Set Higher Standards by Ravi

Ramblings from a 30-something ultra-marathoning yogi with a day job.

Archive for the ‘motivation’ Category

Geoff Roes’ 2012 Iditorad Trail Victory – a lesson in endurance potential

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Geoff Roes – an elite American ultra-marathon runner – won an incredible race in the rugged Alaskan outback last week. Though, instead of saying he ‘won,’ it would be better to say he ‘survived the fastest.’

The 350 mile foot-race took a full week to complete in absolutely insane conditions. He pulled all his own gear in a sled behind him, often breaking trail through fresh snowfall and dragging himself up and over hills. It is worth reading his race report. To me it was a good reminder of what we are really capable of as humans from an endurance perspective.

Check out his race report at

Written by Ravi Raman

March 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Do Something New

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Why do the same old stuff this holiday weekend? Try something might just be fun!


Written by Ravi Raman

December 24, 2011 at 11:48 am

Hope is Not A Strategy

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Hope is not a strategy.

A strategy is a plan that you create to achieve a worthy goal.

Hope can support a strategy. In fact, it is sort of prerequisite – especially when you are trying to do something extraordinary. Extraordinary things are  often surrounded by uncertainty and this is particularly where hope (or faith or grace or whatever you want to call it) plays a key role.

Regardless, hope itself is not a strategy. If you want to do big things. Plan. Learn as much as you can. Consult people who know far more than you do (particularly elderly people who can take a long-term view of things). Write down your thoughts and be specific in what you want your outcome to be, and also be specific in what you anticipate your key tasks and steps need to be in order to get you there.

Once you have done all you think you can do…keep at it….do some more!

Then finally…..allow hope to fill you and give you confidence that your efforts will inevitably lead to exactly the perfect outcome.

I went hiking a couple of days ago in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness a few hours east of Seattle, WA. This is a view of "Big Heart Lake". Photo by Ravi.

Written by Ravi Raman

September 4, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference

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At the Sea-Tac airport upon returning from the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon, someone in front of me had this cool sweatshirt on. Very fitting after surviving 3 days of travel to get home, including a missed connecting flight requiring an overnight stay in Denver!

Written by Ravi Raman

March 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm

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Opportunity doesn’t always arrive gift wrapped

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Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

Written by Ravi Raman

February 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Our Deepest Fear

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Earlier I posted an amazing motivational video and just ran across one of the readings from the video in its entirety.Its powerful enough that I need to share it with. Read it a few times. Let it sink in. Then go out and do something remarkable.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

by Marianne Williamson

from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Written by Ravi Raman

November 27, 2010 at 2:22 am

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Your greatest purpose

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When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

- Patanjali

Written by Ravi Raman

October 31, 2010 at 5:38 am

Masters of our fate

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Sure I am that this day we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond my endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied to us.

- Winston Churchill

Written by Ravi Raman

October 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm

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So you think you are crazy?

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Alex Honnold free-climbs Half-Dome at Yosemite. No ropes, just chalk!

It is inspiring to see people pushing the boundaries of what is possible, even if these guys are totally insane. Enjoy – then get out and start training!

Trailer for First Ascents Series

Real-life Spiderman

Free-Base Jumper & Slackliner Dean Potter

Ueli Steck’s Speed Climbing Records of Eiger, Matterhorn, etc.

Written by Ravi Raman

September 14, 2010 at 5:22 am

Pier to Peak Half Marathon

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My rendition of the course profile for the Pier to Peak Half Marathon, from the Santa Barbara coast to the top of Los Columbres Mt. (up Gibraltar Rd.).

I just completed what was easily the toughest running race of my life, the Pier to Peak Half Marathon in Santa Barbara. 4,000 ft of elevation gain, with hardly more than a few hundred meters of flat road in the entire course. The winning time was 1:38 with most runners coming in around 2.5 hours or more. I finished in 2 hours and 19 minutes (well off my best 1/2 marathon time of 1 hr 22 mins).

I finished the race without walking more than a few steps at the aid stations to help get water down. That was my goal and I was pleased with it. Running a tough race like this really helps focusing on pushing through even when things get tough. No one sets personal records on a course like this (unless it is your first half marathon!) so it really comes down to learning how to suffer and being OK with that. All growth comes when the mind says stop but you push through.

I read some advice from Stu Mittleman – a legendary ultra runner – who said that it is critical to determine the specific conditions under which you will quit before you begin an endeavor. In the heat of the moment it is impossible to make the right decision. You need to be clear with how much you are willing to suffer and deal with that. I came back to that advice often when I was thinking of walking. I knew it would be painful and it was. I’m glad I chose not to take the easy way out.

Written by Ravi Raman

September 8, 2010 at 3:00 am

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