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I love the holidays for many reasons, but the biggest and best reason is the realization of how many special relationships and connections we have. At this time of year, these relationships and connections take priority over focusing on fitness or working on building the business.

For me, the holidays allow time to refocus on the importance of family and friends while providing the right atmosphere for reflection. Right or wrong, this is how I am and I am sure many of you feel the same about this time of year. Sure, it’s busy and we want to get things done so we can enjoy our free time a bit more. At the same time, the stress of business and productivity is reduced for at least a little while. Please make sure that you embrace this time and allow yourself to ease up on the "training regimes." Give yourself permission to lose a little fitness if it means you gain quality time with people you love.

The best way to prepare for this is to get a little ahead when the opportunity presents itself and bag some bigger days while the gettin’ is good. Often times there is a calm before (or in between) the holiday storm. Give consideration to the last few weeks of November and, depending on your holiday schedule, the first couple weeks of December. You will find moments there to put in some solid training and fill the coffers if you will. Then, you’ll be able to spend the height of the holiday season (right into that first week of January) focusing on your relationships. Those three weeks disappear before you know it and prove difficult for just about everyone to stay in any sort of training routine. Don’t worry about that! Better to pack a little extra into the month beforehand and enjoy the holidays. You may be surprised with your fitness as you exit the season. I call this the holiday push. And it really is just that: a short quick fitness push to build up ahead of time (or in between the holidays) so you can enjoy the moment and focus on the things that are more important than your fitness.

This push does not need to be super hard or well orchestrated. Think of it as more of a cash grab situation. Pull as much volume as you can when convenient. Focus on easy ways to capture a bit more training volume: add an extra couple hours on your weekend rides, maybe add a day during the week to train, push each workout just an extra ten minutes. Easy!

All that being said, still make sure to keep strength, athleticism and general health (watch your nutrition very closely now!) the priority at this time of year to set up for a solid--and healthy--2019 season. While event goals for ‘19 are getting locked down, maintain good habits that will lead to positive body composition changes and increased overall health.

Another element keeping VQers on track is the Off-Season Challenge. The Challenge is in full swing with 150 VQers and already surpassing all my expectations. Man, is this a great way to use the community to create good habits! This year’s app keeps everyone honest and the Challenge has the ability to change lives. It’s amazing to watch "real" change happen, seeing positive story after positive story that started with this Challenge. One story from last year: Mike Rechtin. He lost 20 pounds of fat, increased his muscle mass by 6 pounds and expanded his power by 30%. Mike just needed a kickstart and the Off-Season Challenge did just that!

I wish all of you a great holiday season. Do yourself a little favor and grab some fitness when you can during the holidays so you can enjoy friends and family without the fitness - guilt. Take time to create good habits in exercise, nutrition, reflection and gratitude. Support those around you by joining our Challenge or creating your own. Dial in your goals.

I look forward to a great 2019 of adventure and gratitude!