I have been asked before “What are you proud of in your fitness business?”. It is an easy answer when you have athletes like Ivan Schultz in Team SGPT.
Ivan has overcome great disabilities that would have put anyone in a wheel chair. But Ivan had something deep down inside that said “Nope” – I am going to do this my way! So proud of you Ivan for standing up and finding a big gnarly goal and then going out and executing.
This story is about overcoming disability that you may have but also pushing through your fears to stand victorious.
I will not spoil the story but no one can ever take that great experience away from you.
Lets get straight into the story as this is going to be a great one.
SGPT: Tell us about yourself? Where are you from and where do you train?
Ivan: I live in Colorado on a farm. The farm is great but it sure makes having a schedule hard. Everyday is something you didn’t plan for
SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up? Tell us more about yourself and your training.
Ivan: Did high school football but wrestling was what I liked the best. In 1990 I was hit in the head leaving me paralyzed on my right side for a few years My equilibrium was all jacked and could hardly move without puking.
After those years of not moving much I found myself about a 100lbs overweight and very weak
I tried everything to get back to some kind of fair shape
Nothing worked and after a long time i got hooked up with Coach Brads SGPT group
He had a SGPT Clean Nutrition Coaching Group back then.
I joined and with his coaching I dropped the weight I also was getting stronger. Starting doing more activities like running and strength training
I finally signed up for a spartan sprint
The next year I did the trifecta. I also picked the hardest races I could find. The spartan beast was at snow mass
It was one long 15 miles
Then all the Covid shit came along and I was stuck at the farm so I made good of what I could and built a gym at my home
Then day coach Brad said why don’t you hike a trail around you
Well that was not easy to find as the county had closed everything around here
I did find a couple and started out
The first couple hikes were not the easy
Started getting stronger found some other trails around as the Covid restrictions were lifted
Also I got out my sand bags and found a good hill on the farm Almost everyday I would do a few trips up and down
My one big fear was my knee. Coming down with the bag was not feeling very good
So I went to the website and found as many SGPT workouts that had leg/knee/hip movements.
SGPT: How did you get the inspiration to climb the mountain?
Ivan: Longs peak is very visible from the farm
One day I was looking at it and decided that was going to be next
Coach Brad is always saying find a big goal
I was telling my son and wife that was next big hike
So they said they would go also
The next we all trained at the hill at the farm with sand bags up and down
Also as much gym time as we could get
SGPT: How about getting your gear ready for that big hike?
Ivan: Gear was the issue as it would be an all day hike
I wore my same Solomon boots that I wear for hunting and my other hiked
What to carry was the issue
So I laid out everything I thought I would need then cut that in half
Water purifier and energy food small med kit and some extra clothing Oh in the med kit was mole skin
I did bring my big camera as coach Brad is always asking me for pictures and my phone camera is pretty bad. So I brought a full size camera long. Won’t do that again
The training on the previous hike and the sands bags at the farm really made difference
SGPT: Tell us a about your recent climb on Longs Peak (14k ft) climb?
Ivan: The park ranger told me that only about 10 20 % of the people make it to the top
The climb started at 3 am it started right out as up hill. That never changed
We were just coming out of the gobbled forest when the sky was warming up
The trail was good all the was to boulder field On thing about the trail was that the forest service had made steps on the trail which was ok going up but going down would be different story
Once we reached the boulder field we took a break This was our first break
The we started boulder jumping our way across the the boulder field on the way to the key hole
At the key hole we had to almost rock climb to go up and over it. The wind now blowing pretty good making it harder. Right now I am hating having brought the big camera
Once through the key hole we found a spot to re group
I am looking for the trail and there really is no trail just painted dots over the boulders Rhodes dots mark the trail
Thinking to myself that we are close to the the top
Well it was about another hour and a half to the top
Climbing over the rocks
Pretty much straight up and straight down
It was going up the Shute that was difficult as people were coming down and going up. You have to keep and out for rocks being kick out from the people in front of you
At the top we took a quick picture or two and started back down
It was a little faster to key hole going back but still took over and hour
One picture at the key hole and the back boulder jumping
Finally out the boulder field we are through the toughest part now and easy hike down
SGPT: What was the hardest part of the climb?
Ivan: Going down was to become the hardest part of the hike
Those steps were killing everyone knees
Finally hit “Gobblens Forest” and thinking we are done. We see the sign 3 miles to go
When we finally hit the parking lot it was dark again
Other than being sore we did okay. A few black and blue toe nails I think my wife had a small blister but not bad
SGPT: What kind of trail running shoes/boots did you use for the climb? For training?
Ivan: Wearing and training in our boots and shoes was a key part my wife wears her Solomon trail shoes and I am not sure what my son and his buddy wore
We all had good socks and extra socks.
SGPT: Did you carry a running vest or small backpack/ruck? What kind of ruck did you use for training and the climb?
Ivan: We all had similar packs I have just a regular ruck day pack my son has the same my wife uses a light weight rock climbing pack
SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for a climb?
Ivan: For this hike you need to train. We saw to people being hauled off the mountain and a few just sitting like they gave up
Coach Brad got me started on this hike – I would not have done it if he had not steered me in this direction
SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to climb a local peak or start training??
Ivan: As far as training I had my sand bag in the back of my truck and almost every night when we were done at the farm I would go to trail and get a few reps in. Most times in the dark.
SGPT: Great job on going out there and tackling a big gnarly goal with your family. You get extra points for having your family along on your journey.
Ivan: The hike was rough for me and it took a good week to maybe longer to cover
But now every time I look up at that mountain I know I won
It was a great family trip
SGPT: Thanks for the interview Ivan.
Ivan: As always thank you coach Brad
Are you interested in training for an endurance event like SEALFIT 20X, GORUCK or a Spartan Race? Do you want to increase your human potential so that you can move faster to your goals?
Do you have a big event on the horizon and you want to finish the drill?
Looking to get out of a rut and push forward to beat yesterday now?
Get individual coaching from SGPT Coach Brad McLeod. Check out coaching here:
About the Author:
Brad McLeod knows first hand about mental toughness after being kicked out of a top tier Spec Ops training unit. He failed out of BUD/S the first time after failing a math test (made it through Hell Week and Dive Pool Comp). He came back a year later and graduated and served as an operator on the Navy SEAL Teams.
Today, he helps Veterans and athletes achieve their goals faster. What is your goal? Lets work together to accomplish it.
Coach Brad McLeod