As most of you are probably aware, during the month of March I participated in the 100 Mile March Challenge. The goal was to walk, jog or run at least 100 miles during the month of March. I wasn’t sure I could complete the challenge at first, but I am so glad to say that I did indeed walk 100 miles last month. 100.26 miles to be exact. And I learned a few things along the way.
Here they are, in no particular order!
10. I don’t look so hot after a workout.
Actually, I do look hot. That’s just not the kind of hot I was going for!
I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve wanted to try something and haven’t because I didn’t think I could or because I didn’t want to try so hard or because I feared failing. And you know what? This challenge was no different. I feared failing and I feared failing in a very public way. But I did it anyway. I figured I sure wasn’t going to get anywhere if I didn’t get off the couch so why not try and see what I could do? “I CAN’T” is no longer an option for me. “I CAN’T” has been replaced with “I CAN and I WILL.”
8. I’m stronger than I thought I was
This is actually a lesson I’ve been learning for several months now. Ever since my husband moved to Florida and I have been caring for our children pretty much on my own, I have done so many things that I never thought I could. There have been so many things that I would have typically relied on my husband for or just been content to let him do. Things as simple as moving furniture, taking a lid off a jar, reaching something on a high shelf (no, I am not joking-yes, I was that big of a pansy) to things a bit more complicated like choosing a realtor or having a child in the hospital. A few months ago I would have never believed I could handle some of those things. Now I do them without batting an eyelash.
This challenge was no different. I’ve been making a lot of excuses about working out since my husband left, but the truth is I was just being a wimp. I have never considered myself a strong person, but this challenge and the last several months of physical separation from my husband have shown me that there is something there that I never knew I had. And I kinda like it!
7. The more I exercise, the more I WANT to exercise
Hmm, what a novel concept! Kinda makes me wish I had started sooner. Oh well, at least I started right? For the first week or so I was just waiting for it to get easier. I knew that my body should be adjusting to what I was doing but every day it was such a battle. And then one day it wasn’t. And I found that I was walking faster and farther and I didn’t even realize it.
6. I can’t neglect healthy eating even when I work out for 2 hours a day
This is one of those “DUH!” lessons, isn’t it? I did have a rough week last month as far as my eating habits were concerned and even though I was working out for extended periods of time the scale was not my friend. I have to be extremely committed and diligent about eating well AND exercising in order to be successful at this weight-loss thing.
5. The treadmill is evil
4. Excuses are for wimps
And I can say that because I am the queen of excuses. Here are some of the excuses I DIDN’T use (but would have in the past, and quite honestly, was very tempted by during this challenge):
- I’m sick
- I’m tired
- The baby kept me up half the night
- The kids are sick
- I’m too busy
- I have a house showing
- I don’t have time
- I have too many commitments
- Homeschooling is too demanding
- I’m sore
- My shin hurts
- My husband lives 1100 miles away and I am a stay-at-home-homeschooling mother to four active children who demand my time and attention (and food-3 times a day, no less!), trying to sell a house and pack a house and prepare for a cross-country move , therefore I JUST CAN’T!!!
3. I should listen to my body
A few days into this challenge I started getting a familiar twinge in my left shin. In college I experienced a debilitating case of shin splints. It got to the point that I could not go up and down the stairs in my dorm room and had to crawl up and scoot down on my butt. No joke. As soon as I felt that twinge of pain I got a bit freaked out as I was worried I would have the same thing happen again which I knew would totally derail my weight-loss efforts. Thankfully many of you chimed in on my Facebook page and helped me figure that thing out. I backed off on my speed a bit, bought some compression sleeves and iced those babies up and I was feeling back to normal in no time. While there is a certain level of soreness that is to be expected anytime you start a new workout, you HAVE to listen to your body. If you feel pain, STOP. The last thing you want to do is risk further injury.
2. Walking 100 miles feels really, really good
Okay, so while I was walking it, it wasn’t any picnic. In fact, some days, it downright sucked. But afterwards, knowing what I had accomplished? Victory has never tasted sweeter.
1. A journey of 100 miles begins with a single step
Maybe the most important thing I learned during the challenge was that I just need to do it. No excuses, don’t over-analyze it, quit fretting about it and just do it. Take that first step. And then once you’ve taken that first step, take the second step. And then another. And then another. And another. Before you know it you have gone further than you ever dreamed you might, you are stronger than you ever knew you could be and you have accomplished something you never thought you would. You just have to take that first step.
Have you ever accomplished something that was really huge for you? What did that feel like? What lessons did you learn from it?
I am linking this post up at Many Little Blessings for Top Ten Tuesday!