The man on top of the mountain

The man on top of the mountain

If you have entered Sleekgeek’s Ultimate You 8-Week Transformation Challenge then today’s post might sound pretty familiar – but don’t worry there is a LOT more juicy detail!

For those that don’t know, we send our challengers a weekly motivational email talking to them about things like whether their actions express their priorities and why there is no such thing as failure (only feedback). 

Today’s blog post is an extract and elaboration from the very first email that we send our challengers at the end of week 1. It’s super short, but powerful and can apply to anyone in Sleekgeek that is on their own journey to better health and fitness.


Back in April 2015, I did an absolutely crazy thing…

A 16-day trek through the Himalayas all the way up to Mount Everest’s Base Camp with my father.

Eric Mt Everest Base Camp Group Photo

I’m in the middle at the back with the red hoodie, my father is in the middle at the front with the hat.

It was one of the most physically and mentally challenging things that I’ve ever done in my life, and the people I met on that trip were some of the strongest people I’ve ever met in every way possible.

You see, the people who were up there didn’t get there by accident and they certainly didn’t have an easy time getting there either. It’s not a comfortable or pleasant environment. It’s cold, it’s hard to breathe, and the toilet is a hole in the floor if you’re lucky.

But, as Vince Lombardi once said, “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

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Chances are good that you are busy climbing your very own mountain of some sort.

Whether that’s trying to lose weight, building muscle, figuring out what’s healthy and what’s not, or just trying to be a bit better today than you were yesterday in some way or another.

There will be times when it’s going to be tough and really hard.

Each of you will face slightly different challenges along the way.

For me, it was a throat infection early on in the hike, incredibly bad altitude sickness, and nosebleeds that lasted days.

Eric Altitude Sickness

In fact, I distinctly remember sitting down only about 30 minutes of hiking away from reaching Everest Base Camp and thinking I wouldn’t be able to make it.

This was after days and days of hiking 8-10 hours a day through sun, rain, and snow. I was so sick and exhausted that after all that effort that the thought of just going for another 30 minutes seemed impossible.

I sat there for at least 20 minutes, desperately trying to catch my breath in the low oxygen environment, feeling the sickest that I’ve ever felt in my life, debating whether or not I need to turn back for the lower ground with more oxygen. All my body desperately wanted to do was go to sleep right there.

Thankfully my father was there with my every step of the way. I can’t quite remember what all happened, but with his help, I eventually made the decision to keep on going and managed to reach the end.

The message I want to get at is that you won’t “get there” by accident – wherever it is that you want to go. Whatever the challenge is you’re trying to overcome. You won’t “fall there”, and you won’t always have an easy time getting there. But when you do, it will be SO worth it!


3 Things I want to highlight from this story:

First: Small moments can make or break our success. It’s amazing how that tiny 20-30 minute time period out of such a grueling long hike could make or break my success. Throughout the mountains we climb in our daily lives, there are similar moments where we feel like giving up even when we are so close to that breakthrough or relief. It’s up to you to decide if you want to keep on going or not, but I’m sure you will agree that after hiking for so many days I sure as hell wasn’t going to let a short 30-minute walk get in my way of reaching the end.

Second: Don’t compare yourself to others. The hike to Everest Base Camp really isn’t that bad. Most fit and well-prepared people don’t find it too challenging. I just got rather unlucky with the throat infection, which meant it was painful to take deep breaths, which lead to a deficiency of oxygen and altitude sickness. This is why you should never compare yourself to others in life. I could have felt embarrassed and silly that I got so sick, while others who were much older and less fit than me didn’t. But… We all have our own unique set of circumstances. Sometimes we are “unlucky” and thankfully other times we are actually extremely “lucky”. Don’t focus on how much that other guy in the gym is deadlifting or how skinny that other chicks is in your office. What’s important is that you are in the gym putting in the work and that you are making an effort to manage your weight. Your journey should be about YOU versus YOU. No one else matters.

Third: Support is everything. Without my father by my side I’m 99% certain I would have 1) Turned around and gone back, or 2) Laid down and gone to sleep right then and there. Having a strong support structure makes everything SO much easier. Those supporting you are what can give you that edge and help you through your toughest times. Thankfully Sleekgeek is such an incredible source of daily support and motivation for anyone who needs it – but it’s important that you continue to cultivate support (by actively seeking it out and giving it in return) among your friends, family, and co-workers too.