If you have followed me over the last 2-3 years, you might know that I’m known for 100 Day challenges. I have found for that, for myself, I can create a habit in 28 days, which is how long most people say it takes to create a habit. However, my habits aren’t strong enough to stick unless I continue to strengthen them, so I go for 100 days to solidify the new healthy habit.
Doing this changes me. It really does. I went for a while doing challenges back to back. I started with 100 Days of Laughter, then I did 100 Days of Courage, followed by 100 days of people (which was so much fun–I love talking to people), and the last one was 100 Days of Gifts. I took a break after those 400 consecutive days, and now the break is over. I had been feeling for awhile like it was time for another 100 day challenge, I just wasn’t sure what it was.
I have come along way in my growth, both mentally, emotionally, and physically. Physically– I used to never work out. If I exercised, it was walking, and nothing against walking– I still love walking–I just never did anything to push myself. I didn’t do strength training, which we all know is so important; I didn’t participate in sports or do any kind of group activity because I was fearful to do anything that was in public. So I stuck to walking. I never tried running, and dancing was paralyzing to me!
I then learned how to enjoy strength and muscle toning exercises when, at age 39, I felt like I was 90. So I gave crossfit a try, which I surprisingly learned to enjoy! And… I injured myself. I ended up having a minor knee surgery. I went backwards in my fitness progress for a while because I let fear creep in, even though I knew that it felt good and that it was good for my health. I took it easy and was super careful with my activities. It was right around that time when I started noticing that I took everything carefully! I was tip toeing around life and staying so super safe in all areas of my life. I began to see that I had closed myself inside of some really tight walls. They were glass walls so I could see what was going on. However, I didn’t realize I was trapped inside until I was at a point where I couldn’t even move, and I began to feel suffocated.
I started working on emotionally stretching myself and allowing myself to do things that scared me. Doing this opened my world so much, including body health and exercise. I decided (with encouragement from my coach) to try many things: I took a tennis lesson; I ran with a group of ladies for while (and actually found that I could run without dying–and it’s still not my favorite activity); I did Metabolic Aftershock workouts, which helped me to feel the joy of moving my body again.
Then, I tried dancing, and I fell in love. Actually, if I’m being honest, I hated it at first! It was really scary to me! And it was challenging! But I made a decision to dance though the fear, and I discovered that I love it! It has been a super rewarding stretch for me, both physically and emotionally. I love what dance has done for me so much that I became a certified dance fitness instructor.
Over the course of my life, I don’t ever remember being able to do crunches. I’ve never felt connected to my core, so I hired a trainer–Therese Shelling in St. George, Utah –and she is amazing! Along the way she has really helped me start to communicate with my core.
Back in February I injured myself a few different times back to back. It’s actually been kind of comical, AND I started noticing that, because of the injuries, I was becoming fearful again. Throughout my fitness journey, I’ve come to understand that our bodies are strongly connected to our emotions. (The book “Heal Your Body” by Louise Hay fascinates me!) If I’m going through something emotionally, I always feel it in my body, and I can’t deny it.
I’ve been pushing my comfort zone in some really big ways lately, so I’ve been feeling kind of emotional and just “off” in a lot of ways as well. I hide it really well most of the time–until it manages to express itself in my body. I’ve learned it’s time for me to not only stop avoiding some of the emotional fears that I have, but it’s also time to start leaning right into and through those. It’s also time to start listening to my body to figure out what it’s trying to tell me!
Physically: I don’t spend enough time stretching. I don’t go to yoga as often as I would like to, even though I really enjoy it.
Emotionally: It’s been easy to avoid doing certain things and to simply pretend like I already have it all together. Although most of how I show up is completely authentic, because authenticity is important to me and I don’t feel good doing things any other way, I can fake my way through things quite well. If there’s a concept I’m learning and I believe in, but I don’t live it quite well yet, it’s hard for me. I put these concepts into practice, and the concepts can throw me off emotionally.
I can’t ignore that my injuries are emotionally connected. I also know that I’m probably avoiding doing the easy things that are actually the really hard things… and it’s not serving me. So it’s time for me to start stretching everyday, even when my trainers and coaches are not in front of me.
This is why I’m now doing 100 Days of Strength and Stretch! It’s going to be strengthening and stretching physically, emotionally, mentally…and everything that goes with that.
There are all kinds of new confidence levels that I am excited to strengthen, and that’s why I’m so excited to do this 100 Days of Strength and Stretch challenge.
Watch for #100DaysofStrengthandStretch on Facebook and Instagram. If you feel so inclined, JOIN ME! think it’s really fun to be a part of a movement, if you can do live videos or posts about what you’re doing. If you decide to join me and want to post about it on your social media, use the hashtag #100daysofstrengthandstretch and tag me in it because I love watching!