"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
Some of you have heard me raving about my 90 Day Challenges for months now. I love being on the Challenge – its been a great motivation to get healthy and fit! For me its not so much about the number on the scale, its about having some muscle, eating well and feeling great, and doing things I’ve never done before and didn’t think were possible – making unexpected dreams come true, you might say.
I remember my first 90 Day Challenge. I had set some considerable goals for myself. The first was to complete my first 5k run. Mind you I had never been able to run more than a mile without coughing up a lung. And my other goal was to commute to work twice each week on a bicycle (a 30 mile round trip). And mind you I hadn’t been on a bike in 10 years. This all seemed possible but difficult to me and I’m thankful I had those 90 days to take baby steps. It started with biking 5 miles at a time, and running a half mile here and there. And it took support: I had a community of friends checking in and asking how things were going, my boyfriend encouraging me and serving as personal trainer, making sure I was giving my body good nutrition (it mattered more than before and I could tell the difference) and it required being committed to my goal. I completed my 5k – a mud run with 12 obstacles called the Warrior Dash. It took me 49 minutes.
I completed my 2nd 90 Day Challenge this weekend. One of my goals was to reach a 5.10 skill level (difficulty rating) in rock climbing. The other was to run another mud run, hopefully a more arduous one and get a better running time for it. My climbing goal was reached last month and my fingertips still remember the ache of that strenuous climb. And the mud run? Well, that became an unforgettable adventure…
The Gladiator Rock’N’Run was held on Saturday, October 29th in Kent, WA. I was able to organize a group of friends to all go down and run together. We carpooled down in the wee morning hours, Starbucks cups in vice-like grips, bleary eyes struggling to focus, and butterflies swirling in our stomachs as we talked and wondered what the day held for us. There was a chill in the air when we arrived at 8:30 am but sunlight was banishing the clouds bit by bit. I was prepared with my bright green tutu, my boyfriend was dressed as a happy yellow banana and some of our other friends had their own costumes at the ready. We attached our race bibs to our shirts, a monster truck roared down the track to lead our race, and then we were off!
This run was definitely what I had hoped for, more arduous, more challenging, more mud, and even more fun! The friends made it fun: we laughed, we joked, we slipped and fell. It wasn’t always easy: after running up so many stairs, after feeling your soaking shoes squish with each step, after struggling to catch your footing while mud envelopes your ankles – we conquered. There is nothing like that final sprint for the finish line: seeing the end in sight and knowing that you should run your hardest despite the burn because you want to give your all. You get a t-shirt, a medal, and a beer at the end and those things are fine. But the best is the soreness, the exhaustion, the sense of accomplishment, the stories you share of who slipped and looked the silliest, who ran like a hellhound, and who splashed mud on the innocent bystanders. The laughs, the memories – they’re irreplaceable.
And the results? Well, this time I finished in the top third of my division and in the top 40% overall. It took me 47 minutes – 2 minutes faster than my previous run and on a more difficult course with 5 additional obstacles. Victory is sweet, overcoming is glorious – and this coming from a girl who didn’t think she could run. There is something powerful is setting a goal and committing to it. There’s freedom to live big.
My 3rd 90 Day Challenge goal is to run a 10k. I’ve never run that far. Bring on the Challenge!
If you’d like to join me on the 90 Day Challenge or learn more about it, check out the videos on: www.audreygjohnson.myvi.net and message me. I love sharing this and helping other people change their lives too.