"I need a good challenge" I told my mother last week. "Why?", she asked. "Isn't a hard job, two kids and being a single mom enough?"
I went on to explain that I needed a challenge because challenges are one sure fire way to keep focused, keep up momentum and also learn. I don't mean a mindless challenge like how many pancakes can be eaten in a single hour. Perhaps it is because I struggled with weight all of my life, or that I support a child in Kenya, or know people who grew up in parts of our world where a single pancake might be a meal for the day. Whatever the reason, I just never found these entertaining.
No - what I meant was a challenge to force me to have to push a little harder, dig down a little deeper, to achieve the goal. When I think of all of the challenges I've purposely sought, I've learned from each of them - as I have from the ones life throws at us. Whether it is bicycling 450 miles in 4 days, squatting with two hundred pounds (pictured), or finishing a long race walk, the lure of the challenge is not only reaching the goal but what you learn about yourself (and hey let's be honest - BRAGGING RIGHTS! LOL!!).
What most of us learn is that we are tougher than we think, have far more courage than we realized, and when pushed by golly can S-T-R-E-T-C-H a lot farther than even we could imagine. That - in my opinion - is well worth the price of admission!
So take on a new challenge. It doesn't have to be massive, it doesn't have to be public and it doesn't have to noteworthy. It just has to be a challenge. Squatting with 200 pounds wasn't public, it wasn't a big race day special and it wasn't noteworthy to anyone else but me. I set that goal when I was 60 pounds heavier and I got the job done. So when I hit my next challenge in life that I DIDN'T go looking for - that's one of my "go to" memories to remind myself that with some pushing I can get through. Think of it as a kind of life exhaustion insurance.
I'm making March a muscle fitness challenge month. It's my plan to work through 3 challenging DVDs a week for the entire month. It's not public, it's not noteworthy and it isn't massive. But it's MY challenge to help me face down my avoidance of floor exercise and anything too "hard" -- all a leftover from my fat girl childhood, and which is an impediment to total fitness. The road might be rocky this month but I'm willing to work hard to get some 'life exhaustion' insurance. And along the way I might just get me some pretty nice looking guns! LOL!
" A man's reach should exceed is grasp." -- Robert Browning