I just finished a monster 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge that my friend Laura Gassner Otting invited me to tackle. I have taken the attitude of “bring it on” throughout the last six months when facing challenges in order to mentally prepare for the work I was creating in 2020. And honestly, I enjoyed the November workouts. Physically it was tough, but mentally is what I found to be the biggest growth opportunity.
Gyms, online communities, and coaches create groups challenges throughout the year, but especially during the end of/start of the year. A number of people avoid them for, well, any number of excuses.
- “I don’t have the time.”
- “I travel too much.”
- “I’m not in ‘good enough’ shape yet.”
You can always find an excuse to skip out on a challenge, but here’s what I think everyone should participate in a fitness challenge at least once a year.
1. TRAIN YOUR MIND NOT TO QUIT WHEN IT’S DIFFICULT.
I had thoughts of stopping well before 500 almost every workout. I had to force myself to just focus on the next swing. I had to train myself to stick with it, & I always found that when I got past halfway, the whispers to quit died.
Quitting is easy when our pursuits become challenging. Most people accept that route – but a Competitor continues to push ahead because they understand that their growth & success lie beyond their comfort zones.
2. LEARN TO TRACK YOUR JOURNEY.
We had a community spreadsheet that you entered your daily swings after finishing each workout. The sheet would track your total swings, how many you had left, how many days were left, & what you needed to average daily to hit 10k.
It was a great resource to keep up with your count – but more so, it was a great reminder of how much work you’ve already done.
It’s easy for us in the pursuit of any career/health/life goal to forget how far we’ve come when we only focus on the finish line. Tracking everything helps you stay present & remember how far you’ve come too.
3. YOU BUILD THE DISCIPLINE TO “JUST DO THE WORK”
You don’t always feel motivated to do the work necessary to reach your goals. Doesn’t matter – just show up & do the work.
I didn’t want to swing a lot of days this month – but the challenge provided an opportunity to build that mental muscle to just show up no matter how I felt. On the days I struggled to muster any motivation, I simply showed up at the gym, turned up my Spotify playlist, and just went to work. I didn’t procrastinate the work. I didn’t overthink. I just put my head down, turned my music up, and did the work.
We all have those days. The majority of people will skip those days or procrastinate until they “feel motivated” – which means they’ll never do the work. Competitor put their heads down and just do what needs to be done.
4. YOU EMBRACE COMMUNITY – AND SOMETIMES FRIENDLY COMPETITION.
The community – sharing of pics, encouragement, & yes, even trash talk – made the training fun. You knew that you weren’t alone & there were people across the world doing it with you.
5. YOU GET A BETTER PICTURE OF HOW YOUR OTHER GOALS CAN BE REACHED, TOO.
I guess you can do 10,000 kettlebell swings during a single day but the sheer volume is designed to be chipped away a little bit every day. Every great goal we want to achieve is done the same way. Our success is dependent on us eating that elephant-sized goal “one bite at a time.”
Fitness challenges are fun. You can’t win them in a day, but you can win them by focusing on a day at a time.
Want to finish 2019 stronger than you started? Our Compete Every Day community is tackling 1,000 burpee challenge for December – that’s less than 33 per day.