ISPO 2017

Lost in a sea of bright colours, shiny objects, and cool new toys, arriving at ISPO this year has been even more impressive than my first trip here in 2015. With over 2,600 exhibitors, everyone from the biggest in outdoor and ski to the new startups are here to share their wares.

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I’m scared to go into the mountains. There, I said it.

I’ve enjoyed some of the most incredible, inspiring, and challenging experiences in the Chamonix hills but I have recently struggled to get out and make the most of this amazing valley. My reticence has been about embarrassment and a reluctance to talk about the challenges and dangers that are out there. Talking with a friend about it recently I realised that I am in the second stage of my concept of mountain experience and judgement.

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Do I write about the awesome cookies we tasted in a small Amish bakery in the middle of nowhere in Idaho? Or the perfect breakfast in Missoula, Montana? Maybe the long open roads that gave us both time to relax, reflect, and rebuild?

The States is really a stunning country and one I’ve wanted to explore further for many years. Here are some highlights from our road trip.

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In design and engineering there is an acronym K.I.S.S – or, keep it simple, stupid – which states that most systems work better if they are simple. I came across it in web development where overcomplicating not just programming but design and user experience can have catastrophic effects for your end goal.

The more I find myself in difficult situations, or getting stressed out, the more I realise I just need to simplify what I am doing and, when I ignore that advice, how I end up in a pickle.

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That New Year Post

‘Tis the season, on social media, for celebrating the year gone by and making grand declarations for the year to come. Posts sharing users’ most popular photos, highest viewing blog articles, or just favourite moments are everywhere and it is wonderful to see. Promises of new regimes, hopes and dreams are flooding my feeds and everyone of them is an inspiration. I’m afraid this post, however, is a little different.

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In June 2015 I officially launched The Mountain Foundry, my new business that is working with everyday athletes to elites by training them in strength and conditioning for the mountains. Training both face-to-face in Chamonix and remotely via the magic of the internet, my goal is to make people stronger, more confident, and safer in the mountains by providing their bodies with a suit of armour.

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Nepal was an incredible trip. Not only did I get to experience a wonderful and inspiring new country, I also had a massive amount of time to reflect on where I have been, where I am, and where I want to go. I have written about searching for my purpose, taming the swarm of ideas and inspiration, and my Very Hungry Caterpillar philosophy but it was the time alone in the Himalayas that gave me the space to let it all come together.

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Winter has still not quite arrived in Chamonix but it is most definitely on its way. It has got me thinking about what I’m most looking forward to this winter and I just can’t wait for my first winter season in the Alps. Summer is wonderful here but there are some really unique and incredible things to do but winter is going to be a whole new ball game. Bring it on!

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What is my purpose?

This is a rather expansive question but one I have been wrestling with since moving to Chamonix. What is my purpose? What am I actually doing right now? And, am I happy with that direction?

Every great change is preceded by chaos – Deepak Chopra

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