Things I've learned during this challenge

As I alluded to a few weeks ago, I decided to embark on the 75 day challenge with Doug, making a few adjustments to the rules (the older I get, the less I like rules). I’m tracking my food, hitting my supplements and water, reading personal development material, and doing two 30 minute workouts per day.

Mid-way through week three of this 10 week challenge, here are a few lessons I’ve learned (or re-learned) along the way.

1. Life happens

I was on a good role with this challenge until last Saturday, when we awoke to find ourselves without water at about 9:00 am - half-way through Sheila’s shower. I was leaving for Boston at 11:00 am to do a photoshoot for friends, and getting my first workout in for the day would be tricky if I didn’t have a place to shower before I left.

None of my local friends were home, and after spending a half an hour trying to figure out where I was going to take a shower, I realized that neither of my workouts were going to happen unless I did something crazy, like trying to get two separate workouts in when I got back from Boston at 10:00 that night. Or avoid showering.


Technically, I’m on week one of this 10 week challenge, as I decided to start over again. And you know what?

I’m ok with that.

I didn’t skip the workout because I was tired or I didn’t feel like it. Yes I could have found a way to workout, outside, late at night, but I felt like for me, the best decision, both for my body and my mind, was to start over again.

So that’s what I’m doing. And I’m ok with that :-)

2. You can do anything you put your mind to

If any of you have seen me in the morning then you know two things about me. Nothing happens before coffee. And coffee.

Last Tuesday I worked the morning shift at the gym so that I could volunteer for Special Surfers. That meant that if I wanted to get two workouts in, I’d have to do the first one at 4:30.


And damned if I didn’t find a way to drag my butt to the gym at 4:30.


(Apologies to those clients who walked in while I was listening to Midnight at the Oasis that day. Apparently if I’m going to workout in the morning, it needs to be to AM gold.)

I often tell clients when I work in the morning that I could never do what they’re doing - I could never workout in the morning. And many of them tell me that it’s the only time they can make it work. I’ve often wondered if I would be able to say the same thing - if I’d be able to workout in the morning if that was my only choice.

As it turns out, I guess I could.

I don’t know exactly what got me out of bed that early or where my motivation is coming from right now. Maybe a little integrity - I said I was going to do this and so I’m doing it. Maybe some of it is competing with Doug and Josh, who are also doing two workouts a day.

Maybe a piece of me is competing for my age - the guys are 13 years younger than me, but if they can do it then so can I.

Actually, that’s exactly what’s motivating me.


3. I forgot about play

If you walked into the gym yesterday afternoon, you saw me with my baseball glove and a rubber ball playing an aggressive game of wall ball. My first workout everyday is a walk/run with some hill sprints and for my second workout, I’ve been mixing in weights. But I’m not going to lift weights seven days in a row. So one day last week I decided to return to one of my favorite past times growing up.

Wall ball.

We had a house with white siding and a two and half foot wide chimney. I spent most of my days throwing a rubber ball off of that chimney for hours. It soothed me as a kid, and as it turns out, it soothes me as an adult.

Throwing the ball off of the wall is cathartic, it’s meditative, and it reminds me of so many of the moments I passed in my younger days, when the idea of being a professional baseball player had not yet been squashed.

It’s been awhile since I’ve played a sport with any regularity, but my little games of wall ball have been a good reminder that workouts don’t always have to feel hard. Sometimes they can feel fun too.

And fun is good.