My life is the sum of my choices

I was living in Atlanta at the time. Playing golf on the weekends. I had just left the Army and was working my way up the corporate ladder.

Then, I met some new friends. They were training for the Steamboat, Colorado marathon. I decided to join in the fun. At about the same time, I had also met some climbers in the area, and was extending my climbing interest from the indoor gym to the beautiful sandstone cliffs in Tennessee.

One decision after another, I was reshaping who I was, who I spent time with, and what I was about.

The golf clubs began collecting dust as I ran more marathons and climbed more often. Eventually my passion for the outdoors brought me to Boulder, Colorado. I began climbing bigger peaks. Mixing rock with ice and snow. Sometimes climbing up and skiing down. The golf clubs were nowhere to be seen. I stepped off the corporate ladder and into my own business.

More decisions. Different choices. I was reshaping who I was, who I spent time with, and what I was about.

I sat down one night to do some personal goal setting. And as I was planning for the year, dreaming about my future, I spit into the cup. This wasn’t the first time. I had been spitting into the cup for about 11 years. I had a big fat dip (smokeless tobacco) in my mouth. It was a “tool” that started in Ranger School to keep me awake during extended days of training with no sleep. It eventually became a habit. Then an addiction that was controlling every aspect of my life.

I needed to make another decision. One that was healthier for me. I found support through NicAnon.

More choices. A different focus. I was reshaping who I was, what I did, and what I was about.

Today, everything in my life is intentional. I spend time with the people I love. I travel and climb internationally each year. I am passionate about what I do. I don’t remember a day when I dreaded getting out of bed and going to work. The realization that my life was simply a sum of my daily choices changed how I lived. It also inspired me to share that experience with others, and for the past 5 years, I have shared that through my annual goal setting workshop. This year it is called Ascend 2010, and it will be different.

Ascend 2010 is a full-day seminar that will help you assess the choices that you make every day, understand what you want from your life, and then create a plan to make new choices to close the gap. The seminar is practical, inspirational, and intended to help you create your best year yet. This years program includes speakers and panelists with expertise in personal finances, health and fitness, and career development.

What choices will you make in 2010? Will they be aligned with what you want for your life? Mine will.

If you are interested in learning more about Ascend 2010, visit Please help me get the word out if you think there are others who may enjoy this program.
I hope to see you at the seminar so that together we can make 2010 our best year yet.

People first,
Sal Silvester

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