Tracy's Wellness Journey: Falling in Love With the Challenge of the Journey
As I write this article, I am 28 days into completing the 75 Hard Challenge. After seeing friends and family share on social media about their journeys through it, I decided it would be great preparation for a Colorado hiking trip I planned for this fall. I envisioned myself being in the best shape possible for the adventure, as well as for my 56th birthday in September.
My close friends thought it was a crazy idea. Forget the requirement of two 45-minute workouts each day, one outside. They balked because alcohol is prohibited for 75 days. At first, I wondered if I could do it, as alcohol seemed to be present in most of our activities.
With clear boundaries, a start date, a strong why and a conviction to give myself this gift, I started the 75 Hard Challenge on July 11, 2022. Turns out not having alcohol is the least challenging part of the challenge. What’s hard is having to drink a gallon of water every single day!
Now about that strong why. My motivation to complete this challenge goes beyond wanting to physically be able to hike mountains. I needed to navigate life’s metaphorical mountains, too.
Twelve months ago, declaring I was going to tackle this 75 Hard Challenge was me committing to make some drastic changes in my life. The life I was living was not aligned with the life I envisioned for myself. Things were hard, burdensome and dark. I was overwhelmed and confused about next steps. The harder I tried, the worse things seemed to get. I had to surrender. I had to trust the process and shift my focus to saving myself.
Stories like this are emotional connecting points that can bridge gaps. As a storyteller, I’m always curious and eager to learn more about the people I meet. Most of us hold our stories close to avoid judgment. When feelings of guilt and shame surround those stories, we feel even more closed off.
But when you can share from your heart, and feel heard and acknowledged, everything changes. The healing begins.
In his book “Intentional Living,” John Maxwell states, “When you intentionally use your everyday life to bring about positive change in the lives of others, you begin to live a life that matters.”
As a people pleaser and co-dependent, the concept of putting myself first was hard to grasp. I started by joining the gym and enrolling in a 6-month mindset class. The goal was to live better through mind, mouth, and motion. It’s where I learned to be my own head coach.
We studied the brain and how it functions. I learned to track my daily activities, food consumption and body movement. Better habits equal better choices. Tony Robbins says, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Measuring led to awareness and that awareness led to change, which led to results.
When I realized I was putting everything, and I mean everything — work, clients, family, friends, marriage, community and volunteerism — before my own needs and desires is when I began to shift. I’m not sure why taking care of my own personal needs felt selfish, but it did. I also had feelings of abandonment.
I was afraid to jump ship and go after what I truly wanted in my life for fear that my marriage wouldn’t survive the course shift — the vision I had for my life was polar opposite of what we were living.
Slowly but surely, I made shifts and implemented new tools that supported my vision and journey. I no longer feared the outcome. In fact, I was mentally and emotionally prepared for whatever God had in store for me. This past year is where I saved my own life.
With each day, week and month, I grew stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually. I learned to free myself from doubt and fear. Break down old patterns and build new patterns. I let go of the past and embraced the future. Mindset work is all about self-discovery, better outcomes and rewriting your story — it’s all about you fixing yourself and learning to think differently.
Because I decided to surrender to the outcome and process — and subsequently fell in love with the journey — my life is better. I’m happy and healthy. I feel alive and in control of my future and the vision I have for my life.
And my biggest fear — marriage failure — has turned into my husband joining me in the process of shifting course. He, too, is improving his nutritional intake, moving his body, and dreaming of a brighter future together. A true blessing.
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