“What gets measured gets managed” – Peter Drucker
In this blog post, I’m going to share a sneak peak into how I’m going to tackle paragliding pilot progression, and show the exact steps I take to be able to vol-biv proficiently.
And it starts by making a confession.
As many of you already know, I recently launched this Indiegogo campaign with the goal of raising £3,600 before the 10th of January, to be able to start training for a MASSIVE unassisted expedition through the Tian-shan mountains, Asia.
In a nutshell, I’m going to attempt to hike and fly 1000 km through some extremely remote terrain. For the first time in history, I'll also document the entire learning curve in one BIG effort to answer, how do we get better without killing ourselves..., showing you that you don’t need to be “superhuman” to accomplish the seemingly impossible. There’s no shortcuts. Just a concerted effort in the RIGHT training.
The crowdfunding's deadline ends this week, Sunday, but unless we can raise another £1,000, this project is NOT likely not survive very long… so if you haven't already bought your (limited edition!) T-shirt and fan access, please keep this project alive by making a pledge today.
So back to this confession...
I am a “data-nerd” (despite being bad at math).
My obsession with “reading” numbers began when I was sat at the back of a business lecture–laptop open–trying to find out how to make some beer money selling things online.
The setup was simple. I had a unique link to a company's website, and if I sent a buyer to the website through my link, I earned a commission. The more sales I made, the more beers I could buy. Incentives matter ;-)
Despite being simple, it wasn't easy. Competition was tough, so to make sales, I had to dive into digital analytics tools available to see what the numbers were telling me–changing tactics until discovering a few that worked.
Within a few months, I had figured out how to earn a passive income that averaged $1,500/m for almost half a year, selling premium iPhone cases of all things (affiliate link).
This experiment-based approach is how I tackle many challenges in life, and I believe it to be what has allowed me to consistently produce results in short spaces of time!
It is also the tool that is going to help me accelerate your own paragliding and athletic progressions.
Tracking can help you spot patterns
Tracking is the first step if you wish to look for patterns. For example, I’ve been tracking every swimming session since returning to the UK, to see how my performance was improving with small tweaks in training routine. Here’s a look at my first session and last session’s stats.
It shows how I’ve been able to swim further while taking less breaks. Which means I’m hitting my goal of improving stamina, or in other words, getting fitter. But this is only a small part of a much bigger picture. It’s not possible to discover any valuable insights just by looking at this data set, though. But before diving too deep into swimming analysis in this post, here’s what you need to know regarding this project.
I’m very fortunate to have access to some of the most respected names in paragliding and adventure athletics. Over the next few years we will work together on crafting trainings, analyzing results, discovering insights, and most importantly, sharing the learnings that deliver performance enhancements as well as the ones that don’t–hopefully helping you know where to best spend your time.
Recording trainings leads to blueprints
The reason I like to record my training sessions so much is that they can then be easily handed over and replicated by others–becoming a kind of blueprint. Something others can use as a starting place, or as a guiding North star to work towards. Results may vary of course, but if you know a certain training routine allowed me to knock 5% of my body fat index and build muscle in the right areas, it’s a good place to start!
Key metrics to show you where to focus
You will quickly learn when attempting to track anything, that you can’t track everything, not without getting paralyzed in analysis anyways. To get any benefit from tracking and recording results, you need to focus on only a handful of metrics, and knowing which ones to focus on is critical. By looking at them, you should be able to answer questions like; are you making real accountable progress? where are you seeing the most and least progress? why? As I find out what metrics to track as I prepare for the Tian-shan, I’ll be able to help backers learn what key metrics to focus on.
I test everything so you don’t have too
I’m not expecting that everything my team and I think up will be a magical unicorn. I’m sure we will come up with our fair share of bad ideas. But there’s value in that because it allows us to help others learn where NOT to lose time. Time is our most precious asset after all. And learning to use it wisely is something we should forever be looking to do.
Correlations helps find models that’ll produce results (urgh, that was a mouthful)
If I ask you to eat a specific diet and hike up your local hill, it's obvious that your body won’t react exactly the same as mine. However, by spotting correlations, like how a certain training resulted in an x% improvement in hiking performance, or how flying a certain style increased my AVG course speed y%, that’s something I’d feel confident publishing about. But that's not where it should end. In fact, that’s just the beginning. Because that’s when I’d like to invite backers to also join the conversation by sharing their findings so that we can improve on the initial discoveries. The aim is simple. Dissect the different facets of XC paragliding and Vol-Biv expeditions, and to learn as a community.
Go VIP and learn how to hike and fly better, further, and safer
Tracking isn't rocket science. It starts with asking good questions, recording data and then just diving into it. This does however take time, especially when you aim to help others as I Intend to. That’s why I’m asking backers to pledge for the exclusive access on this multi-year journey. Because that way, with your support, I just might be able to scrape by and focus on this full-time. Which will ultimately result in you getting better quality updates more frequently.
If you’d like exclusive access to the learnings of myself as well as some of the most knowledgeable adventurers and athletes on the planet over the next two years, that’s possible from only £20. For an extra £10, though, you’ll also get a limited edition T-shirt. If that sounds interesting, just head on over to the Indiegogo page > igg.me/at/thermal-crossings > and make a pledge today.
See you in the sky :)