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Taking on Everest: My Journey to the Highest Marathon in the World

One week from today I will be sitting on a plane on the way to tackle the most unbelievable challenge of my life so far: taking on the highest marathon in the world. And, if the marathon itself wasn’t enough, I will climb to the summit of Everest, not once, but twice, in the days before the run in order to acclimatise to the lack of oxygen. Only after these two climbs will I be able to begin the marathon from Everest base camp.

Everyone has their own Everest to climb. My own? Scaling Everest itself!

One week from today I will be sitting on a plane on the way to tackle the most unbelievable challenge of my life so far: taking on the highest marathon in the world. And, if the marathon itself wasn’t enough, I will climb to the summit of Everest, not once, but twice, in the days before the run in order to acclimatise to the lack of oxygen. Only after these two climbs will I be able to begin the marathon from Everest base camp.

The road to getting there? Well, it’s been shorter than you could ever believe. Just two years ago, I was a non-runner. Seriously. With just 27 weeks of training, I ran the Great Wall of China Marathon. Next, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro…and then ran the Kilimanjaro Marathon the day after it. In between, there’s even been time and energy left over for me to take part in marathons and half marathons across the UK.

Through chasing my unique vision, and as a business/performance coach and entrepreneur I “walk the talk” in every second of my life. My secret to success? Using a tool called the Wheel of Life to enable growth and enact change in every aspect of my life, which I will not only talk through in more detail below but also will give you the chance to take the evaluation for yourself.

But how has the road to Everest been possible? Let me explain the how, as well as the why, by taking you through my own vision and 16-point strategy below: theory against practical.

#1 Live Unconsciously

I go to the unconscious world in order to bring it into the conscious mind.

Whether it is in my business life or training for an endurance event, I escape to the unconscious world and go into a daydream state in order to create the innovation and challenge today’s reality. When I’m in this unconscious world, I live and breathe the full event that I am aiming to complete, or I take myself to the end of the business innovation idea, seeing it manifest into reality; turning metal to gold, making the invisible, visible. You see, I have already taken my mind through the whole process and absolutely believed what I manifested in my mind.

Through living this whole event unconsciously, I’ve actually become quite emotional consciously on many occasions, due to the power of feeling like I’ve already experienced what I’m setting out to do. Think of it as time travel; delving into your future self, creating your future self, meeting your future self, and actually becoming merged with your future self.

#2 My Soul Mate

Lesley, my wife of 25 years is my energy source and my solar system.

We both live by our own ‘life maps’, which are concerned with respecting our individual teams. Every one of us should have two teams. Team one consists of yourself; so Stevie is the sole member of his team one, and Lesley is the sole member of her own. No-one else is allowed in. Taking care of team one first and foremost is of vital importance. Team two is comprised of both Stevie and Lesley together. Getting this right from the start is what’s essential to lay the foundations for formulating strategies, or else the training and the event itself cannot begin to go well even in your own mind. When I have Lesley beside me I am fuelled with unbelievable strength and believe that anything is possible.

#3 Creating a Legacy

Life has to have meaning and to achieve that we should all strive to leave a footprint on the planet that remains long after you’re gone.

For me, one of the most important aspects of adding such meaning to life is through supporting charities.  Raising funds for charities that myself and Lesley truly care for fuels our spirits and is why I have done throughout my life. With every event and challenge I undertake, charities are always part of the journey.

Right now, we are continuing to raise funds for Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veteran’s mental health, dealing with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and PTSD. If you are able to contribute a donation, however large or small, every penny will be appreciated and put to essential use. Donate here.

Everest marathon vest

Everest marathon vest

Leading a life with no limits further creates a legacy for me. I adopt strap lines to keep myself grounded, all gleaned from my time being developed under John La Valle in America, who also lives by these mantras:

  • “I know nothing” Having this mindset drives me to discover what I do and do not know.
  • “Everything I do needs work” Drive to model excellence and be better than who I was yesterday.
  • “Keep talking” Keep talking to maintain the healthiness of relationships.

#4 Have ‘The End’ in Mind

As soon as I pursue a new challenge, I automatically bring the ‘finisher’ to life.

This is the Stevie that is already standing at the finish line, having accomplished the task, medal draped around his neck, and is saying, “That was easy!”. This then acts at my real, tangible target, and this character follows me around everywhere until the task is complete. He’s a humorous, good-spirited character who is always in a positive state of mind. This drives me to be motivated beyond belief.

#5 Visualisation & Kinaesthetics 

I’ve been visual all my life, with feelings and emotions driving me forward.

To escape, I use visualisation by producing the perfect movie with unbelievable sound and image quality within my mind – my very own 360 degree IMAX! I jump between association to disassociation, sitting in this cinema watching what I’ve created, and believing with every fibre of my being that what I see will come to fruition. I connect with, amplify, and feel it so vividly that sometimes I actually believe that I’ve already completed the event. It’s all about VAK learning: using video, auditory and kinestethic (movement) to determine the dominant learning style.

#6 Find Best Coaching Possible 

To coach, one must be coached, but then go further than the coach himself.

Before I meet any coaches, I check their credentials and then meet in person to give them the opportunity to discuss my own life map – not the event itself – but my legacy. This best helps to identify if the coach can help me to achieve what is contained in this life map, and do more for me than the norm. I take my coaches on the journey with me, every step of the way, and I always acquire coaches who have already achieved the task that I want to achieve, and then I simply model it. I’ve learned that you cannot do it alone. You need to determine who you are, who your role models are, but then aim beyond the limits of your role model.

#7 Quantum Jumping

I coach a wealth of clients in the area of Quantum Jumping and through the course: Jump Into A Universe Of Infinite Possibilities. The Abundant You. The Inventor You. The Creative You. In Alternate Universes, Everything You Desire May Have Already Taken Place. Tap Into This Infinite Potential With Quantum Jumping. 

In essence, I’ve already ‘jumped’ into the universe where I’m clearly looking at the past, a past in which I have already completed the Everest Marathon. This is escapism of the conscious world to enter an unconscious one, starting with a daydream state, where my heart rate reduces to around 57 bpm. This is a place of no emotion where I then create the future movie in my mind, believing beyond all certainty that I’ve already achieved it.

The more you use quantum jumping to seek out your twin self who has already solved the problem, the more successful you will be. This brings me on to my next strategy.

#8 Twinning

From the moment I set a goal, I create a twin who has already completed it. I then connect to that person wholly.

I continue to map out twins of myself – when I trained for the Kilimanjaro Marathon I created 64 twins of myself from start to finish.

We all carry our twins around with us subconsciously and begs the questions: which strategies are you using, and which voices are you listening to?

#9 Meditation

This is when I take time to visit my Creative Room – I put myself into a state where I create this room within my mind. Think of it as quantum jumping, with a twist.

When I meditate, I’ll sit outside of the Room and enter only when all of the people inside are seated and give me permission.

As I enter, I see eight widescreen TVs on the wall with 12 seats positioned around a table, like a boardroom. The TVs are turned on and I take a seat. Seated around the table with me are role models from throughout my life. The Chairperson is Sir Alex Ferguson today (but sometimes Muhammad Ali is there, usually dancing!).

On the screens, past, present and future movies of my life are showing, usually highlighting my current day or the history of whatever challenge for which I am currently training. The purpose of this is so that my role models may provide: feedback on my progress, words of wisdom, as well as advice; on what to do next.

When I leave the Room, I am ready to make the changes required to succeed. I call this ‘the power of your imagination’. It’s a time to reevaluate and use all of the senses and magnify them. This process only takes about three-five minutes for me to complete every day.

Forms of mediation exist in other areas of my daily life too. For example, I might visually walk a nature trail three times per day to gather and align my thoughts. Another huge part of my optimum strategy is physical exercise at my local David Lloyd gym. An essential cog of my daily routine for almost 15 years, this too is a place of escapism.

#10 Visionary Leadership

Since following Sir Alex Ferguson from the age of 12, I have embedded this leadership style into my own life.

This is underpinned by leading by example. You set the bar high, both for the personal and professionals areas of your life, and refuse to fall below it. You need to know who you are and what you want, recognising your role models’ levels, but then aiming far beyond that and operating at a higher frequency than them. It’s all about looking at the world from above and looking down – having a view from outside of oneself.

#11 My Inner Circle

To make sure that you can then be on this right frequency, it’s imperative that you surround yourself with the right people who keep you there.

Surround yourself with successful people who do things beyond where you are today, and then feed off this energy. I surround myself with people whose values and energies align with my own.

After you’ve spent time with the various people in your life, ask yourself, “How did that time spent with them make you feel?”. You should walk away feeling good about yourself, never negative. However, it is not the people that influence these feelings – it is to do with yourself, not them. You need to either influence change or enact change.

#12 Self Discovery

I wake up and tell myself, “I know nothing”, and this in itself then becomes a driver for my life.

You must be vigilant in striving for consistent reinvention. Develop yourself every single day in order to discover more. Through this activity, I change constantly. If you meet me today, and then again in a year, I will be a completely different Stevie Kidd.

One of my life’s main focuses is neurology; understanding what lies within us all. An area in which I excel is discovering my emotions, the triggers to these emotions, and which of these emotions I feel the majority of the time. At this point, I will link my heart rate to where I live – not in terms of the location – but in relation to my mind i.e. the past, present or future. However, I only ever visit the past in order to recall successes from history.

Endurance is always about growth and strength, both physically and mentally. I search for this through the optimum level within my mind.

Understanding my emotions is what enables me to stretch myself beyond perceived limitations, so, in essence, I see no limits.

Let me illustrate this neurology further with this extract from ‘Practice Beauty, The Art and Neuroscience of Freedom”:

There is a place where all things begin, the place of pure energy that simply “is” the place of the power that awaits us when we allow ourselves to venture beyond the limits of what we have always believed to be possible in our lives. Joining the long-separated worlds of science and spirit. Accessing the most powerful tools from each discipline creates a fertile environment to awaken to the power of the higher brain. To awaken to the experience of inner peace, vast insight and extraordinary creativity that defines the experience of enlightenment. Learn to expect what you can’t imagine will happen.

#13 Life Balance

This is where the Wheel of Life comes into play. Getting a 360-degree view of every aspect of my life is one strategy that I must ensure to adopt in all of my training.

I have a control panel in my head which I will visit every week (with clients, we will do this visually). I have a traffic light system for different areas of life: if an area is flashing red, it must be addressed right away. This is essential activity in order to be able to stay in a good state of mind all of the time, reaching a veritable utopia. If this balance is not aligned, neither will I be.

The moral is consistency. The consistency of three areas: Who were you; who are you; and, are you on track to becoming who you want to be?

However, each time you inch closer to each of these aspects, you must continue to push those limits out even further, becoming both closer and further away from them again all at once.

#14 Language

How you use and see dialogue and language, and more importantly, how you put it across to yourself and others, is key. Using tonality, pitch and vocabulary, you can emulate the person you want to be and influence change.

Internal dialogue (going back to the control panel in my mind) is just as important, if not more. This internal dialogue? It is one of constant affirmation, only engaging with positive language, and thereafter emitting this positive state of mind out into the rest of the world and via every interaction that I have.

#15 Where I Live

No, not my country, town or street number. Where I live inside my head. Where exactly is that? The present and the future. Always.

Ben Lomond Summit

Never in the past. Once the past has happened it’s history. What is the point of living there any longer?

I truly live in an emotional state that is consistently calm and highly positive (yes, consistency is possible!), and I really mean that I live this throughout every minute of my awakened state.

How to achieve this? Learn how to stay attuned to your sixth sense and intuition, as well as be able to follow and listen to your heart.

With so much hate in the world, it’s all about loving and giving, as well as having right people around you, rather than spreading any more hate.

#16 My Boys & My Family

My son, Ryan, is the ultimate meaning of father and son. I am further privileged to have my two stepsons, Andrew and Martin, in my life. I strive to be the example for them all, to set the bar high for them to be able to outdo my own legacy, to achieve greater accomplishments than my own.

Being the example for my boys gives me the purpose to keep going with every feat I aim for, even when I think I have nothing left in me. And now, with the newest addition to our family arriving this month in the form of my granddaughter, Sophia, and also Jordan our grandson, I am even more blessed and have another reason to keep going.

Where are you now and where do you want to be?

So what’s the first step for you? Taking the Wheel of Life evaluation here is the first piece of self-development activity that you can take to identify areas of imbalance in your own life, which will then help you to create goals and set priorities based on your vision. No matter how happy we are, we all have areas in which we could be doing better. Many people find that they can get one or two aspects of their life right some of the time, but what if I told you that you could have it all, all of the time? Those who partner with me ultimately have the opportunity to adopt this optimum state of mind which has led me to Everest, and they can use it to achieve any desire they have in their own life.

See you on the other side, of Everest…

Stevie KTaking on Everest: My Journey to the Highest Marathon in the World