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A New 60 Day Challenge

A few months ago I decided to challenge myself to finish a novel I had started a while back. I set a deadline of 60ish days, and had high hopes that not only would I finish, but that I would finish early.

Unfortunately, I lost steam after the first couple of days, and then suffered from some writer’s block, and got to the point where I just gave up. A few weeks later, I at least finished a short story that was also hanging out unfinished, and felt pretty proud of myself for being able to accomplish that small feat. In a few weeks, I plan to revisit the short story for a round of edits and possibly additions before sending it on to anyone else to read.

But on to the new challenge…

While out at dinner Sunday night with a friend, I was challenged of thinking up another 60 day gauntlet that might be beneficial in helping me relieve some tension, but would at the same time give me some long-term benefits, too. At the time he proposed this challenge, I am sure I was not acting like my normal self and probably a little manic from trying to process everything that happened in my building the night before, but I was grateful that this friend was able to not only recognize that I wasn’t acting normal, but also offered a suggestion of finding some sort of outlet to help me relieve stress.

I tossed around several ideas both in my head and out loud with my friend before deciding that setting a physical challenge of some sort would probably be best for this latest goal. I quickly narrowed my choices down to finding and taking a dance class (I learned in college that I love to have formal dance training, and often “dance it out” when I’m home alone and need to relieve tension) or learning to tackle the exercise I hate the most: running.

Trying to learn to not hate running might turn out to be a bad idea, especially since we’re approaching the worst part of summer in St. Louis, but hopefully I’ll be able to find my pace and set a routine before it becomes too sticky and hot outside. And, the worse case scenario for me is that I’ll have to take my runs indoors and use a treadmill.

I know a lot of people who are runners, and each one has always raved about how much they enjoyed the activity once they finally got up and started just doing it. For me, I think this will be a great way to not only keep myself in shape (or actually end up in better shape at the end of the 60 days), but also just have a set time each day or several times a week to let my mind be free from any outside pressures.

This time, I’m actually going to stick to my challenge, and have already received offers from a couple of friends who are willing to be my running buddies and help keep each other motivated.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this goal of running for 60 days will change me, both mentally and physically.

What have you challenged yourself to do lately?



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