30 Day-Challenges are Kind of Bullshit.
It's the second to the last day of my Crossfit Challenge. Unless the sky opens up and the Crossfit Gods smile upon me I will not be getting my double-unders this month. I've been working daily at them and I have only mastered jump roping really fast. Which, to be honest, is an improvement. But that's not what I was going for. I wanted double-unders. I wanted to end this month with a shiny new skill that I could Instagram and Facebook. Because if no one likes it on social media did it even happen?
I was scrolling through Instagram the other day because it's the only place on my phone where people aren't screaming about BrExit and saw a meme posted by Barbell Shrugged; "None of us did any 30-day or 6 week bullshit. It took us years to get where we are." After doing three 30 day challenges in quick succession I kind of agree. 30 day challenges are a bit bullshit.
They do have a time and place. I think they work great as a jumpstart. If you're not eating well or you have trouble motivating yourself to exercise committing to a set schedule will help you begin an never ending journey that is being active and healthy. A 30 day challenge is a jump off point, not the whole solution. How many time have you, or someone you know, completed a challenge and as soon as it was finished go back to their/your old habits? I know I've been guilty of that specifically in the food challenge in January. Once I was done, I set out rules for myself that I simply wouldn't follow. Because at the end of the day, I like milk in my coffee and it doesn't seem to have an adverse effect of me. So why do I need to give up that bit of dairy in my life?
Yesterday at the end of our session at Crossfit Blackfriars, the subject of increasing mobility and reducing injury came up and our Coach Ellie threw out this little gem, "Yes, it'd be great if we all had a 100kg clean. I know I'd want that, but at the end of the day, my goal for my students is to be able to do this into their 70s" At the end of the day isn't that we all started drinking kale smoothies and moving our bodies in weird ways? To stay healthy and active longer?
With a 30-Day or short lived challenges it's easy to get caught up in the aesthetic goals; losing weight, deepening a yoga posture, doing freaking double-unders. If that goal is not reached in that period of time, it's easy to throw up your hands and say, "Fuck it!" then give up. And if you do achieve your goal then what? Do you continue? Do you try to build on it? Or do you check that off your to-do list and sit down to re-watch every episode of Dexter?
As this month winds down I'm thinking about what's next for me and Crossfit as well as my over all health goals. Right now, I know I'll continue to work on double-unders until I can post my success on social media. I know I want to put a little more yoga back into my weekly schedule. I also know that this is not the end of a Challenge but the start of implementing these tools into my daily life. June has been my jumpstart into Crossfit. It doesn't end here, it's just beginning. And I'll always have my coffee with milk; on a fancy day, even cream.