Recently, I flew to New York City to take part in a three day High Performance Lifestyle Performance event. I’d gotten to know the Founder, Brian Mazza when he was a guest on my Midlife Male Podcast and he invited me out to experience this event.
So what is a high performance lifestyle? I’ve been asking myself that quite a bit lately. Who determines what high performance is? Can I be high performance in some areas and not in others? How do I live a high performance lifestyle? Am I there yet? What work is still yet to be done and will I always be a work in progress striving for high performance lifestyle? At what point is a high performance life actually taking my foot off the gas and allowing myself to enjoy the simple things in life? That’s gotta be some form of high performance too, right?
At 50, I believe high performance is making an investment and commitment to continued improvement and growth. This Is what drives me to keep trying new things, challenge myself, live my message and lead by example for my two teenage boys. A high performance lifestyle is knowing and living like my best, brightest, happiest and healthiest days are still ahead of me.
My new book, The Midlife Male,” is based on my Midlife Male Method, which I call the “6F’s”; Family, Fitness, Finance, Fashion & Fun and helping men turn their F’s into A’s. So, I wanted to share my 6F assessment of this High Performance Lifestyle Training weekend.
But before I get into the actual report card, here are a few takeaways and observations:
- We can do hard things. Stepping outside your comfort zone is imperative to development.
- Surround yourself with people that support you and that continue to level up your life. They are everywhere. They exist and they’re looking for you just as much as you’re looking for them. Put yourself out there
- Every one of the men and women who attended (41 in all) has a plan. A personal operating system and as such is successful. There were all walks of life, ages, careers, differences, etc. What was the same with ALL was their commitment to preparation, consistency & accountability.
- Words that were heard, lived and repeated throughout the weekend: respect, purpose, effort, attitude, pride, humility, vulnerability, community, prosperity, health, family, discipline.
- All simple concepts. Simple is hard. That’s why most don’t do it…
- We have choices and decisions to make each day. Make better choices, live a better life. Again, it’s pretty simple.
- Physical challenges are completed through mental strength. You can survive the cold, the lactic acid build up, the fatigue…If you refuse to quit. It was a simple word of advice from Marcus Luttrell that got me through the water: “Look to the guy to the left of you and to the right. He’ll be suffering worse…Help those guys and you’ll be fine.”
- Everything we did, talked about and experienced can be applied to EVERY area of life. It is ALL connected. How you do one thing is how you do everything.
- It’s all about maintaining the micro wins on a daily basis.
- Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Just keep moving.
High Performance Lifestyle Training 6F Assessment
Family: Everything I do is to lead by example for my family and my two boys in particular. They don’t need to be interested in the same things that I am. They don’t need to do the same things that I do. Anything and everything that they want to pursue in life is available and I would encourage and support them to do this.
But it is important to me that my boys see me placing myself outside my comfort zone, challenging myself, not being afraid to try new things, meet new people, plan ahead, train for activities and challenges and to have an independent mind, body and spirit. In this instance, I was going to go to New York for HPLT by myself. In the future, I look forward to sharing some of these experiences with my boys as they get older. I met an amazing 58-year-old attorney from Canada who was there with his son and was inspired by him.
Kate and Harper decided that they wanted to come to New York at the last minute (Auden was in Israel) I told them initially that I didn’t think I would have any time to see them and that this was a jam packed itinerary, I needed to stay laser focused and wanted to enjoy the entire experience the way that it was laid out. But maybe it’s a sign of maturity and perspective that when they got there I was so happy to see them that no matter what the amount of time was going to be, I’d find a way to spend some of it with them.
Fitness: This one goes without question. The entire weekend consisted of significant physical fitness challenges. We woke up at 4 a.m. to be trained by Navy SEAL Ray Cash Care and Marine Steve Eckert on the beach and in the ocean by 5 a.m. We got cold, wet, sandy and had to carry, drag and crawl ourselves and partners through various activations. We formed a human chain and laid down, submerged in the 50-degree water for what seemed like quite a long time as waves crashed over us, flutter kicks ensued and commands of lay day, roll over, head back, heels up were barked at us. We did “Murph” later that afternoon which consisted of 1 mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats followed by a one mile run. We woke for a 7 a.m. 10-mile run (I never run 10 miles) the following morning led by Ken Rideout.
All of this was done within the confines of a supportive community and it was a privilege to get to train and compete alongside the very best.
Finance: The way I approach these events and experiences in terms of finance is that they are investments in myself, my family and my future. The price tag on this wasn’t cheap but worth every dollar spent as it returned tenfold. They provided everything: meals, clothing, supplements, top speakers, trainers, panelists, facilities and a community of like minded people. I also want to point out that based on what I’m doing with Midlife Male; the newsletter and the podcast and my coaching clients, I am now getting invited to events like this for free. I’m aggregating and curating the Best in Class events and experiences to take men like you along with me and to create midlife male VIP experiences at events like this in the future. I enjoy putting these events on the calendar, budgeting for them, training for them, looking forward to them and reverse engineering how to live, operate and finance the commitments that I make.
Food: There were panels and seminars on nutrition from incredible human being and trainer Jacob Zemer. Our meals were brought in for us throughout the weekend for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They were healthy and tasted great. They had supplements and drinks and recovery stuff available for us from brands such as SLATE Milk, Vital Performance, Lemon Perfect, Holistik Wellness and more. We were also treated to dinner at Dan Churchill’s incredible restaurant, Charlie Street. As a foodie, it was astounding and Dan’s a stellar chef and athlete.
Fashion: What do events like HPLT like this have to do with fashion? A lot, actually. Fashion is style. Style is confidence. Confidence is performance. Ten Thousand gear provided outfits for all workouts throughout the weekend. Branded shorts, shirts and tank tops. We wore coordinated outfits/uniforms for all events and it created a unified vibe. GoodLife Clothing company provided an awesome casual hoodie, joggers and shirt for each of us and KANE Footwear had custom HPLT NYC recovery shoes for us. All of it came packed up in a tactical backpack. Look good, feel good, dress good, perform good, that’s the high-performance motto.
Fun: This goes without question for me. Why would you do something like this if it wasn’t fun? These events are fun for me. I genuinely like this stuff. That’s why I do it. Surrounding yourself with like minded people who share the same goals, visions, values, athleticism, purpose, process, payoff. It was a fucking blast. And we have memories, friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. I was cold, wet and sandy, yet never laughed harder. I was as sore as I’ve ever been and still smiling. I woke up tired and struggling to get out of bed and yet couldn’t wait to get downstairs and back at it.
Now, not everything I do is going to check all six F’s all the time and get straight A’s….But that’s certainly the goal; to check as many as possible within a framework and an operating system that helps you maximize your high performance lifestyle with authenticity, with intention, with purpose and to become the best version of yourself.