

A—>F—>C: NGU.

A is for taking some action towards a goal. Maybe you sign up for a run, a bike or a gym membership because you know you want to change to reach a goal. After taking action, like going for a workout or a run, then you get the next part of the formula feedback. Maybe it’s good, rewarding and spurs you on. Maybe it’s pain and soreness from a tough session. Either way, it leads to the next piece of the formula: correction or continue depending on the feedback. Here’s the key piece of the formula, the centre piece, the place where most people fail: NGU (Never Give Up).

I see people join the gym, work out too hard, too fast, without the aid of a trainer or classes, then decide it’s too hard and quit. Same go for a 10km run. It’s all fine until week two, when muscles get tight, a knee gets sore or it becomes inconvenient then instead of getting a massage or physio or new shoes, they quit.

For me, I knew I wanted to enter Ultraman, so I took some action and started training for the large distance that would come in July of that year: a 10km swim, 420km bike and a double marathon of 84.4kms. Throughout my entire journey, I had a ton of feedback from my body, my nutrition, my sleep patterns, my family and friends, and of course, my coach. I made hundreds of corrections and then took new action, and along the way, the underlying principal prevailed never give up.

It is the key element to all success. Back to that 60km run, I had been slowing down after throwing up at the 45km marker when heat and effort put me in a place where my body had rejected the last hour’s worth of water, electrolytes and sugar. So there I was exhausted. Five hours of running done and another 1 to 1.5 hours to go. I was running on empty raw and sore. For the last 30kms of the run, my wife had driven out to follow me with our truck to serve as an aid station stopping every 3-4 km so I could grab what I needed. My buddy Steve had joined me to run the final leg. So there I was, wondering how I could go on?

My digestive system had shut off, and was not interested in anything, yet I clearly needed fuel. I sat in the truck for about 25 minutes and let my stomach calm down. Then I drank a few sips of cola. The bubbles, caffeine and sugar helped to kickstart my digestion again. I got up and started walking. After about half a km, I started running again, lumpy and stiff at first, but running. Soon enough I was regaining my energy and my rhythm. I was able to complete the 60 kms in 6 hours and 31 minutes.

Ultraman was less than 30 days away at the time and I still didn’t know for sure if I could finish within the daily time cut-offs, but with this formula, I knew I wouldn’t quit and if it was at all possible, I would finish! My hope is that you take this formula that has served me so well, and apply it to one of your goals. Take some action, you will get some feedback, then make a correction or continue then take more action. Above all never give up.

Oh…. and by the way, I finished in 27 hours, 32 minutes, was sixth overall and qualified for the World Championships. All because a regular guy like me applied the formula. So what could you accomplish?


Happy training,



Just Posted

Fish for free

No license is required to ice fish on Family Day weekend

Students to teach principles of self-awareness

Fox Run students will be sharing “U Rock”, a program designed to instill kindness and compassion

Reward offered to find man charged in 2006 murder

RCMP are offering up to $5000 for information leading to the arrest of Kevin Brown

Background checks required for retail cannabis locations

Strict rules and regulations for retail locations was announced at a press conference this morning

Adults and youths charged in multiple armed robberies

Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP solved multiple armed robberies investigations

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.

Canada wins gold in bobsleigh

Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz tied for first in two-man event at 2018 Winter Olympics

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Most Read