One day I will take a break

However, today is not that day. On September 16, 2012 around 7:00 pm, I went for a run. That run was on day 300 of working out. As in, 300 days in a row of working out. The reason I’ve been working out everyday for 300 days and counting is CAC’s “fault.”

If you have been a member since last fall, you may vaguely remember getting an email saying “[t]he average American gains 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Don’t be average! Take CAC’s 30-day challenge and win”! The incentive to get us to workout was dangling the carrot of a month’s worth of membership dues paid by CAC. Just for showing up and working out at the gym. No requirement of how many minutes to stick around or classes to take. Just to get moving.

Needless to say, I was game for the challenge. The month saved in dues could go toward paying for one of the many races I had planned for 2012 if I were successful. Besides, what exactly did I have to lose?

I wish I could say those first 30 days were easy, but some days it turned out to be really hard to get to the gym. Generally, I get a better workout for myself if I work out in the evenings. The downside to that is that if work gets busy, it may prevent me from getting to the gym. There were plenty of days in the initial 30 days that I was just barely making it to the gym to put in a solid 30 minutes of a workout. Nevertheless, I did it. If I cut it too close, it would force me in subsequent days to just suck it up and get up earlier in the morning so I could do my workouts first thing in the morning. The only “drawback” of that was around 2:00 pm in the afternoon, I would start to freak out that I had not done my workout. Only to then have a moment of calm realizing that I had already worked out for the day. Though, some days it didn’t stop me from doing a second workout.

After the initial 30 was up, Julie, one of the great spin instructors at LSAC challenged me to 50 days. At that point, I figured why not since it was only 15 more days from where I was. That went by fast. Then I wanted to make it to 100 days.

From there, it has become yet another month of doing something every day. While I may not get to LSAC daily, I am doing something everyday. Sometimes it is yoga at home or a weight workout. Other days, I may go to a yoga studio for a yoga class not offered at CAC. And of course, I use my races (I am a runner) as workouts as well.

So why do I do it? Because it is fun and it is now an ingrained habit for me. I also have some electronic toys that also keep me motivated to work out and see what I can achieve.

Every time I think I will take a break, I don’t do it. I just can’t. It doesn’t feel right. On top of that, if I don’t do a workout that seems like it should be sufficiently tough, I feel like I haven’t done anything, even though I know I have done something. I guess working out has just become like brushing my teeth in terms of another thing I do.

Fast-forward to National Day of Gluttony (i.e., Thanksgiving 2012) and I have reached the one-year anniversary of working out every day since the challenge started in 2011. You may have seen on the Facebook page that the 30-day challenge is back. Now that I have reached the one-year milestone, I don’t see myself quitting anytime soon. This is just becoming a game with me to see how far I can push myself and how far I can go. I am looking forward to crushing the 30-day challenge again. And who knows, maybe I will see how many days beyond the initial 30 I can workout at the gym as opposed to just doing a workout of some kind on the day.

--Cheryl Norman

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