Step 5: Try something new

After lots of self torment, reflection, and asking the opinions of others I finally signed up for the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.

I’m just a bit nervous

Actually, honestly, I’m terrified (don’t worry, it’s the good kind). ;)

How can I be ‘good terrified’?

Well, I think I’m experiencing Eustress (i.e. positive stress). It’s the feeling you get when you challenge yourself to something scary, when you take a few steps just past your comfort zone, you look around, and you start to sweat a bit.

I’m terrified because I know I’m going to do something really challenging, and I’ve started mentally preparing. I have tons of nervous energy building up but, despite the fear, this is actually a good thing. Eustress is what pushes people to achieve goals, to climb mountains, to enter marathons, to win races. It’s our body’s way of helping us through pressure.

So, because I’m all eustressed out right now, I thought I’d make the next step correspond to what I’m doing.

Are you scared? Don’t worry, it’s a good thing… ;)

5

The Step:

Challenge yourself to try something new (something that scares you just a little).

How:

Day 1: Write down a short list of things you’ve wanted to try, but haven’t yet.
Day 2: Think it over and weigh your options
Day 3: Pick one that:

  • You can realistically achieve (or one you can train for).
  • Seems a little too big and/or scares you just a little

Day 4: Make the commitment to yourself. Choose a time, place, and/or training schedule. If the thing you’ve picked costs money, buy (or start saving towards) it this week.
Day 5: Announce your new activity to your friends and family.
Day 6: Start – even if you can only spend 5 minutes – do it!

Lastly, if you choose to do this step, let me know what you pick. I’d love to hear all about it. :)

P.S. If you’re just joining us, you can read all about 52 weeks, 52 steps.

What’s holding you back?

So, I was at a party last weekend and some friends told me all about how they bought bikes and signed up for the STP (Seattle to Portland Bike Classic). I was honestly taken aback (and was also pretty sure they were high from running marathons) when they asked if I’d train with them and join them for the STP.

I tried explaining just how intense that ride must be (I’ve never done anything close to 50 miles let alone 202), but they were so determined that listening to them got me excited and motivated.

Long story short, I’m seriously considering it. ;)

Of course, now I’ve got a million questions about the whole thing, so I’ve been asking around the web for advice. One thing I’ve run into a few times now is,

“I’ve always wanted to do the STP”

“That one has been on my list for years”

“I was gonna do that, but…”

I’m honestly a little surprised by the high number of “I’ve almost done thats” I’ve encountered with regards to the STP. It got me wondering:

What’s holding you back?

…and this question isn’t just for those considering the STP. It’s for everyone. Are you thinking about running a marathon? Planning to join the gym? Wondering about Yoga?

What’s stopping you?

Time?

Time can be a friend or an enemy based on how you view it. It can be something that steals away your passions and your goals, something you race hoping to someday beat, or something you embrace with the knowledge that it’s the one thing you have worth spending.

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Money?

You don’t need money to start. Period. If you want it badly enough, you’ll get what you need.

Don’t know what to do?

You have everything you need to start right now! The rest is just research, asking questions, and trial and hour.

Afraid of failure? Comparing yourself to others? Have other commitments?
I ask again –

What’s holding you back?

52 weeks, 52 steps

Yesterday kicked my a$&.

I tried a new bootcamp class at my gym, and I have to say it was one of the tougher workouts I’ve ever done. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been through tough classes before, but there was something about this class that suuuuuucked. I had to push myself harder than usual.

This might be because during the last week of December I majorly slacked off! I didn’t go to the gym at all last week. Plus, my regular class is a great workout, but it’s isn’t really a challenge for me anymore. I walked into class expecting something similar. I was seriously mistaken. Everyone taking the class was an athlete, they were ALL in great shape (there were even some trainers in attendance), and they all knew each other. I was the chubby newbie.

Right before entering the classroom, I met someone in the hall and he said something like, “this trainer is really tough.” He wasn’t wrong. Class WAS tough. I was sore before I even LEFT class. Today I’m not a fan of walking, sitting and/or standing. That tough.

I’m not discouraged though. Exactly the opposite. I’m EXCITED because I’ve found something really fun to push myself in the gym again. PLUS, while I was on the floor in a puddle of my own sweat, I thought of something clever to do with my blog. Something to help push YOU along on your journey too.

My idea is pretty simple.

52 Steps, 52 Weeks

52 weeks, 52 steps.

As I’ve mentioned countless times, I believe in small, lifestyle changes that affect one’s health versus dramatic fad diets, pills, extreme workouts and difficult changes that won’t last because they are difficult and unrealistic.

After all, weight loss is nice, but it ultimately means nothing if it isn’t healthy and/or sustainable. The best changes are the ones we take on slowly, with purpose, and remember to stick to for a lifetime.

So, I’ve decided to challenge everyone who reads my blog to take 52 steps towards health.

How it works:

Each week, I’ll post a new step, the concept/reason behind it, and ways to get started. My challenge for you is to follow through and do it. Some of the steps will be easy things you can revisit every once in awhile, other steps will be actions that I hope you will take with you into your daily lives.

Who can do it?:

Everyone. All of the steps will be manageable for everyone. That said, some might not be relevant for everyone. Obviously you get to decide which ones you do, when, and for how long. I only ask that you consider them, and try the ones that make sense to you (modify them if you’d like to!), and have fun.

The “rules”:

  1. Posts go up on Mondays. I’m going to post each step on Monday morning, rain or shine (hopefully). This will be a challenge for me, but I promise to push myself too.
  2. If you join us somewhere in the middle just take ONE step at a time. Just one. The idea is that the steps be simple changes or tasks that you won’t fail to complete. If you take on too many steps you may just get discouraged and stop trying.
  3. Have fun! If it’s not fun it’s not worth doing.
  4. Modify. If a step doesn’t work for you, modify it to fit your needs. If you try it as written and you fail, figure out why you failed, modify it and try again (or just move on to another step).
  5. Take small steps. The idea here is to incorporate easy changes into your everyday life. You’re not going to become a marathon runner overnight. Start slow with small changes (say 5 minutes of walking a day) and improve over time.
  6. Pick a reminder. You’ll need a reminder to complete your step for the week. After reading each step, choose what your reminder will be: Set a calendar reminder, make a mental note, write it on a sticky pad – whatever works for you.

That’s it! The first post goes up next Monday! If you’d like to your weekly step in your inbox sign up for a subscription to my blog here.

Sound good? Lets do this!

It’s not fair.

You……

work harder than everyone else.
eat salad when everyone else has pizza. Every single weekend.
were born with these genes.
have to stay vigilant in order to make changes.
don’t have time to exercise.
weren’t educated about health.
*r spouse sleeps in.
*r friends can eat what they like.
lose weight so much slower than everyone else.
gain weight too easily.
can’t gain weight.
have to watch what you eat.
have a job where you sit all day.
are so overweight exercise is especially difficult for you.
weren’t brought up in a healthy household.
have to try at health every single day.

You’re right, it’s not fair.

So, what are you going to do about it?

You are not too busy to workout

One of the most common excuses for not working out is “I’m too busy.”

I do it too.  There are moments when I’m overwhelmed with work, taking lots of calls, writing emails, trying to coordinate my schedule with clients and my alarm is buzzing for me to go to the gym…… I stop and think, “How can I possibly go to the gym when I’m this busy?!“…. or…. “If I just skip yoga this morning I’ll be able to catch up with work quicker and then I’ll feel better!

I caught my mom doing it too. I called her to remind her of our walking group a few weeks ago,

” I can’t tonight. There’s no way — I’m too busy — I haven’t had dinner… I have hours of work left….”

She fired off excuse after excuse. She was really busy and super stressed and I felt for her. I’ve been there. We all have. So, of course, I nudged her,

“Doesn’t that mean you should be walking with us tonight? It will melt away your stress. Give your brain a chance to rest too!”

It took a little convincing on my part, and I’m pretty sure she was peeved that I insisted, but she came around and joined us for walking group. I was beyond proud. I have no doubt she felt she made the right decision. Well, I hope she did.

As for me, I’m getting much better at ignoring the voice in my head that resists exercise. They say it takes 30 days to build a habit and, yeah, that’s true…. but no one ever tells you what it takes to persevere and keep the habit or what it takes to truly love the habit and make it a part of you that you’d never dream of giving up. It takes time and energy to do something that monumental. Especially if you had previously been fighting it for your whole life.

… and I had definitely been fighting the need for exercise for a long, long time.

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with this little tidbit about Gandhi I read this morning. It’s, of course, brilliant, and just one testament to his strength and character. Obviously, Ghandhi was a busy guy, but:

One time Gandhi said to a group of his backers, “I need to set aside one hour a day to do meditation.”

One of the backers said, “oh no, you can’t do that! You are too busy, Gandhi!”

Gandhi said, “Well, then, I now need to set aside two hours a day to do meditation.”

As James Altrucher says in his post, “If he was, in fact too busy, then it meant he was not devoting enough time to his spiritual life. “

The same is true for you, my friends. If you are too busy for your health you are clearly not devoting enough time to yourself. 

 

Do you agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment here or tweet me!