I'm Glad We Did This Thing: An #hmvlifechallenge Wrap Up!

I received the best message after my 30 Day Challenge wrapped up on July 15th. It came at a great time, because as I will explain, the end of this challenge, the #hmvlifechallenge! was bittersweet.

Yesterday, I spent the entire day at the lake with some dear friends who also have a boat. I got to wake-board for the first time in my life (I actually got up on the first try), and then we had tube wars. Tube wars are effectively inter-tubing behind the boat with two tubes. The point is to try to knock off the person on the other tube while the boat driver is trying to get you both to fall off. We played two on two. I won one and tied about four rounds by taking someone with me every time I was going down.

So, today I am so very sore and all I can think if is how much I want to tell Hannah that I got some incredible exercise yesterday. I also weighed myself yesterday and I only gained 2 pounds on vacation, so I ended the challenge at a net 8lb weight loss. Less than the 15-20 I had hoped for, but progress nonetheless.

Hannah, thank you so much for this challenge. Three years ago, I participated in an Under Armour challenge that was similar (I was in much better shape then, so my goal for that challenge was to do one-arm, one-leg pushups, which I did). The thing I loved about it was the sense of community among the participants at every level of fitness, and the love and support we all received (and gave). I am still friends with some of those women whom I met during the competition and I am ever grateful for their friendship and support.

The reason for the novel post is to say, Hannah, that the same sense of community and support that I loved so much about that event is the way I have felt about this challenge, even though I was on vacation for the last two weeks of it.

Thank you for encouraging me to think more about my own health in a time when it has been getting me down (I had just had that depressing Dr visit where my doctor told me that were I to gain 3 lbs, I would officially be classed as obese...that did nothing for my self esteem), and thank you for making it fun and exciting.

This is a great group of ladies and I can’t wait for the next round of challenges so that we can see/learn more about each other and continue to grow. Thank you for being my motivation during the last month, Hannah.

— EF, 30 Day challenger

Wow. Talk about motivation. Talk about some radical self-love and yeah, a lot of love coming at me too. I'm overwhelmed.

Sometimes with these group challenges when people start dropping down in participation it can feel like "no one cares" and why should I when no one else does? Well, of course, that's ridiculous. People still care. Our group had 13 members. Everyone posted stuff at first. Everyone set goals. By days 20-30, I only saw regular posts from about 5 people. But I'm almost certain that 12 of 13 were still checking in and occasionally "liking" or commenting. That's pretty cool. Would it have been better if more people kept actively engaging, sure. But realistic?

I think it was a lot of feeling like ugh I don’t want to put myself and my struggles out there when others aren’t. ... After while it felt like ok, others aren’t posting much so I can not feel bad.
— 30 Day Challenger

So why would my mind go straight to "no one cares"? Probably some subconscious trick to give me permission to quit. Also an excuse not to post anything, not to stick my neck out. I heard this from others too.

Someone smarter than me can think up a way to deal with this phenomenon. How can the group keep each other feeling motivated and supported? That's the heart of the 30 day challenge in my mind. Finding that sweet balance of positive encouragement and open vulnerability.

Setting that aside, however, lots of cool stuff was happening in this group. Here are some of my favorite comments and tidbits in no particular order:

  • SS, attempting new workouts: "I dug out my ballet shoes and am going to attempt a class for the first time in 3 years! Wish me luck!"
  • EF, making badass choices: "Thanks...Not nearly as fit as I want to be, but I remember how self conscious I was wearing two piece bathing suits before I had kids and realized that no matter what shape I am in ten years from now, I will probably wish I had the body I do now...so I am belligerently wearing two piece bathing suits this summer in honor of future me. lol"
  • hmv: "It's been good having this challenge in the summer months because I tend to overdo it in the summer. It's just so fun and vacation-y and friends are around. But I'm trying to learn that that doesn't have to mean tons of food and booze. You know?"
  • SMS: "My alarm clock woke up early this morning ... so today's breakfast is after a beautiful morning run. Never thought I'd say that and mean it!"
  • SS, again: "I'm planning on going to ballet again tomorrow night"
  • CJ, after my self-esteem breakdown: "When I see you, I see a strong, confident, amazing lady. Isn't it difficult when we struggle to see that in ourselves? You're doing great."
  • DH, on self-love: "I'm doing well at some goals and sucky at others, but I'm choosing to be self-compassionate instead of judgmental. Some days I rock and some I'm just tired, like today. But all days I'm worthy of love and belonging just like everyone else."

Will I do another 30 Day Challenge? I think so. Selfishly, of course, I got a lot out of it. I lost 4 lbs, I got tips on workouts and recipes and getting better sleep, and I learned a few things about myself. At the beginning I worried that starting this group would force me take the lead and that kind of puts me in a vulnerable place (which did basically happen). But my fellow challengers responded with so much love. Just massive truckloads of love. It was the best possible outcome of being the de facto leader.

Top row: 4th of July run with Carolyn. ED inspiring her family. CJ pouting about her poor performance.
Bottom row: After pic of hmv. Lunch ideas shared by SMS. The 30 Day Challenge pics of the day.

Thank you, everyone, for participating or following along. It's been fun!

Want to join me in a future #hmvlifechallenge? Leave a comment below or click "Contact hmv" on the banner above!

Previous #hmvlife challenge posts: click here!