Al Alvarez defined feeding the rat as:

“the need to get out, to test yourself, to flush out the system, and, above all, to have some fun.”

To feed that gnawing sensation in the pit of your stomach that drives our motivation for getting out and challenging ourselves, testing our limits and to quell our fear of missing out.

This summer has been quite an eclectic mix of sports and activities, work and life balance but what has been apparent is that everything I have been doing has been enough. My rat has been fed and, after this weekend, is in a food coma snoring away.

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Been a while, hey? I’ve been wanting to write on Digital Steak for months now but just not really been feeling it.

This blog has always been very personal to me, an insight into who I am and what I am going through but I hit a roadblock. I’ve not really been able to understand what I’ve been going through and that has left me feeling paralysed; not just writing here but in life too.

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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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Last week I made it to the halfway point in my intensive personal training course at Fitness Industry Education and passed my tests as a gym instructor. The course has been really eye opening – I knew I would learn a lot but some nuggets of information have been real keepers. I wanted to share them with you here.

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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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Embracing change

I have experienced a lot of change over the last 12 months. In fact, looking back on where I was last March to today, it is hard to recognise the life I had as my own. For all the change I have embraced, it has not got any easier nor any less scary.

I have taken to quietly asking myself a short question when I find myself at a crossroads where change is inevitable; ‘Do I want to change today?’

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Something has been niggling away at me recently. I keep reading everywhere that we all must Chase your dreams and Don’t give up, you’ll get there, along with other similar clichés, and I don’t think this is right. I feel that treating your aims and aspirations as something you have to ‘chase’ or so hard to achieve you will got through hell together is just plain wrong.

I consider myself very lucky right now. I am living what most people would say is the dream – I recently packed up living and working in London and moved to Chamonix to pursue a more positive work-life balance with my wife. I’m happy. Really happy, but the day we arrived was not day 1 of living the dream, that started long before we even decided to finally move here.

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I have sometimes found myself stuck with an opinion that I don’t fully believe any more. A position I’ve taken that I no longer agree with, or wanting to try something that I previously swore I’d never do. I want to change my mind but I’m scared: scared to tell people, scared to embarrass myself, and scared to be wrong.

Recently, I came across a blog article by Derek Sivers in which he talks about how he now loves things he previously hated, he now will only say ‘I hate that today‘ knowing that he might change his mind in the future. I can completely sympathise and I’ve come to the conclusion:

It’s ok, don’t be afraid to change your mind

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