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Bowdoin Swim Team Signup Page

Welcome, Bowdoin swimmers!

Please watch the intro video above and fill out the form below to sign up for DeepFit for the 2017-2018 season.

IMPORTANT: check your email for a confirmation message, open the message and click "confirm my subscription."

Questions? Email Dan anytime.

Looking forward to having you on board!

Name *
Name
OPTIONAL: Tell us how long you've been swimming and a little about your current goals.
Privacy And Terms *
By submitting this form, you acknowledge and agree to DeepFit's privacy policy and terms of service. DeepFit does not accept athletes under age 13. If you are between the ages of 13 and 17, your parent or guardian must acknowledge and agree to our privacy policy and terms of service. Read our terms of service and privacy policy here: http://deepfitperformance.com/privacy-policy/

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A Founder's Journey: Challenging The Old Definition Of Inner Strength

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A Founder's Journey: Challenging The Old Definition Of Inner Strength

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It used to be spitfire. It used to be piss, vinegar, gumption, grit and confidence. Then one day, in a bloody pool on the side of a mountain in Chile, that all changed. A fellow entrepreneur recently asked, “Why DeepFit?” Well, it all started back in 2007 on the side of that mountain.

I grew up alpine ski racing and it was everything I did from the time I was 3 years old until I retired in 2011. I ate, slept, bled, dreamed, breathed, spoke and lived ski racing. I formed a strong identity around my athletic prowess, my community and the sport itself. I was climbing the ranks.

Then, in 2007, during a U.S. Ski Team training camp in South America, I wrecked training downhill. I wrecked hard. The immediate result was some fractured vertebrae, a crushed eye socket and cheek bone, 6 fractured ribs and traumatic brain injury. That all became scars, a newfound sense of fear, and an identity crisis from no longer being the spitfire, confident athlete I always was.

I continued pushing through it for 4 more years of competition, but every time I stepped in my skis, I was quite literally shaking in my boots. Flashes of my accident would flood my mind and I could still hear the sound of hitting the ground at 70 mph quite clearly. No one knew the extent to which I was paralyzed by my own fear and stuck inside my own mind. People who knew me could speculate based on my lackluster performance, but as an athlete, I had been taught to toughen up, suck it up, and rub some dirt on it. So that’s what I did, and what came from my internal turmoil was excessive drinking, anger, resentment and risky behavior that allowed me to discharge some of my pent-up energy in the moment, only to send me further away from who I wanted to be in the long run.

After winning a Division I NCAA championship at the University of Colorado in 2011, I was tired and broken, physically and mentally, so I threw in the towel.

A month later, I entered my 200-hour yoga teacher training. For the first time in my life, I was encouraged to talk about my deepest fears, my welling emotions and my broken heart. I was encouraged to allow those aspects of my life to be a part of the story, not an unspeakable chapter. After 6 years of consistent yoga practice, many hours of teacher training, endless encouragement to be exactly who I am (“negative” emotions and all), I’ve finally become someone I am proud to be and someone who is not afraid (well, less afraid) to show vulnerability and let my support system back me up when I need it.

The person I had to learn to be most honest with through the whole process was myself. I spent my entire life looking for my coaches, my times, my teammates and a national governing body to tell me I was good enough, strong enough, fast enough and tough enough to accomplish my dreams. In reality, I had to stop looking outward for the fuel to chase my dreams, a process that was only burning through my own internal reserves. I had to decide who I wanted to wake up and be every day.

My inner landscape needed the work, and that is what I set out to do. I would strengthen my inner world and give myself a bombproof foundation to take on the outer world.

I have committed my life to continuing my own growth and development. In the process, I am committed to finding ways to support others in doing the same. Between studying sport and performance psychology and co-founding DeepFit, I am compelled more than ever to challenge our societal norms around inner strength and confidence. I want to make the world a place where we can be tough, strong, and vulnerable, and fall apart when we need to. Because let’s face it, rainbows and butterflies are awesome, but mosquitoes and thunderstorms are still a part of our world.

Wherever you are as an athlete, DeepFit is a community where you can be yourself and build the solid inner landscape you are meant to have. We love taking this journey together and we are glad you're here with us, too!

-Kirsten

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DeepFit Takeaways 002

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DeepFit Takeaways 002

This month's DeepFit Takeaways is focused on the why. Why mindful training? It just so happens that 3 great takes on this question came out within the last few weeks.

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30-Day Challenge For Challenge Racers!

Feeling a little anxious about your next challenge race this summer? This is for you!

Sign up for DeepFit's 30-day challenge for first-time or competitive challenge racers and get yourself "emotions ready" for whatever comes up on competition day. It's free! The only commitment is the one you make to yourself. :)

Fill out the form below, and we'll talk soon!
-Dan

Name *
Name
Date of your race *
Date of your race
We'll start your free trial 30 days before race day.
OPTIONAL: Tell us a little about what brought you to challenge racing and what your goals are for the upcoming event.
Privacy and terms *
By submitting this form, you acknowledge and agree to DeepFit's privacy policy and terms of service. DeepFit does not accept athletes under age 13. If you are between the ages of 13 and 17, your parent or guardian must acknowledge and agree to our privacy policy and terms of service. Read our terms of service and privacy policy here: http://deepfitperformance.com/privacy-policy/

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DeepFit Takeaways 001

Breath is the connection. That's not just yoga speak. It's the hard science behind regulating your nervous system, your heart rate and your emotions.

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Team DeepFit Needs: 1 Designer, 1 Programmer

Team DeepFit has a 1-week project for 1 talented designer and 1 awesome programmer, with a preference for folks who are based in the Boulder/Denver area.

What's the project? Well, as we continue to grow our user base of coaches and athletes, we're gathering a lot of important feedback and specific needs. Within the next 6 weeks, it will be time to roll out an "alpha" version of the DeepFit platform. This will be a web-based application with greater functionality than the beta (currently in the market). The alpha will be built on a strong foundation for future iterations of the product, including a potential phone app version.

Whether you're a designer or a programmer you'll have these qualities:

  1. An understanding of the sports and fitness space
  2. A passion for DeepFit's mission: Shift industry and individual focus to the cognitive-emotional side of the fitness equation
  3. A desire to build products people love, and the ability to execute on that desire
  4. Maturity, transparency, accountability and grit

As mentioned above, we estimate this project will take 1 week (or less). You'll be involved with an awesome team and you'll end up with a great piece for your portfolio. You'll also have the chance to earn equity in the company and, depending on your qualifications, a small paycheck for the job.

Interested? Send me an email with links to previous work and a description of your skills, including the programming languages and frameworks you use. I don't need traditional resumes, I just need to see what you are able to accomplish.

Thanks!
-Dan

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The Starting Line

 DeepFit athlete Kristen Woodland races through another obstacle with a smile on her face.

DeepFit athlete Kristen Woodland races through another obstacle with a smile on her face.

When you get to the starting line physically, mentally and emotionally ready you will succeed.
— Kristen Woodland, DeepFit Blue Belt

Life isn't just one starting line, a whole bunch of obstacles, and a single finish line. It's something new all the time. You can choose to approach every new challenge with a "starting line" mentality.

I often talk with DeepFit's competition-focused athletes about the starting line mentality for their races. When you step up to that line, you won't have the benefit of all the gadgets you use in your training. You may not be able to hear your coach or make adjustments based on his or her cues. You're basically just a big ball of emotions with muscle and bone holding the energy together!

It's a huge challenge, especially because the emotions are not as nearly predictable as they are on a typical day.

In response to the unpredictability and wide variation of their athletes' emotional states, coaches usually say to "focus" and "be tough." These are OK cues. Focus and toughness are safe zones to be in, and way better than being stressed or down.

Here's what helps even more: Know the emotions that are already present for you and choose the ones you want to use as fuel for your competition.

Hint: Happiness and security are some of the best emotions for high performance, even though they don't sound as badass as toughness and determination.

Kristen Woodland (above) gets it right more often than most of us. A former national-level gymnast and now a mom, she trains these days for Spartan obstacle course races. The reason she is able to smile through the toughest competition moments is that she practices being in that zone during her daily training. It's a lot easier on race day if you've been there 9 out of 10 days in recent history.

Team DeepFit believes this approach works best for their races, and for all the "starting lines" in life. Stay tuned to the DeepFit blog and your coach (if your coach is working with us) for tips on how to implement this whole philosophy.

-Dan

P.S. - Start practicing for your own starting lines by joining DeepFit today!

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The Team Is Growing!

In the last month, DeepFit has been happy to add our first coach and trainer clients around the country. Today, we're psyched to announce another addition to the team, Kirsten Cooper, who joins us as director of research and co-founder of the company!

 "Coop," as she's known to skiing buddies, rips the giant slalom during an NCAA team championship season with University Of Colorado.

"Coop," as she's known to skiing buddies, rips the giant slalom during an NCAA team championship season with University Of Colorado.

Kirsten brings all the qualities we're building into DeepFit's mission: innovation, authenticity, work ethic, and speed. She's not just a fast thinker, either. Kirsten is a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, where she tore up the slopes at an elite level.

Now that her skiing career is over, Kirsten is at University Of Denver working toward her master's in sport and performance psychology (and an eventual PsyD in clinical psychology). With DeepFit, she'll steer our research program as we head into the bold future of the inner game.

Kirsten says:

I am so excited to be officially joining the team at DeepFit! I believe so strongly in the power of emotional and cognitive awareness, and DeepFit provides an incredible community to harness those powers so we can be our strongest and healthiest selves and take on the world with tenacity. I look forward to all the exciting work this community has been doing and will continue to do as we grow toward a new movement in fitness, health and longevity.

Join me in welcoming Kirsten to Team DeepFit!

-Dan

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Choices

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Choices

 Ashley Frank, DeepFit black belt, digs deep with the cognitive-emotional half of her training every day.

Ashley Frank, DeepFit black belt, digs deep with the cognitive-emotional half of her training every day.

DeepFit's mission is to shift the focus of an entire field, the field of sports and fitness technology, from almost 100% functional (weights, power, steps, paces) to almost 100% cognitive and emotional.

We have the not-so-weird idea that this shift is actually pretty easy to make. Why? Athletes have always been at least 50% cognitive-emotional in their approach. They just haven't always had the tools to make it an easy process.

The False Choice

The big question that always comes up for athletes when they are starting to use DeepFit is: If I make this shift to the cognitive-emotional side, what do I have to give up on the functional side? Isn't this just another thing my coach is telling me I have to do every morning?

That's a false choice

The reality is, you have to pay attention to both halves of the equation. Just as you're tracking data on the functional half, you need to be devoting a little time each day to processing your cognitive-emotional half.

What good does all your functional progress do if you end up so burned out and frustrated that you have to take 3 months off of training?

What if you make the gains you want, and you feel great about it, but the feeling fades 2 weeks later because you didn't learn to hardwire that positive psychology?

The Right Choice

When I get too set on how many days or how many hours or how many reps or how heavy a weight I have to do, that’s when I get injured or frustrated or burned out.
— Ashley Frank, DeepFit Black Belt

The right choice for your long-term success and health as an athlete is to pay equal attention to both halves of the equation, functional and cognitive. Or think of it as external and internal, shareable goals and not-so-shareable-but-steady progress.

And I will go a step farther to say that if you have to choose one set or the other, choose internally driven progress and cognitive-emotional strength over all the rest of it.

The simple reason: That's what the world's best athletes do. If you focus on process, the results will happen. This has been proven again and again in studies.

The converse is not so true. If you focus only on the "do this, don't do that" mindset, as if that will magically transport you to the finish line, you may never get there. That's a risk you shouldn't take with your training!

Stay On It

Here at DeepFit, we know our prototype is not the flashiest piece of software in the sports and fitness business. That doesn't bother us. Our focus is to stay on the cutting edge of the research and keep asking the right questions.

Same thing goes for your personal journey to deep inner strength. Don't worry about the noise. Just focus on making simple, steady gains every day. It will pay off!

Ready To Make The Shift?

Contact your coach or trainer, and send us your information today! I'll be in touch ASAP to get you on board.

-Dan

 

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Who Keeps You Going?

As DeepFit expands in 2017, I want to make sure we're reaching the segments of the sports and fitness world that need our solutions the most.

This 30-second survey asks a simple question: Who keeps you motivated in your sport? Yourself? Your coach? Your training buddies?

I'll use this information, including the optional follow-up request, to make sure I'm adding features and partners that provide the most value for the sports and fitness community.

You rock!
-Dan

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Digging Deep In Arizona

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Digging Deep In Arizona

Every single one of us possesses the strength to attempt something he isn’t sure he can accomplish. It can be running a mile, or a 10K race, or 100 miles. It can be changing a career, losing 5 pounds, or telling someone you love her (or him).
— Scott Jurek, Eat And Run

Leo gets loose on a pre-race run with his coach.

Two weeks ago, DeepFit athlete Leo Lesperance did something amazing. He completed his first 50-mile ultramarathon.

Even more amazing, he says it wasn't that bad.

I sat down with Leo last Friday. He was almost fully recovered from the 10-hour race in Arizona, with the only significant complaint being some hot spots on his feet. He felt that next time, he'll be able to run it even faster. Judging by Leo's recent DeepFit data and overall emotional state, I agreed!

So, what are the secrets to reaching this important milestone? Preparation and teamwork.

"I had an experienced team behind me," Leo reported. "They told me to be prepared for the fact that over the course of 50 miles, I will hit at least one major low point. Something will go wrong."

Leo's team was an on-site group of other ultramarathoners and athletes, including the coach who has been with him since he began training for this sport a year ago.

DeepFit was there, too, at least in a virtual sense. Leo has been tracking his cognitive-emotional status with our platform for over 100 days. In that process, he's built a stronger body-mind connection and a larger set of inner strength "tools" to utilize during training sessions and races.

 Shot of the slot canyons on the race course. 

Shot of the slot canyons on the race course. 

One thing Leo realized on the emotional front was that in his case, anxiety was not a bad thing. As the pre-race nerves kept growing, Leo was able to use this status mostly for focus and activation, rather than stress. Sleep was still a challenge during the last few days, but it didn't get the best of him.

Past mile 35 in the race, when cognitive reserves were running low, Leo still found the ability to self-motivate and psych up. This is a very advanced skill, and I think I speak for the entire DeepFit team when I say we're extra proud of Leo for those last 15 miles!

 Yeah!

Yeah!

Leo's mile pace during the last stretch of the race got as fast as 8:30. This is incredible speed for an ultrarunner's first ever 50-miler. Way to dig!

-Dan

P.S. - Do you have some athletic or fitness goals right now? Let DeepFit help you with the "other" 50%, your inner game!

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3 Levels Of Heart

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3 Levels Of Heart

What athletes call "heart" is fundamentally a super solid understanding of our strengths, our weaknesses, our readiness and our reserves.

We work to build our strengths. We work to bypass or eliminate our weaknesses. We monitor and exploit our day-to-day readiness. Over time, our reserves grow. Heart grows.

I'm not talking about your physical heart at all. I'm talking about your grit, your determination, your will, your focus. The ephemeral and amazing connection between your body and mind.

Believe it or not, that body-mind connection is very measurable and very possible to develop. 

These thoughts crystallized for me recently with the help of a fellow Boulder company, Aspen Neurofeedback. Aspen's sports lab division took a 15-minute scan of my brain activity (video above) and, in the report that followed, confirmed and developed much of what we're doing with the DeepFit platform.

What a brain scan like this tells you is that you have certain emotional "set points" or common tendencies. You have certain cognitive strengths and (unfortunately) some obstacles. You have a personal relationship to time, memories and goals. And you can gradually mold and change all of it to make yourself a better athlete.

You can gradually build smarter heart.

I think of it as 3 levels of progression. I'll use a music analogy to describe this growth.

  1. Old-school pop radio. Turn on your radio anywhere in the world and, every now and then, you'll hear a song you like. Same goes for your body-mind connection when you are first starting out as an athlete. Every now and then, you get into the right zone and everything works. You feel good.
  2. An iTunes playlist. Collect a bunch of songs that you consistently like and what do you have? A good playlist. Same goes for the cognitive pathways you build for yourself as you improve within your sport. You're starting to hit a good rhythm and you're enjoying it more consistently. Your body-mind connection is growing at a nice rate.
  3. Spotify. This is smart radio. It extends your favorite playlists into the entire musical universe, including bands and songs you never would have discovered on your own. Similarly, as your body-mind connection grows, as heart grows, it's no longer playing stuff you don't like and it's not playing all the same songs on shuffle. You're making new discoveries all the time and they're all helpful, even if you have to thumbs-down a few of them.

Which level are you at right now? Does it change from day to day and week to week? DeepFit can be your virtual coach, helping you see and understand how that process is going. Over time, we want all our athletes to have the smartest hearts on earth!

-Dan

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Do More With Your Dashboard, Part 2: Emotional Clarity

Sports psychologists have observed that the emotional profile of a very fit but overtrained athlete looks a heck of a lot like the emotional profile of someone who hasn't been physically active for a long time: You're down, you get easily annoyed with minor issues, you may go into a shell and start behaving a little antisocially.

This goes for elite athletes as much as us recreational folks. The only difference is nobody has studied and worked with recreational athletes on their emotional games, until DeepFit.

In the first post of this blog series, I outlined how to use your DeepFit dashboard to optimize training within your chosen sport. This post is about the bigger picture. Your emotional status affects every part of your day, and you can use your dashboard to gain clarity every morning. Here's how:

  1. After completing your morning self-report and clicking through to your dashboard, take a look at the emotions trend column for the last few days. Scroll up and down over the last few weeks to get a sense of your own personal averages. Everyone is different!
  2. Iceberg, V, Uphill or Straight-line? We're focusing on today's curve. Uphill and V shapes mean you're carrying significant stress right now. Iceberg means stress is low and you're generally feeling vigorous. Straight-line implies a transitional zone between stress and vigor, when feelings such as vulnerability and confusion can emerge.
  3. It's all good. No emotional profile is "bad." This is about awareness, not who feels better than someone else. Simply ask yourself, what are the specific emotions that are causing me to have high stress (or vigor) right now? What's behind them? Your GDR color can be a clue in this. If it has been gray for a few days, you may be over-reaching within your workouts, which usually causes a rise in annoyance, anger, worry and other stress emotions. If the GDR is blue or black, but stress is still high, those emotions are probably coming from non-training factors.
  4. Plan your day. Fit your plan for today to your emotional status. If stress is a limitation right now, don't go nuts in either your workout or your work. If you're currently an iceberg, feel the rush and go for it!

People spend a lifetime gaining emotional clarity, so don't expect nirvana the first few weeks using your DeepFit dashboard. Still, I hope it can be a tool for you in your daily routine!

Questions? Email me anytime.

-Dan

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Do More With Your Dashboard, Part 1: Optimize Your Training

I started DeepFit to help athletes optimize their training programs to gain more frequent and meaningful performance breakthroughs. As it turns out, that's not the only thing you can do with your individual DeepFit dashboard, but it's still one of the best uses! Here's how:

  1. After completing your morning self-report, click through to your dashboard and take a look. See mine here. I usually scroll briefly from top to bottom for a "flip book" effect of trends over the last few weeks.
  2. Gray, blue or black? The color-coded GDR bar is your overall status for the day. It takes into account all your recent recovery and exertion data, as well as your emotions trend. Gray means go ahead with your plans for the day, but if those plans include a big training session, be conservative in your expectations. Blue means you can set your expectations a little higher. Black means go deep into whatever you do that day, training or recovery, because your body and mind are primed for gains.
  3. Plan how you want to use your emotions today. There are different philosophies on this. Some of our athletes consciously maintain a very narrow and iceberg-shaped emotional trend by forcing themselves to exclude stressful feelings. I'm impressed if you can do that. I've always been a very emotional athlete, so my trend fluctuates in both thickness and shape almost every week. I simply stay honest with myself about where I am on any given day. If I'm mostly happy, I use happiness as a form of motivation. If I'm mostly stressed, I try to use that stress in a positive way for a couple days. If that doesn't work, I take a couple days off and get myself back into a vigorous state of mind.
  4. Plan ahead. Your DeepFit dashboard has some predictive capabilities. If you report daily, the dashboard will always show you a window of at least 2-3 days in the future. As of this writing (December 22, 2016), I can see that I'm heading into the gray and carrying some stress. If I were in the middle of a planned over-reaching phase, gray is to be expected. You just roll with it. But I have actually been planning a deep recovery week, so I'd prefer to see blue or black in the days ahead. This tells me I need to really assess what's happening. Where are the stressful emotions coming from? Can I do anything to immediately increase my recovery numbers?

No matter who your coach is or what training program you're on, meaningful performance breakthroughs result from the steady, daily accumulation of well-planned, well-executed sessions. Use your DeepFit dashboard as a tool on that journey!

Questions? Email me anytime.

Next up in this blog series, we'll look at using your dashboard for daily emotional clarity, including how you approach work and relationships (not just sports training).

-Dan

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