As of today, I have walked 838 minutes in the GirlTrek Challenge. Last week, I earned my Willpower Badge, one of my proudest personal achievements in a while. For the longest, I have naively thought that certain qualities or virtues, like willpower, are inborn and available to only a few special folk and elusive to the rest of us. But throughout this challenge, I have come to understand that willpower, the act of continually putting one foot in front of the other, consistently and faithfully in the direction of your dreams is a matter of action and doing. I can acquire willpower. I can strengthen my willpower. I can cultivate willpower.
And so can you.
It was a liberating concept to internalize because it let me know that I have the capacity and the wherewithal to be whatever I want.
This revelation, in addition to the four others that I share below, is just another testament as to why GirlTrek rocks. At the end of week 3, I am different and I have GirlTrek to thank for that.
1. I am lighter. I am just not talking about getting back into a pair of skinny jeans (which, by the way I have, and am feeling super duper fly), but I am talking about a lightness of spirit. Since walking, I have begun to take a lot of things and people less seriously. I laugh more and find myself J.A.M.M.I.N.’ extra hard to the songs in my playlist, especially at the end of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal: I have to stop walking and do my little high-knee, two-step in the middle of the street much to the entertainment of those in cars waiting for the red light to change.
2. I measure the importance of commitments in terms of their ability to help me arrive at my North Star. My North Star or goal(s) is to complete this challenge while deepening my self-awareness, patience, and courage. I am more deliberate and strategic how I use my time and energy. Now that walking at least 45 minutes, 5 times a days is a non-negotiable in my life, people, ideas, and activities that keep me from reaching my best have to “move, get out the way, get out the way,” as Ludacris likes to say.
3. I have new interests. In one of their weekly emails, Vanessa and T. Morgan offered the ultimate prize of a trip to Sedona, Arizona for a wellness experience which includes hiking, yoga, and peace. When I read this, I was thinking, “Dang, that’s right. This walking thing is seamlessly connected with Nature, spirituality, and sharing.” After reading about the prize, my thinking shifted from looking at walking as a discreet activity to viewing it as part of a larger, juicer, sublime whole. As if kismet, I received an email about a local group hosting a beginner’s hike of Appalachian Trail. It’s sold-out, but I put myself on the wait-list.
4. I embrace the journey, not just the destination. Ever since I was a little girl, I was a fast-learner and achievement-oriented. By the time I turned thirty, I had completed everything on my to-do list—travel, graduate school, debt elimination, love, half-marathons—and had lost my way for a couple of years thereafter because I could not find anything to surrender to; I could not find that thing that gave me the rush of achievement that I was used to.
Last year, when I gained some weight, I thought getting back into shape would be that thing that I could latch on to. Attempting to lose weight, however, brought me nothing but frustration and disappointment because I wanted the weight gone quickly. Once beating up on myself for stalled and mediocre results got tired, I began to ask myself, “Why are you treating everything like a race or like you don’t have enough time? Why are you always trying to finish fast?”
I began to realize that when it came to my health, I was going to have to chill. It was in my best interest to commit to a lifetime of healthiness, rather than short-lived success, and that my destination was to be reached in forty years. After forty years of committing to wellness, I want to be vibrant, sexy, healthy, and in love with myself and my husband. This means that I HAVE to enjoy the journey, ain’t nothing but journey since I gots lots of love, time, and life in front of me.
[info_box type=”alert_box”]Caring for yourself including takes care of your finances. I encourage all ladies who are serious about self-care to go on The Happy Finances Challenge. In 42 days you can learn to make money decisions that will lead to long-term financial happiness. [/info_box]