A couple of months ago, my friend Joel challenged me to run, walk or crawl a minimum of 1 mile everyday for 21 days 🏃♀️🏃♀️🏃♀️. Now, I have been running for a couple of years off and on but I never took it too seriously. I have run several 5km and even a couple of 10km races prior to the Covid restrictions. But running 21 days straight…… can I do it? I don’t know, but I was willing to try. I am not one to backdown from a challenge 😊.
Running or walking for 21 days sounds doable, like almost everything in life, you start off hot and sweaty. I was breezing through the challenge. I was changing up my runs and going to different locations but as in everything in life, there comes a time in life where you start getting tired and you start thinking about quitting 😩. That for me happened around day Challenge Day 8 but luckily for me, two things happened around this time too. Firstly, I remembered that the challenge said run, walk or crawl, I may not be in a mood to run or walk, but I could crawl and so on Challenge Day 8 that is what I did, I took it easy. Secondly, my husband was doing this challenge with me. He became my “accountability partner” which is a term I learnt about while reading Atomic Habits (see my review here: Book Review: Atomic Habits by James Clear). It is easier and more fun to push through with the help of friend or family member who is on the same journey or a similar journey that you are on😎. After that day, I was able to catch myself, push through and got back into a good rhythm and was able to finish this challenge and not only that….continue running consistently from that point forward. A new habit had been developed and now I run about 6 days a week and I love it 😃.
So why should you start running / walking as a form of exercise:
- Personal / Quiet Time: Running is a solo activity, it is a great time to listen to a great podcast or your favorite music (get a great playlist) or just spend some quiet time by yourself 🏃♀️.
- Great way to challenge yourself. Hopefully in the near future, we will be able to have public races again. Entering a 5km or 10km or even half marathon races are great ways to set goals and get rewarded for your hard work… who doesn’t like to collect a medal at the end of a race after challenging yourself? 🏆🏅
- A change in scenery. On my island beaches and rivers are still closed due to Covid Restrictions but to make my runs more interesting, I don’t only run around my neighborhood but visit some of the more popular running routes on my island. The change of scenery is good as I am still working from home 🌳
- Develops self-discipline. It takes self-discipline to be consistent and build any habit. Once you develop self-discipline in one aspect of your life, it makes it easier to translate that work ethic into other areas of your life 🧘♀️.
- Can join a running club and meet new people. Coming to the end of our 21 day challenge, my husband and I ended up joining a running club and now we do various challenges and events as part of the R.A.W. team (which is lead by my very fit mother-in-law). This again helps to keep us consistent and accountable and it is fun to meet people who are up for a 6am or 3pm run on a weekend at a random location 🏃♀️ 🏃🏃♀️ 🏃 (see pictures below).
- Other Benefits of running / walking: It is a great way to keep fit and burn calories. Running is something you can do for free and at your own pace. You are not paying to go to a gym. The fresh air is everything! 😄 😁
So at the end of your day, if you can’t run, walk, if you can’t walk, crawl but some form of outdoor exercise really is good for the soul. Don’t worry about your times, compete against yourself, take rest days but be consistent. Doing the 21 days challenge really helped jumped start me by forcing me to be consistent for 3 weeks straight which turned my running into a new formed habit that I love and enjoy doing. Is there something that you want to make a habit? How about challenging yourself to be consistent for 21 days and see where it goes from there? 🥰