It’s here!!! The final day of my Water-Workout-Write Challenge is completed. I am preparing to leave for Columbus, Ohio tomorrow morning so I have been on my feet all day. I am happy to report I barely had a coughing fit today and may only have to use my inhaler once this evening. I have fallen behind on my water intake so I will have to get on that. I know the challenge is basically over but the focus on increasing my water intake is something I want to continue.
Speaking of habits I want to continue, I’ve decided what my goals are for the foreseeable future. I will work out five days a week, publish a blog post twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, drink 100 oz. of water every day, submit to a publication or blog once a week and complete at least 2 essays a week.
The essays will be a new undertaking for me. I could never “get there” with my novel. I felt like there was a truth I was trying to tell but I was poorly disguising it as fiction. I grew up believing that one day I would use my imagination to weave a poignant and magical work of fiction. Except I haven’t been able to do it. With each writing class I’ve taken since the beginning of the year, I’ve drawn closer to the conclusion that my novel should be a book of essays. It made sense that the agent that read my work said that although she didn’t have a problem with my crafting, she didn’t “connect” with my writing. Even though she is just one person, I do believe she had a point. I will always love fiction. I have been surrounded by a lot of personal development books lately which I appreciate and have grown fond of as well. But the magic for me is in the stories. And my essays can be those stories. I am not sure what took me so long to admit it. But there it is.
These past 21 days has taught me what I should be writing right now. It has taught me that I have the discipline to issue a challenge to myself and complete it. It taught that if I make myself accountable, that I will choose not to fail. It has taught me that I need accountability. It has taught me that I want to be a disciplined person. I never placed importance on that notion before. I knew being undisciplined wasn’t taking me where I wanted to go but it never mattered enough until the lack of results wasn’t only staring me in the face, it was slapping me in the face. And the sting hurt like hell.
Outside of the lessons learned, there was a win. The piece I submitted last weekend will be published next Tuesday! I will post all the details next week. There is nothing like seeing the fruit of your labor. I am chasing that high. Even when I may feel uninspired, I am going to remember this challenge—not only the lessons that came from it but the pride I feel swelling up in me as I write these final words to close it.
There is one last thing. This blog is fairly new but I did have a few followers who read it and supported me throughout these 21 days. You know who you are.
It’s the close of Day 6 of 21-day Water-Workout-Write 21-Day Challenge. I definitely have to work on getting one workout in before work. I can’t believe how hard it was for me to move this morning. I understand old habits die hard. I am clearly pulling from a deeper place and writing about it every day was the only reason I worked out today. I am not sure if it is just sheer laziness or gloomy skies but I didn’t move and do both workouts until about an hour and a half ago. I drank water and am halfway to my goal.
I put one of Jeanette Jenkins Pop Sugar workouts from YouTube and made it about a half-hour. She started to do burpees and even the modification model’s version horrified me so I decided I would take a quick break and find something else. I found a Zumba compilation and a reggae dance workout. I gave it my all, single-single-doubled through the yawns and the sweat.
I feel like I am running to catch up with my goal and on another day, something could easily make me veer off course. But I made it through today and I can only allow myself to worry about today. Tomorrow will have its own challenges and triumphs.
The first day in this challenge with a schedule change. It was really Sleep-In Saturday for me. I didn’t want to leave the bed. Getting out of it was a struggle and as beautiful as it was outside today, I chose to let my body rest. I eventually got up and did another Afrifitness video. My husband and I had a signing we planned to go to for Arvat McClaine’s new book, When Black Women Speak the Universe Listens. I decided to wait until after the signing to get another workout in. In the meantime, I was able to fit in about half of my water intake for the day. As I am writing this, I still have the other half to go.
We thoroughly enjoyed the signing. It is always inspiring to watch a new author stand up and talk about his/her work, observe their nervous energy and then watch it fall away as they answer questions about their baby they’ve just birthed and are finally sharing with the world. I know my turn is coming. This challenge is teaching me I can build the discipline muscle to finish the works I have been writing and outlining for some time now. The fears I harbor about rejection don’t seem as daunting anymore.
After the signing, we walked downtown. I have been walking alone lately which I love but I always appreciate my husband’s company. Today taught me that I have to be ready for any schedule changes in completing this challenge. Adapt.
All I can say is that I am glad that I am writing about this challenge or I would have stayed snuggled up under the covers this morning. Not a single drop of sunshine would have seen these cheeks before I had to go to work if it were not for that.
But I am doing this challenge and committing to writing about it so I threw those covers back and got going. I thought I would be sore but maybe my will to “feel the pain and do it anyway” masked whatever would have sidelined me. I am so glad I got out there. It comes as no surprise that there were no regrets about not just exercising but keeping my word to myself.
It was a little bit of bliss. My energy was elevated. I love when my mind shuts down and I allow whatever I am listening to wash over me. I also find that’s when realizations come to me. Yesterday, while I was working out to Afrifitness the words “Water-Workout-Write” came to mind. I knew I was going to be doing this challenge and out of nowhere W’s started appearing while I was dancing.
Today, it was Les Brown’s words floating in my ears that brought forth words I had started to let slip from an unfinished post a few weeks back. I was writing about roads not taken. He was speaking about how inaction in and of itself was a choice made. Roads not taken in my life are not full of regret but I would be a liar if I claimed I never wondered how different my life would have looked if I had not moved to Tidewater post-undergrad or chose not to buy a home and travel more instead.
But I don’t dwell in what ifs because so many blessings came through those choices.
Doing this challenge means wonder will not occupy space in me. No inaction.
After completing the 5-day Instagram greatness challenge issued by Lewis Howes, I found myself asking what’s next? I was asked to reflect on who I am, obstacles I encounter on the way to becoming my best self, a part of my morning routine, a significant quote and finally post about someone who inspires me. After so much reflection, I found that I did not want it to end. Not that reflection should ever cease whether you share yourself with the world or not. The obstacle I chose to share was not keeping to a writing schedule. Instead of just leaving it at acknowledging the problem, I am choosing to push myself to do something about it.
And then I thought, I have been actively working on my wellness goals the last couple of months. I am still plant-based and I quit coffee (haven’t been a soda drinker in over 15 years). I should make aspects of my wellness journey a part of this, too. My lack of consistent water drinking came to the surface.
The only bottle I am currently popping.
My daily green smoothie
I can’t tell you why I neglect to do this because as someone with psoriasis, I should practically be hooked to a faucet. I am already working out but again I know I can do more. And if I acknowledge I can do more, why not do it?
I did not want to replicate the previous challenge by doing it for five days. By now, we have all heard it takes 21 days to establish a habit. I decided to commit to moving myself twice a day, drinking at least 100 oz. of water and writing about it every day for 21 days.
Today was my Day 1. I had a magnificent walk in the sunshine, listening to DeVon Franklin speak and Solange sing. After work and grocery shopping, I came home and did an Afrifitness video on YouTube. I love dance workouts! Besides the fact that they are fun, moving myself in this way makes me forget that I am working out. I can lose myself in the rhythm and choreography.
I know it is only Day 1 but drinking enough water will be the goal I will have to be the most diligent about checking off each day. It might be early for a takeaway but I already have one. I must set my intentions each day or I won’t do it! This is a lesson already learned for me but apparently it did not take. But I know it’s not too late.
Mindfulness and intention are the two words I feel will resonate with me for the duration of this challenge and for the rest of my life.