Setting the kettlebell down, I laughed at how seldom it was that I shared my training and philosophies. With the New Year and its accompanying resolutions, I decided it was finally time to share my foundational practices, my Pillars of Health. These are the principles I’ve solidified along my journey - the methods that have led me to success on multiple thru-hikes, a transcontinental bike tour, a source-to-sea journey down the Mississippi River, and most recently a one-hundred mile ultramarathon in the foothills of Appalachia. Like many who train on a daily basis, my routines and training habits are a product of endless research, personal experiments and professional anecdotes from some of the best in their fields. The results are my four Pillars of Health - Form, Strength, Consistency, Nutrition.
The idea to create the Pillars of Health was first established during my 2016 thru-hike of the 2,650 mile - Pacific Crest Trail. My hiking partner, Paul, and I were in excellent shape for the start of the hike. Having both backpacked two-thousand miles the year prior, we were familiar with the challenges a five-month journey could place on one’s physical and mental stability. We pledged to devise a structure that would help us synthesis the core elements necessary to complete another thru-hike. The result was our original set of pillars: Form, Strength, Efficiency, Grit. To make a long story short, we both finished that thru-hike in excellent health.
Since that thru-hike and the creation of those original pillars, I’ve leaned on the pillars for many other endeavors.
Recently, I revisited the original four pillars. They still held plenty of truth in my day to day life, but after training for and running one-hundred miles through the mountains, I saw a number of ways they could be improved; instead of adding more pillars, I resolved to keep it simple maintaining only four - Form, Strength, Consistency, Nutrition.
Personal health is a complex topic that goes deeper than the Mariana Trench. Throughout the next four weeks as I dive into each of the four pillars, my goal is not to be absolutely comprehensive with every aspect of Form, Strength, Consistency and Nutrition - that, my friends, is a slippery slope, leading us right into the trench. Instead, I want to share the fundamental aspects of each pillar as they pertain to the mountain lifestyle I live on a daily basis; but more importantly, I want these upcoming blog posts to be loaded with the information and resources that I’ve found throughout the years that have allowed me to live an adventurous hard wearing life, while remaining strong, happy and injury free.
I close this post with words that you should preface each upcoming blog post with:
Seth is a not a doctor; he’s not a health professional by our system’s standards. What works perfectly well for him may not work well for me. Everything with a grain of salt - I’ll do my own research and investigate thoroughly the aspects of these posts that resonate with me. Some pieces may seem too far out of left field, to these ideas I’ll simply nod and move along.
Thanks for taking the time to read. Until next week…
Onward - Seth