Labor Day was a good one for rest. I spent my time relaxing with my hubby, reading and gleaning wisdom from The Hollywood Commandments by DeVon Franklin, catching up on email and applying for a writer’s group that may take me in the direction that I need. I have been feeling this self-imposed pressure to narrow my focus and become more goal-oriented to grow my career. This is the kind of pressure that I welcome. Earlier this week, I sent a pitch email with some ideas for a guest blog and today, I got a positive response for one of my ideas. I will definitely share more about that in time.
As I was completing the application for the writing group, I became emotional. I do not like to dwell on the past but it occurred to me how stuck I used to be and how willing I was to step in and stay in my own way. I will be eternally grateful for the decision I made to take action over the last year and for leaving the stressful job I was in 4 years ago. I would have never had the mental space to even try to write. As I was walking with a friend at the park today, it occurred to me that although neither of our lives our perfect, our conversation was mostly centered on doing something about the situations we are in. Not just complaining and venting (though we all have our moments). This is the spirit of the Water-Workout-Write 21-Day Challenge. The spirit of Doing. Moving. Trying.
Spent part of my day engrossed in this new book by DeVon Franklin. Excited to be apart of his launch team! Motivating material!
Post-evening walk. Smiling and sweaty.
I am behind on my water intake but the night isn’t over and I will continue to sip and chug if I have to. And if I have to grab my 5lb weights again to do some semblance of a second workout, I will do that, too. I just won’t talk or write about it. I will do it.
I am happy that I took the time to take care of myself yesterday. And since I am not at 100% yet, my primary task was to crush my weekend goal and submit an essay. And I did it! I made myself sit still, not read or watch TV or scroll through my phone or get distracted by a household chore I could easily take care of later. I just let the words flow freely, put my editing hat on and submitted my essay. Done! I care if I get a response back (and if it’s published, of course). But as I pressed Send, it mattered more to me that I put myself out there again.
After resting and catching a movie with hubby, I came home to do a couple of videos. In the middle of the second one (a fun reggae dancehall video), the coughing started to come back again and since I am listening to my body. I took a break to drink water and I will lift my weights later. It also occurred to me I am exclusively walking outside and doing videos and it may be time for me to mix it up and go back to the gym. I usually think of the gym as the place I have to go to when it’s cold outside but I do have to work on opening my mind. Besides, I’ve always enjoyed classes and every once in a while, it’s nice to shut the brain off and do interval training on the elliptical. I am anticipating what the week brings as hubby and I prepare to set off for the Summit of Greatness next week in Columbus, Ohio but more on that another time.
That might as well be the end of this post but I have a bit more to share. Gloomy skies kept me glued to the bed until I had to move this morning. My cough seemed to have gotten worse and my voice kept going in and out. But I took a Claritin and kept it pushing. Since I took it easy on Wednesday, there was no way I was staying home. After work, I immediately did 3 walking videos to make sure I got at least 6,000 steps. While I was walking, it occurred to me that the only thing I had in me was the smoothie my husband made me and water. Now I am thinking I need to be more intentional about eating during the day. This was far from the first time that I have forgotten to eat. I know it’s a combination of the filling green smoothie I drink and my tendency to get caught up at work. I let the hours fly by and before I know it, it’s 6:00 and I need to cook (and let’s be real, order something sometimes). I wrote yesterday that I am looking for the next challenge and being mindful about eating regularly could just be it or at least a part of it.
I have also started to consider that I should be submitting my work several times a week to several publications. That is one thing I can freely admit has suffered because of my laziness. I am not scared to work hard at my day job, making time to keep up with my friends and my family and support my husband. But why this? I know I have been disappointed by rejection from an agent, a fellowship, and unanswered submissions in the past but that was then and this is now. I have stopped and started a couple of articles that I just need to edit and submit. As I am writing this, I am making the decision to do it by the end of this weekend. As we all know, if you never ask, the answer will always be No.
Day 9 started off right. I still had a cough but I was mostly excited to have my friend, Sheila join me for my morning walk. There is nothing like good conversation to make the laps feel effortless. Having company during a workout is amazing and although knowing I have to write about this challenge keeps me accountable, meeting a friend is a living, breathing reminder of this commitment I’ve made to myself.
I realized I haven’t written much about my water consumption lately. I am getting it in, even if it means I have to chug a whole bottle right before bedtime. It’s worth it. I have always been someone who eats fast and drinks slow. It is a habit I am determined to break, even if I have to issue another challenge to myself after these 21-days is over. I did manage to get another workout in. Because I am trying to take it a bit easy until I am fully recovered from this bug, I am glad there are such low-impact videos like Leslie Sansone. I can still claim a victory with my workouts without compromising my health. It has been over a week now and I am starting wonder what will be next for me. I don’t want to let this sense of accomplishment go.
Any ideas? Comment below. Would love to hear your thoughts!
It started off well. About an hour after I woke up, I couldn’t stop coughing. My body was telling me to Shut. It. Down. I decided to listen and got back into the bed and let myself rest. I wish there was more to tell but I stayed down most of the day. I started to feel better towards the end of the day but the cough is still with me. My husband tried to tell me to not workout but and I promised I would just do a couple of low impact videos, maybe 15 minutes of walking per video.
And that’s how it began. At first, my eyes were closing and I found myself yawning. I tried to shake the fatigue loose. By the end of the second video, I was alert and ready to head into a third low-impact video. I hit my steps goals and this earned sweat feels better than any other workout thus far in this challenge. I still have a little bit of a cough and I am glad to take it easy for the rest of the evening. It would have been ok to say Day 8 is all about rest and to continue to sleep but I had a little bit left in me.
Stay tuned for Day 9 tomorrow!
Definitely better than Day 6 but once I heard the rain against the window, I knew walking was out for this morning. After work, I was exhausted but I ate, drank water, relaxed by watching a movie and as it came to a close, I was determined to get right up and do a video. And that’s just what I did. I had a slight panic about getting a second workout in before my meeting with my writing group but I am knocking down excuses. I decided to leave early for the library where we were meeting. The grounds have a path and a small lake with water fountains. And then suddenly I didn’t care that it was raining. That’s why people make jackets and umbrellas. Besides it was not storming and a few raindrops never hurt anybody, did they?
I walked around, still a little sore from the video but excited to make my way into our writing group meeting. Meeting with these ladies (and one gentleman at times) rejuvenates me. It reminds me why I love the written word-whether I’m writing it or reading it. It also reminds me that I have so much to learn about the craft of writing. As I am writing this, I am hit with the memories of where I was last year-no blog, no writing group, no writing classes taken and no community of writers to count as friends. It almost makes me sad for the woman who stood in her own way. All I had to do was reach out despite the fear and the hesitation and be confident that someone would reach back.
But it wasn’t time because I didn’t make it time. I know now is the time for writing, connecting and committing to my craft, my community and my health. It is a time for being truly well.
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.
This has been the hardest by far. If I had a word for today, it would be resistance. I am not sure it is worth trying to figure out why. My husband and I went to a late movie last night and didn’t wind down until almost 2:00am. I had a great time and I don’t regret it. However, I am sure in the deep recesses of my mind, I am sure I told myself the lie that I would get up before church and walk. I slept until the very last minute and then some.
My husband and I stopped by a juice bar which was refreshing but I knew I needed to drink some water. I got home and still didn’t do it. I ate and ended up passing out on the couch without a drop to drink. When I woke up, I was determined to make up for my laziness earlier. I felt achy and tired and my mind was screaming for this to be the day that I blog about the one day I failed and I would just wake up tomorrow and try again. But that is something I am used to telling myself.
I went out and walked twice as long and have finished about half of my water intake. And I will workout with my 5lb weights in a couple of hours. I just don’t want to slip up unless there is an absolute real emergency. And as I write this, I am reminded of how much I have been given. I have breath, arms and legs, presence of mind and I am safe.
There are so many others who cannot say the same. I am thinking of those trying to escape flooding in Texas, those who struggle with debilitating physical and mental health issues, those children who live in food insecurity and so much more. I am taking all that I have and making it into something good. Something worthwhile. I owe it to myself. I cannot even give more of myself, to my husband, family, writing and the community in which I live until I do that, live up to all that has been given to me.
I am releasing this spirit of resistance. It certainly does not serve me well.
Stay tuned for Day 6!
Comment below on how you combat resistant thoughts.
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.
I was wiped out last night but I was able to throw back the covers a lot easier this morning. My body knew what it had to do. I knew if I seriously contemplated saving my first workout for later on that a second workout might never happen. As for my water intake, that is going a lot better than I anticipated. Immediately jumping up for more water took the how I am going to drink enough question right out of the equation. I feel so much cleaner and a little less foggy. The only feeling I can compare it to is when I cut meat and dairy from my diet. After a couple of days of grogginess and fatigue, it is like I am breathing a different air and although I may not look like it, I am light as the air I am breathing.
As I was walking, I rounded the laps a little faster. It was all Mos Def, Kendrick and Jidenna in my ears today. No big aha moments. I just felt like I was right at home, feet crunching the gravel and soreness in my legs. After a green smoothie and hours at work, I came home and uploaded another Afrifitness video. This time it was two short videos, one with weights. I realized as much as I do not love strength training, I must do it. I can do cardio on my own but ask me to look at a weight lifting machine and something inside just shuts off and powers down. So, I will start with videos like these and see where the journey takes me.
Water and Green Smoothie
Loving these Afrifitness videos!
I thought when I started to write about Day 3 nothing would come out. I would write a simple checklist. But a challenge is just more than just that. It is an unfolding, an unveiling, a test of character, even if it is drinking water, moving myself twice a day and writing about it every day.