Here’s our Hayley with another installment of her progress in preparing herself to undergo the “Tough Guy Challenge” scheduled for July 2010 in the UK. This week, she runs into a bit of a snag. But she realizes that once you’ve seen someone else do something “unthinkable”, you’re more likely to get inspired and get on with it. No Giving Up!
Guest Post by Hayley Forster
Week 3 has arrived and the big question is:
Have I managed to form my new habit?
I have done this before and it worked – 3 years ago, I decided I needed to lose weight for my wedding so I changed my diet.
All my effort paid off and I lost 50lbs in 3 months – much quicker than my 1 year target!
And yes, the first 3 weeks were VERY difficult… but, after that initial discomfort, I settled into a new routine and the weight fell off!
However, the reason I was skeptical for this particular challenge was that it involves some form of endurance, skill and physical abilities.
I’m quite short on all of these key things, hence my doubt on if I could change my views on physical exercise.
Like Cheryl, I’m a huge (Mixed Martial Arts) MMA fan and have watched these guys for years getting ready for fights, training nonstop and having so much energy and passion – it’s an understatement to say I envied these people!
However, after 3 weeks in training (I really feel I need some form of dramatic music or at least a drum roll here.)
I feel I’ve been converted to the lifestyle of physical activity!
I’m not admitting I’m now a professional athlete who trains 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, but I certainly have improved my daily routine.
I get up early and ride my bike, go running in my lunch hour and find myself wanting to be more and more active. Who wants to sit down!?!?!
However, I am sacrificing these things in order to get more training time in – and am I bothered? Has it affected me in a negative way? NO!
I love the training. I even get excited about it!
In fact, I sometimes feel guilty on my rest day that I’m not doing some form of exercise. I’ve felt the benefits in more than one area – I’m much more alert, have more energy, my skin is getting clearer, my body is getting a bit more definition and my lung capacity is certainly much larger!
However, there is a BUT to this story…
I knew there would be hurdles along the way, but to be honest, I didn’t think they’d be this soon.
I was told on Friday I cannot run for at least 3 to 4 weeks or do any high impact exercise
I never thought I would say this, but I was VERY upset. Don’t these people know I have a challenge to prepare for?
What is the problem you may ask? Well, apparently, I have low arches in my feet and because of this I run a little odd.
This has caused problems in my knees with sharp pains and bruising to the point where it is painful to walk and cross my legs. I’ve had 3 days of rest now, but I’m itching to get back into it.
Despite this hurdle, I need to keep going.
I’m trying to be sensible as I know that my knees are very important – without them I would not get very far. But it is very difficult to go easy on myself when I have set myself a goal and a challenge.
Sometimes, things come along which make you have to re-think your game plan and adjust your goals accordingly. This is what I need to do.
In the lead up to this bombshell, I have been watching a documentary which is keeping me on track. Good timing on the BBC’s part! I must thank them for that…
Who has heard of Eddie Izzard?
Eddie Izzard is a British stand up comic/transvestite/actor. This guy is 47 years old and very much like me, had never been into his physical exercise. Despite this, he decided he was going to run around Great Britain for Sport Relief.
Sport Relief is a charity to help disadvantaged people, both in the UK and across the world’s poorest countries to turn their lives around. It has a unique history of dedicated people doing extraordinary things to make a difference – Eddie is one of these people.
Experts were saying “it would be a miracle if he managed to complete this” and that “he would go down as a sports icon, if he was able to pass the finishing line”.
The odds were certainly against him.
Even professional runners are advised not to run 2 marathons in 2 days as it takes your body 3 weeks to recover!
Eddie, a 47 year old unconditioned comedian, visits his doctor
Despite the fact he had never run 1 mile before, this guy decided to complete this challenge with only 6.5 weeks training.
Did he manage it?
Yes! Eddie completed 43 marathons (1,166 miles) in 51 days! Amazing!
Eddie put himself through physical and mental torture.
After 4 marathons, he started to get severe blisters which then lead to infections as well as hip, knee and ankle injuries – his body was going through severe pain, but he battled through it.
If he had admitted to himself that he was crazy (which when you look at the facts – he is), he would have never finished, but he kept his belief and this belief lead him across that finishing line.
This challenge was not only physical but a huge part of it was mental.
A big help to him on his journey was having people supporting him and he certainly came across some very extraordinary people.
One guy had returned from the war in Iraq and then lost both his legs in a mountaineering accident. Instead of letting life pass him by, he decided to travel around the UK on his hand cycle for over 1,000 miles! Another lady who had lost her husband, decided to run around the world – over 20,000 miles in 5 years!
Suddenly my challenge does not seem so crazy
I can complete the Tough Guy Challenge!
Even if my knees do fold – I can take my hand cycle.
See what happens next – Knocked Off Course by Volcanic Ash – Tough Guy Challenge Update
And while we’re on the subject, what about the rest of you?
What challenge will you take on over these next 5 months?
The American Heart Association is encouraging everyone to change our eating habits and get more exercise to support a healthy heart.