1 YEAR MT. BALDY AVALANCHE ANNIVERSARY

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On this date January 26th exactly one year ago (2017) I had one of the closest near death experiences of my life. I nearly lost my life after tumbling 1,000ft down the Mt. Baldy Bowl due to an avalanche. I remember this day like it was yesterday.

I woke up excited to climb the Baldy Bowl for my second time. My buddies Chris and Louis were just as thrilled as I was. We met at Manker Flats Trailhead and double-checked to make sure we had all the right gear before our mountain adventure began. GPS device, helmet, crampons, ice axe and ten essentials checked.

We hiked 2.5 miles through the snow before reaching the Ski Hut that offered amazing views of the surrounding mountains. From this point on was the approach of the south face of Mt. Baldy known as the Bowl. The higher we continued to climb the views were just breathtaking. There wasn’t much more to climb before reaching the ridge of the Bowl. About 200ft shy of it we took a quick break by a huge boulder on the slope. This break gave us a chance to realize how high up and how close to the top we were. We were all so confident and ready to make our final push for the summit. We went for it and things changed real quick!

We felt a sudden change of conditions in the snow as we climbed up the steepest part of the Bowl. The snow became extremely soft and on my next step I felt my feet being pushed downward with great force. Chris yelled,” AVALANCHE”! It all happened so quick with literally a second to make my next move. I quickly self arrested with my ice axe which was definitely not the smartest thing to do. My axe punctured the ice below, held for a split second and all I could tell myself was to brace yourself, hang on tight and get ready for impact. The mighty force of the avalanche rushed toward me and sent me tumbling extremely fast down the mountain. I landed back first on to the ground, legs up and the motion continued. I couldn’t see anything but the inside of my body curled up into a ball while tumbling down the slope. My tumbled stopped as soon as I collided into a boulder. The impact to my right rib cage area literally took my breath away. I then felt snow going over me and everything went dark. Snow was going into my mouth and I thought to myself that very moment, this is how I’m going to die. After my last thought, my body had experienced enough trauma and I went unconscious.

I woke up to the voices of Chris & Louis calling my name as they walked toward me. When my eyes opened I was on my back looking up to the sky and I couldn’t believe I was still alive. I wasn’t buried so that means I had to continue falling after the snow went over me which allowed me to escape that horrible situation it would had been if I stood covered in snow. I knew something was seriously wrong when I tried to get up by lifting my shoulder blades off the ground. I couldn’t get up and felt a sharp pain to the right side of my body and short of breath. Chris took the GPS device out of my pack and hit the SOS button that allowed San Bernardino Search and Rescue (SAR) to locate our coordinates and bring us back to safety and get medical attention. Prior to SAR’s arrival there was three Good Samaritans that helped keep me in good spirits along with Chris & Louis. My buddies had a few minor injuries, bruised bones and stitches but for the most part they would be ok. I definitely got the worst of it.
Finally I was put into a bodysuit called the “Screamer” and airlifted from the mountain. I remember the wind blowing me in circles as I was being hoisted up to the helicopter, which gave me a 360 few of all the nearby peaks including Mt. Baldy. I took it all in and was so grateful to still be alive and thankful for all the heroes that took part in my rescue. I arrived at Arrowhead Regional Hospital Trauma Center where they immediately took x-rays and other tests. My injuries consisted of 2 broken ribs (6th & 7th) and a collapsed lung. The medical team made an incision into the right side of my body and inserted the biggest chest tube ever into my lung. Its purpose was meant to drain the blood from my lung due to the impact of the boulder I collided with during the avalanche that caused internal bleeding.

During my two day stay at the hospital I was overwhelmed with so much love from friends / family. I was signed up for a Spartan Race that weekend that I would no longer be able to attend. All my friends that raced that day came by to visit me, dedicated their medals and delivered tons of boxes of cookies and best of all they reminded me that I wasn’t in this alone. The amount of motivation they gave me to make the strongest comeback ever was a feeling I will always cherish. I was determined to do everything I can to get back on my feet.

I ran and completed L.A. Marathon two months after my accident. It was a painful experience due to my body not being fully recovered. At the same time it ignited a fire within and gave me hope that I could bounce back from this temporary setback. My relationship with Jesus Christ became stronger than ever and I know he spared my life on that horrific day of the avalanche. I’ve climb many mountains since my accident and refused to let fear take over. To name a few are, Mt. Shasta , Mt. Langley, Mt. Whitney and I returned back to Mt. Baldy while there was still snow.

God put me here for a reason and He is not done with me yet. I’ve been blessed with the gift of fitness to help others change their lives and make huge accomplishments. Fitness has changed my life for the better and became my outlet so I know it could serve others just as well. I’m here to contribute and help others exceed their full potential. Thank you Jesus Christ for allowing me see my purpose and giving me the best gift LIFE.
 

Cody Ayala
Avalanche Survivor

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TEAM FOR KIDS NEW YORK ROAD RUNNERS (I RUN FOR A CAUSE)

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Hey everybody,

I wanted to share some exciting news with y’all. I signed up with New York Road Runners TEAM FOR KIDS. I pledged to fund raise $2,620.00 by Oct 3rd, 2018. I know I can make this happen with the awesome community I surround myself with. I would deeply appreciate any amount of donation you can make for our next generation. Help me make a difference in the world for an awesome cause. Together we can accomplish more. Below is some brief info about this foundation along with the link to make a donation. Thanks in advance. Love y’all. ❤
Link to donate ⬇

https://www.runwithtfk.org/Profile/PublicPage/57170

**Team for Kids runners receive guaranteed entry to the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon while raising vital funds to support NYRR Youth Programs. Programs like our new Rising New York Road Runners build students’ motivation, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life. You can help further that mission and help us teach the next generation of runners and athletes by running with Team for Kids in the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon! **
I want to help the next generation / youth make smart choices and understand the consequences behind reckless behavior. I want to have a positive influence on our youth through my love & passion for fitness. Fitness is my outlet and saved me. God blessed me with amazing strength.

Cody Ayala

Replace Old Habits

Old Habits versus Change messages
I am a survivor of life changing obstacles and near death experiences that have shaped and molded the person I’ve become today. Life is precious and so fragile. We undergo many great feats as well as losses. We can raise above all the setbacks, negativity, and punches life throws our way if we can take each event as a life lesson. We must learn that strength comes from the struggle and growth starts with the decision to move beyond our current circumstances.

The loss of your parent (s) while you’re a teenager is an extremely emotional time filled with confusion. So many different thoughts come to mind; they make you feel like an empty, abandoned child with no sense of direction. Even more challenging, is when there is no father figure around to be a role model to a young teenage boy. Eventually that empty feeling is replaced with anger. Anger toward feeling alone in this world and entering the foster care system just to become another troubled youth of society.

The choices we make during stressful moments will either be in our best interest of our future, or they will eventually produce consequences with which we’ll have to deal. At difficult times in life, we often don’t make the best decisions. A young teenage boy will often see the local gang in his neighborhood as family. They will make him feel like he belongs and give him a sense of purpose, from here on out it only gets worse. A homeless child running with a gang, participating in illegal activities to make money (survive), running from cops and dodging bullets from rival gang members is not a healthy environment for a young man. The deeper hole we dig ourselves into, the higher we’ll have to climb out.

With all the madness that can build up in our heads, we need a place to empty it and replace it with positive energy. The reckless teenager found this place in juvenile hall and was removed from the madness that took place on the streets. In some strange way, this place felt like a vacation to him- from homelessness and hustling on the streets to having an assigned room, three meals a day, a shower, clean clothes and a bed! Rather than picking up a bottle of liquor, he picked up the bible, did push-ups everyday and tried to make sense of all the events that had taken place since his mother’s death. When all the outside distractions are removed, it allows one to think clearly and open one’s mind to change. The young troubled teenager had developed into a young man at an early age during his five-month stay at juvenile hall.

It’s important to replace old habits that were only a disservice to us in the past with ones that will brighten our future. I was once that boy and filled my emptiness with passion for fitness and the awesome community it came with. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to excel beyond your best because growth is never-ending as long as you remain on this earth.

Cody Ayala
The Comeback Kid
PHIL 4:13
Resilient Squad

 

My Why?

FB_IMG_1424110737450What has inspired YOUR fitness journey and what keeps you moving on it? What do you do this for?

Completing my first marathon (Los Angeles 26.2 miles) in March 2011 has inspired my fitness journey.
I decided to run in honor & memory of my mother who I lost when I was fifteen years of age, due to Ovarian Cancer. She passed away in 2004. The following years were troubled with no father around. I was unmotivated and my grades in school showed for it. I was angry and overcome with grief. I entered the foster care system and soon wondered the streets and associated with a bad crowd. This lead to juvenile hall for 5 months. I was 17 years old at this point of my life. I read my bible and did push-ups everyday and kept to myself in there. I was looking for a better way to go about life and wanted to have a purpose bigger than myself. Once I was released to only have the clothes on my back (literally), I entered back into society where temptation to fall back to my old habits was so easy. I decided to keep myself busy and surround myself with only positive people. It took awhile to find that positive crowd while living back in my gang infested neighborhood. Eventually at the age of 20 I decided to train for L.A. Marathon which helped keep me focused on my downtime when I wasn’t working at the warehouse. I had no time to hang out with that troubled crowd because I ran and logged miles in. During my training season I met others doing the same and began to meet likeminded people. I was 21 years old on race day. My biggest motivation (My Mother) is what got me across the finish line. She fought all the way to the end during her battle with ovarian cancer and I did the same with the 26.2 miles that laid ahead of me. Since then I’ve made it a tradition to run the L.A. Marathon every year. There was one close call that almost ruined my streak which was an avalanche accident this year in January 2017 (that dang avalanche) but I’m happy to say I’ll be running my 8th consecutive Los Angeles Marathon March 18th, 2018 God willing!
I want to help the next generation / youth make smart choices and understand the consequences behind reckless behavior. I want to have a positive influence on our youth through my love & passion for fitness. Fitness is my outlet and saved me. God blessed me with amazing strength.

Cody Ayala

We did it! Summit day, San Antonio “Mt. Baldy” 10,064 ft

9_2_17baldy   ** Sept 2nd, 2017 We made it to the top of Mt. Baldy as a team. I’m extremely proud of this group for their dedication to train specifically for this day. They attended three of my previous training’s that focused on hills, stairs and lower body-weight exercises. This was all apart of the Mt. Baldy training prep. It definitely paid off as you can see in the picture above we stand at the highest peak in the Los Angeles County. We had a great adventure starting from our first training session leading up to this day. It was special, we bonded and grew a deeper appreciation for our friendships. There’s more adventures and group workouts to come. See y’all soon. Comment below and share your thoughts/ experience on a adventure you’ve always wanted to go on or already have been on. What made it so special?

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The Wisdom Tree. Training 3 of 3 our last stop before Mt. Baldy 10,064 ft.

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August 26th, 2017 we made it to the top of The Wisdom Tree as a team. It was no easy climb but we wouldn’t want it any other way. We embrace the challenge and welcome it with open hands because that’s what makes us such a strong crew. This is what will get us to the top of Mt. Baldy together as a team. Strong people build each other up and that’s a motto we live up to. See y’all on the mountain.

 

Peter’s Canyon Regional Park Hill Training (Big Red Hill). 8/13/17

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** Only three weeks away until we climb Mt. Baldy as a team via Mt. Baldy Bowl TR. which is one of the steepest routes to the summit. The distance is four miles up with 3,900 ft of elevation gain. That’s almost 1,000 ft per mile of elevation gain. No wonder why the past few training sessions have involved everything having to do with climbing up high. Our first session was at Culver City Stairs with about 300 brutal steps of all sizes to get to the top. The second session which is the picture above consisted of five loops of trail that lead to climbing a well known hill called Big Red. That’s right five loops of that with body-weight movements along the way like; jumps squats, walking lunges, split jump squats. They all completed the task at hand in less than two hours. Wow! I’m excited to see their training pay off when the day comes to climb Mt. Baldy 9/2/17. Before that day comes we have one last final training session at Griffith Park. We’ll be trail running to the Wisdom Tree which also has some great climbs along the way. 8/26/17 Will be our final session to prepare to stand on the highest mountain in the Los Angeles County. I can’t wait!!! It’s going to be an awesome adventure to add to the last part of this journey/ training series.

Culver City Stairs Spartan Race Training & Preparation For Mt. Baldy

On July 29th, 2017 this awesome group took over the Culver City Stairs. Many that showed up were preparing for an upcoming Spartan Race and some used it as training to prepare them  to climb the highest mountain in the Los Angeles County, Mt. Baldy. This workout consisted of 5 rounds running up almost 300 challenging steps with 6 body-weight movements between each round at the top of the stairs. Their energy and performance was incredible the entire 2 plus hours they had to complete the above. Special thanks to Cellucor for providing their pre-workout drink C4 which gave people that extra edge to power through the workout. Thank you GripSling for making the rig the top movement & talk of the day. Lastly, thanks to @jrokkphotography for being the man behind the lens and capturing all the fun.
Make sure to check out the next event below.

8/13/2017 GUTS OVER MATTER FITNESS MT. BALDY 10,064 FT PREPARATION
LOCATION:
Peter’s Canyon Regional Park 6 to 10 a.m.
10202 Overhill Dr
Santa Ana, CA 92705

 

GripSling Raw Training Straps


**If you haven’t already added a pair of GripSling to your training routine do so now. It’s guaranteed to build explosive strength and control. One thing I really enjoy about this top of the line product is it promotes creativity through simplicity. Bring them everywhere! They’re versatile, dynamic & effective! To purchase a pair do so through GripSling.com and use my code TEAMGUTS20 to receive 20% off your purchase. Follow my Instagram page @gutsovermatter & @gripsling to see more GripSling action videos and feel free to leave a message if you have any questions or concerns.