Pushing Through the 30 Day Challenge

Last week I blogged about my enthusiasm for the 30 Day Challenge. Benefit from more workouts and win awesome prizes? Count me in! I even added WPAC to my membership because it’s closer to home and easier to get to on the weekends. My month of non-stop working out was going to be awesome!

That was the beginning of the challenge. Halfway in when it’s dark by 4 and as cold and rainy as it was this past weekend, I have no motivation whatsoever to leave the coziness of my favorite couch blanket. I check the class schedule hoping to try something new and interesting, then realize I have procrastinated too long and all the classes are finished for the day. I’m feeling a little dehydrated from staying out a bit too late the night before, and don’t really have the energy for the gym.

But, I said I was going to stick to this challenge on this very blog, and I will not make myself out to be a liar. And so, a few times last week, I had to drag myself to the gym when I really didn’t want to. Although it sounds impressive that I haven’t missed a day since the day after Thanksgiving, not all of these workouts have been amazing quality. Sometimes I just run a couple miles on the treadmill; even though I recently ran a marathon, those two miles can be a struggle when my feet are dragging from staying out too late the night before.

But I do have one rule, and that is that I must spend at least 20 minutes doing something — putzing around in the locker room checking my emails does not count. Neither does sitting in the hot tub, steam room, or sauna. And after 20 minutes, if I don’t feel like I am dying, I add 5 more minutes. I’ve been doing this exercise thing long enough that 20 minutes won’t kill me, so most of these workouts are around 25 minutes.

I am learning that participating in a challenge like this is less about motivation and more about just showing up. Getting there is really the hardest part. I need to quit humming The Clash lyrics to “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” and just go already. Once I show up to the gym, swipe in, and hop on any machine for 20 minutes, it’s never that bad. Plus there is always something at least vaguely interesting on TV at any hour of the day. A 25-minute stairmaster workout is made less painful with a little bit of Oxygen’s Snapped (it’s a true crime show about female murderers, in case you were wondering.)

After working up a sweat, I never regret my decision to show up. Aside from burning a few extra calories, I’m leaving behind whatever the December stressor of the day. On the weekends, I’m actually getting out of the house, which is an accomplishment in itself! And of course, every workout brings me one step closer to that $50 club credit I'm planning on using on a wonderful massage.


Betsy Mikel | betsymikel.com