30 Down, 20 to go & Who Knows How Many After

The average American gains 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Don’t be average! Take CAC’s 30-Day challenge and win!

That was the subject of numerous emails I got in the month of November from my gym. The challenge described? Workout for 20-24 days between November 25th through December 24th and get five free guest passes to use at any Chicago Athletic Club gym. Workout 25-29 days and get a $50 credit to use toward gym services in addition to the five guest passes. Workout all 30 days between November 25 and December 24? One month free gym membership in addition to the $50 credit and five guest passes.

I had been attending the gym fairly regularly for spin classes on Monday mornings and Thursday evenings. I’d also been going for mostly weekly personal training sessions and to get moving on other days. 30 days straight of working out? No problem so I decided to do the challenge. Besides, a month’s free membership? I was all over that.

The first couple of days were fairly easy. It was right after Thanksgiving and over the weekend. Since I wasn’t really working, it was fairly easy to walk across the street (the CAC gym I go to is that close to me) and get in a workout. In fact, the first seven days, I felt like I was cruising along. Getting up early, hitting the gym then off to enjoy my day. It was only when it got to Fridays did things start to get tough.

On Thursday nights, I would take a spin class at 7:30 pm. This usually would leave me tired so getting up early on Friday would be tough. On top of that, I would end up staying rather late at work so getting to the gym before it closed at 10:00 pm was difficult. I cut it close a few times, but I always made it to the gym Friday night (exciting life I lead I know) to get in at least 30 minutes.

Once I hit 20 days, I knew it would be a breeze to finish out the 3o-day challenge. And I can proudly say that on Christmas Eve, I made my 30th straight appearance at the gym for a workout. Though, some interesting things did happen to me during this time. On many days, I would get up and be at the gym when it opened at 5:00 am. Then I’d head to work. Around 2:00 pm in the afternoon, I’d start to get antsy that I needed to go to the gym because I needed to make sure I had worked out. Problem? Well I had already worked out for the day. This happened a few times. So much so, that I now feel funny if I don’t make an appearance at the gym.

Even after Christmas eve, I still went to the gym. Last night, I went for spin and my spin instructor asked me how the challenge went since she knew I was participating. I rather casually said that I had finished and was now on day 32 in a row at the gym. Yes, I got a month free gym membership, guest passes and credit toward services. She then asked me what baked goods I like. Since I am not really into them unless I am going through a stuff my face phase, she asked about restaurant. Sadly, I don’t have a favorite. So, to keep me going, she has challenged me to 50 straight days of working out. Not necessarily at the gym because I do take yoga classes and can work out in my apartment if I am too lazy to go across the street to do it.

To that challenge, I say BRING IT! Going to the gym and doing something, anything is so ingrained in me that the only way I won’t do a workout is if I am too sick to do something. Hopefully that won’t happen. I am kind of taking this as a personal challenge to see how far I can go. I did make it this evening for a total of 33 straight days of working out. I just lifted weights (which is good since I have neglected that way too much) but I am looking forward to tomorrow’s run and then some yoga later in the week.

Once I hit 50 days, I think I will move on to 90 days. Then who knows. It will be fun to see where this journey takes me. As well as seeing the resulting strength, endurance and flexibility gains. And the best part of all of this? I’m starting well before the New Year’s resolution crowd does.


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