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May 20, 2022

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Rick Baraff
Adventure Athlete

Elite. What’s that really mean? If we’re talking about elite athletes, we can point to their prowess at a sport or similar physical activity (like mountaineering). But, ‘elite’ can extend to avenues such as business and other endeavors. Like cooking. There are many unique, “elite” chefs out there with Michelin stars and fantastic takes on cuisine. Similarly, there are elite businesspersons. I’d call them people who can see all the angles and know how to navigate most situations — and are successful at nearly everything they set out to accomplish (like building a great supplement company!) and, as importantly, are able to teach, mentor, and communicate their insights and practices.

Ultimately, whether sport, business, or life, ELITE is a state of mind. And after years of tackling some of the most grueling endurance races in the world, I can safely get on board with this definition. In a bout of incredible luck, or plain stubbornness, I’ve had the great fortune of going up against and being teammates with truly elite athletes. People that have won world championships in a variety of sports. People who have conquered the Seven Summits (the highest mountains on each continent, including Mt. Everest). People who are in the Guiness Book of World Records! And people who have also been hugely successful in business and other life-related endeavors.

Me? I’ve always been a pretty good athlete but would never be considered ‘world class’ in any particular thing — except the sport I’ve ended up pursuing for about two decades now: Adventure Racing! Truth be told, it’s really more of an ‘adventure’ than a sport because it not only combines multiple sports & disciplines into big, long races but it also really favors those who have the ability to go to ‘elite’ places in their minds.

What’s that mean? Well, just like athletes talk about getting into the zone, in ultra-distance adventure racing, you really have to be able to convince yourself that you can go on physically after a certain point. Backing up a sec, adventure racing combines mountain biking, trekking & trail running, kayaking and/or other non-motorized water-related modes of transportation (raft, canoe, etc), with a mixed bag of potential things like mountaineering, map/compass navigation, advanced ropes work, in-line skating, and other things unique to a place or culture.

And what it all usually comes down to is that the team (oh yeah, it’s also a team sport!) that has it together the most with the mental aspect of things, usually wins. Notice I didn’t say the best athletes. Yes, athleticism plays a huge role. But not really the most crucial role. Again, that’s mental fortitude. Elite level problem solving, and communication skills, and troubleshooting, and elite keeping your $#%+ together-ness! One way of putting this is: I’m good at suffering through things while keeping my mind together. Enough so that I’ve done very well in many races because I can push my body further with the power of my mind.

So this is my real purpose for this blog — to impress upon you that our minds are powerful things. Actually more powerful than our bodies. Next time you’re watching or marveling at an athlete winning a championship or doing something that looks impossible to you, think about what they’re doing with their mind. Tom Brady will be 45 years old this football season. 45! That’s freaking OLD to be out there slamming your body into 300-pound guys coming at you with 4.5-speed. But at this point we know how he does it: He’s got an elite mindset. He can not only read every defense ever created, but he’s still got elite problem solving and communication skills. And he’s able to simply push his body further than practically anyone else the field — most of whom are literally HALF his age!

So if you feel your body is ‘failing’ you or you aren’t hitting your goals…. Think again! Reset your mind for ‘Elite’ status. Yes, most of the products here at Mdrive are specifically designed to help you optimize your body and its systems by giving you more energy, focus, stamina, and drive. And yes, this is certainly another secret — finding the right supplements that work for you. Tom Brady also knows the power and benefits of eating well and augmenting his diet with an array of supplements that help him as he mentally pushes himself.

I’ve tried a ton of products out there and have been using Mdrive for almost a decade (are we both that old? Yes.) and the clean, even energy and recovery that I continue to get from them actually helps me complete that circuit of mental-physical-mental feedback where I can continue to push both sides to gain more confidence in my body’s ability to go further as I can problem-solve and cope (okay, suffer!) along the way in my crazy, ultra-endurance races.

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