Ten Thousand feet up yields a fresh perspective, and there is no greater embodiment of that than Eric Hinman. Based in Denver, this 5x Ironman (and counting...) is an angel investor, entrepreneur, and content creator. Chasing his perfect days with outdoor adventures from mountain biking to hiking and other feats of endurance, Eric is perpetually pushing himself to new heights.
At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to invest more in your personal fitness?
This goes back to roughly 12 years ago, when I hired a personal trainer, and 10 years ago, when I first started racing triathlon. I started to gain more fulfillment from finishing a long run and watching my pace quicken or going on a long bike ride and cranking out more wattage, all while staying at the same heart rate. I felt more fulfilled accomplishing these fitness goals than I did chasing money or chasing career success or chasing everything else that public perception says you should be chasing. Long story short, I realized that by focusing on my health and wellness, so many other aspects of my life were improving. I had more mental clarity. I had more creativity. I had more positive energy. And I was positively affecting those around me by exuding that energy and exuding that positivity. It all came full circle!
What lessons have you learned from fitness that have served you throughout your life?
From racing Ironman triathlons specifically, I learned the benefits of goal setting and how focus is the key to success in anything. And, with the exception of genetic predispositions, anything is possible as long as you focus on a specific something for an extended period of time. Simultaneously, I learned to say no to everything that didn’t serve me. When I was competing in Ironman, the daily training regimen became so routine and so repetitive that it became a priority over many other less-important things at the time. Prioritizing my training eventually got me to a level of competition where I was qualifying for Kona multiple years in a row. But that didn’t happen overnight. Rather, it was breaking it down into what I could do today to reach my goal. It also taught me to seek obstacles and seek discomfort because that is where growth comes from.
"Figure out what you're really passionate about and figure out what people, places and things bring you positive energy."
What keeps you motivated?
Doing the same things day in and day out. I like to say that I'm in this chapter of my life right now called chasing perfect days. I know what my perfect day is. A lot of it revolves around exercise, outdoor adventure, meeting like-minded people and creating things. So what motivates me? Simply the ability to keep chasing perfect days.
Metcon or triathlon? Why?
Wow, great question… Endurance comes fairly easy to me. So, if I want to do really well at something, I would choose triathlon or a similar endurance event. But I also like challenges and like tackling things where I know there is significant room for improvement. So in that respect, I would pick a metcon because I am not nearly as anaerobically conditioned or efficient as I am aerobically. Right now, I am doing a lot of high-intensity work to build that mental and physical tolerance to the uncomfortable feeling you get when pushing your body past that threshold level.
Do you have a favorite failure? How has that set you up for later success?
I feel like failure, more than anything, gives you purpose. The first year I did Ironman Lake Placid, I missed qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii by one minute. And that one minute became my purpose and motivation to race again the following year, where I ended up qualifying for Kona. So I think all of my failures, and I've had many of them, have given me purpose. Purpose is the key in becoming successful at anything. Failure has taught me to enjoy the process. If you want it, you have to live it and breathe it for a long period of time to be successful.
What’s your biggest vice?
I'm an all-in type of person so I try to avoid sweets for the most part. But when I do indulge in any kind of sugar – whether it be ice cream, chocolate or granola – I go all in. I eat the entire cake. I eat the entire pint of ice cream. So, ultimately, I try to avoid it. A lot of it is just making sure I don't have that stuff around my home. But when I'm traveling I'll certainly indulge...you have to live life!