Trying to convey peak performance is tough because it’s an indescribable feeling. It’s a momentary feeling when you’re hitting your stride – whatever you choose to do, you know you’ll do it well. It’s a period of superior functioning. At some point, you’ve likely experienced a euphoric, feel-good day in the mountains. You were focused, fearless, and calm, and you experienced little stress. You had full control over your thoughts and emotions. You had an unshakable belief that you could do anything you set your mind to (within your physical limits, of course). You reached the zone of optimal functioning.
In contrast, you’ve probably had days when you’ve dragged yourself up and down a mountain. Each step was difficult, you lacked confidence, you were discontented, and you considered turning back numerous times. No matter what you did, you couldn’t turn this day around. It happens. I’ve certainly been there. Consistency can be hard to manage, especially when you have no idea why that one day was so great, or so terrible.
A critical element to gaining control of the type of day you have out is realizing your level of self- awareness. Take a few minutes to recognize factors that may have affected a past adventure. Think back to the last time you had a solid day in the mountains. What kind of work-week did you have before the adventure? Did you hit the gym on the days leading up? What did you eat for dinner the night before? How much sleep did you get the night before? What did you eat for breakfast the morning of? Were you well hydrated pre-adventure? What station was on the radio during your drive to the trail head?
Think about all the things that lead up to your awesome day, and do it again.