After wasting a lifetime chasing quick fixes, I finally put my big girl pants on and took accountability for my health. I exercised every single day of 2013. And it didn't kill me. So now I'm continuing my journey of well-being into 2014. Please join me!
It’s already February? When did that happen??
This can only mean one thing: It’s time for the first edition of the 2014 monthly challenges recap.
The first challenge I took on in January was a one-week juice cleanse, which I wrote about here. I am especially proud of the fact that I didn’t kill my husband, who chose to cook bacon just as my body was going through the intense withdrawals of caffeine, sugar and, well, solid food in general.
The key learning from this challenge: I need not finish something in the exact form (or length of time) I had originally set out to do in order to consider it a success. On the contrary, I realized the importance of focusing on desired outcomes. If I can achieve those outcomes faster, or in a different way, why sweat the fact that I didn’t follow every step of my original plan? My friend Sam helped guide me through that lesson, and I wrote about it here. I’m so grateful for this life lesson because I know that my tendency to perfectionism has been a major source of self-sabotage in the past.
I had the romantic notion that a return to Calico Tanks trail in Red Rock Canyon on January 1, 2014 would have been the perfect way to celebrate the completion of my 2013 Year of Sweat. This wasn’t to be, as I found myself in Toronto on the first day of the new year. When I finally arrived back in Vegas in the middle of January, I prioritized on hiking that trail before all else. As I wrote in this post, my expectation was that I would experience a wonderful sense of accomplishment, having come full circle at the hike that started it all. The problem with the idea of closing the loop, coming full circle, is that suggests a completion to the journey.
The three key things I learned on this challenge:
I have been hiking trails and mountains of increasing difficulty for over a year now. And Mr. Enthusiasm has been by my side, or bringing up the rear. I knew that if I found myself in trouble, as long as I stayed put, eventually he would make it to me. This can’t happen on hikes involving a lot of tough scrambles because, with no clear trail, there is no way to know which route your hiking partner has taken. When I set out to summit Turtlehead Peak for the second time ever, I was determined to finish. Even after Mr. Enthusiasm told me to just go on ahead and turn back after I had made it to summit, as he likely wouldn’t make it to the top. Turtlehead is considered the toughest hike in the area. I was terrified that either my woefully bad sense of direction or my overwhelming fear of the required level 4 scrambles would leave me in a position where I would need to be rescued. I didn’t want to play damsel-in-distress again, especially after the previous hike at Calico Tanks.
The key learning from this experience was that I should absolutely aspire to push past my fears, believe in myself and go get what I want. But… I also need to fully assess risk, and make smart and safe choices. I let my ego put me in a dangerous situation when I decided to complete this hike to the summit, despite that fact that doing so meant I would be hiking back after dark. My ego-fed need to prove I could put me at a huge unnecessary risk. Key learning: Remove ego from the decision-making process.
And now for my favourite part of the Monthly Challenges recap post, my opportunity to share the wicked cool challenges that my friends have taken on this past month.
Whew… I’m exhausted just typing up that list. What an inspiring group. Go on with your bad selves, ladies – you all rock!
p.s. The blogging schedule may be a bit wonky this week as I’ll be out of town on business travel from early Monday to very late Wednesday. Next blog post may land on Thursday or Friday. Have a great week y’all.