Man on Top of the Mountain

December 13, 2016

Mike Ricci


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As a sat looking up at Mt. Princeton one Sunday night, I wondered what it was going to take to get up that mountain. It was Colorado’s 10th highest 14er and it sat at 14,197 feet above sea level. I have done five 14ers over the last few years and I am usually in late season triathlon shape for these epic climbs. That season, I had taken a lot of time off and I wasn’t quite in the shape I have been in the past. I made sure to fuel up at dinner and more than anything I steeled myself mentally for the effort it was going to take. Yes, I have some experience with the outdoors, and I consider myself in better than average shape, but you need a lot more than experience and fitness to get to the top of a 14er. My thoughts wandered to not only getting up the mountain but the return trip as well. Getting to the top is only half the battle. If you don’t make it down, well, I wouldn’t consider that a successful trip. There have been lots of casualties over the years on Mt. Everest – people who took the chance to summit, but they never made it back down to share their success. Climbing a mountain isn’t all fun and games. Its dangerous, and you have to be prepared. Even though our trip would only be around 6-7 hours, we were preparing for an overnight. That’s the way I was taught to be prepared when going into the wilderness. Going on a 2 day overnight? Pack enough dry clothes for 4 days. Bring extra matches, batteries for flashlights and food in case you get lost. Preparation may take a little longer, but you’ll be a lot safer and more comfortable should things go wrong.This preparation made my think a bit about what it takes to create a great company – not one that just pumps out training plans and gives people advice, but a company that creates jobs for people who are passionate about coaching, who work hard, and want to not just be good at what they do, but to BE great and to DO great things. I wonder why some coaches don’t make it to the top of the mountain. Is it because they don’t have the ‘can-do’ attitude or is it because they don’t have the skills? Maybe they want to give 90% but not 100%. Maybe they don’t know how to do the little things that it takes to be successful. In the past, I’ve narrowed down my weekly objectives to three things and its been making a difference. I am getting closer to my BHAG then I was when started out in this business and I am excited to see what the next few months bring. I realize I have a long slow climb in front of me in order to get to the top of the mountain.

Its not by accident that people make it to the top of the mountain. Its by hard work and sometimes its by sheer determination.After all is said and done, the man at the top of the mountain didn’t just fall there.

Coach Mike Ricci is the Founder and Head Coach for D3 Multisport.  His coaching style is ‘process-focused’ vs. ‘results-focused.’ When working with an athlete, their understanding of how and why they are improving is always going to take precedence over any race result. Yes, there is an end goal, but in over 2 decades of coaching, experience has shown him that if you do the right work, and for the right reasons, the results will follow.

Coach Mike is a USAT Level III Elite Certified Coach, Ironman University Certified Coach, and Training Peaks Level II Certified Coach. He was honored as the USAT Coach of the Year.

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