Taryn Tuesdays: The Challenge

On Tuesdays, or at least as many Tuesdays as I can convince her to do it, Taryn will weigh in with her thoughts. For her first post, she’s decided to put me on the spot publicly as well. OK – we’re in for the challenge!

The first day of the rest of the days….

It’s a very human thing to want to constantly transform ourselves while not wanting to stand up out of our lounge chairs and actually take any initiative, isn’t it? I’ve spent the last five months (and then some) convincing myself that tomorrow will be the day I’m going to work out/eat better/write more/love more/complain less/start to meditate/do yoga/meet new people/call my parents more/[insert almost anything else here]. I type this only after pausing to shove more popcorn into my mouth from the comfort of my couch.
BUT. It’s May. And May is the month that some of this will change (not all of it… Let’s please be realistic, friends). May marks the beginning of the 50-mile challenge. Here’s how it’s going to happen: Kathleen and I will each jog/run 50 miles this month, which may seem like a lot or a little, depending on how frequently you run. In any case, it requires a commitment to change. That’s roughly 1.6 miles a day, if we don’t take any days off. If we slack off early, we’ll have a lot to make up during the second half of the month. Knowing we’re both in it until mile 50 is motivating, too. It gives us a partner for our rough patches and a competitor for our success. She’s already a few miles ahead of me, and I’m already annoyed.
We in our office are not strangers to month-long challenges. The first was back in September 2008 when Kathleen became a vegan for a month (I’m always a vegan, which has its own challenges, but I’ll discuss those another time). Since then, we’ve gone raw (with varying degrees of success), run many miles (successful!), and tried to give up chips and eat daily salads (unsuccessful), to name a few. We even tried Nanowrimo once (completely disaster). They’re great, short-term projects that keep us on our toes, and it gives us the opportunity to keep asking, “what can I do better? What can I do more?” It also takes the pressure off trying to make a ton of changes at once, which can cause you to fail at everything at once. If I do eat poorly today, it doesn’t matter. I still have 50 miles to run this month and I’m going to suck it up and strap on my sneakers.

So we’re running 50 miles. We’ll keep you updated on our progress and you can keep us accountable. And if you want to join our challenge, by all means, do! The more the merrier.
(As a side challenge, I’m also giving up added salt this month. While Kathleen doesn’t usually have this problem, my usual reaction to salt is also “the more the merrier,” so I think it’s about time to tame this bad habit. At least until June.)

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