Challenges · Encouragement · Summer

The Plank that broke me

Have you ever participated in one of those 30 day challenges? I love them. I think it’s because 30 days is the perfect amount of time to stay focused before the task at hand becomes boring and it is fun to see if you can actually accomplish it. There is usually a group that you check in with to encourage each other and say “Yep! Completed today’s challenge, yay!”. Hello! My ideal world here.

Lately, the 30 day challenge group I’ve been a part of is a 30 day planking challenge, each day you do a plank and then increase the time you hold it for. In 30 days you work your way from 10 seconds to 3 minutes! Wow! That is a challenge.

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve participated in this type of challenge. I’ve done a plank one before and got to 2 minutes and 15 seconds ( pretty good!) and I’ve been keeping up with doing 1 minute a day pretty consistently. This time around, when I accomplished the 2 minute mark I replied to the group,”Wow, 2 minute mark, if you’ve made it this far, you can accomplish anything!” I was feeling pretty pumped about it. You know, when you do the thing you think you can’t and end up surprising yourself? It was definitely one of those moments for me. I was feeling so proud… and then, I froze…

” Wow, 2 minute mark, if you’ve made it this far, you can accomplish anything!”

You said it!

What did I just say?! Oh the horror! Did I just admit, now I can do anything?! The gauntlet is thrown , the flood gates are open and now my mind is saying “Okay, prove it!” AHHhhhh! What have I done?

I’ve now been avoiding the challenge for about a week, avoiding this now stupid, plank challenge that’s staring me in the face, all because I opened my big mouth declaring I could do anything and now, I’m afraid to go forward because I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to let myself downseriously?…but it’s TRUE. Really?! I don’t want to let myself down, in a silly little challenge that no one is really paying attention to except for me? AND on top of that, I’m also afraid I will let myself down by quitting, yeah, that’s exactly what quitters do, quit. They don’t fail, they quit. They are afraid they will fail so they “quit they’re ahead” isn’t that how the saying goes?

Whoa, hold on a minute…

Frozen in fear

Remember when you were a little kid and you heard a bump in the night and your imagination took over? What it could be? You were so afraid and wanted to scream and run, but the only thing you could do was to lay there. Waiting. You were so frozen in fear, you could hear your heart beating out of your chest. Your eyes were popped out, ears perked up and you were just listening, imagining how it was all going to end. This was it, whatever it was just waiting to pounce on you and take you to your untimely death. Okay, I may have watched one to many nightmare on elm street movies, but you know what I mean…

Anyway, as adults, that same feeling happens all the time. It doesn’t go away, we just get good at hiding from it or covering it up. We don’t sleep with the light on anymore, so to speak, but there are other ways we stay frozen.

We avoid things, good things, things that make life exciting or challenging by rationalizing them away, whether it’s work or even something you enjoy. You think you are doing something, you act busy, and the next thing you know, years of your life and opportunities pass by because you don’t even realize how you are spending your time.

I do this a lot by reading. Seems innocent enough…I love to read. I make time to read. But, I can also avoid doing many things because I am reading. I rationalize not taking the time to do something and justify it by saying I was reading, isn’t that a good excuse? I’m expanding my mind and it’s better than T.V or social media,right? Sure…

Here’s an entry from my journal the other day…

I’m the master at avoiding one task for another trying to rationalize my way along ( just do the thing)

Turns out there’s a time and a place for everything. Even good habits can take over your life. It’s a trigger for me, I have to recognize that if all I want to do is read, I’m avoiding something. I’m frozen.

Admitting you are afraid, it’s a good first step. Even if it is a ridiculous fear or the most irrational thought you’ve ever had. Say it out loud or write it down or tell someone and release it or just take action.

A push in the right direction

How do you get going again? It is self motivation? Do you take a big dream and plan it out into smaller actionable steps? Or is it a little bit of encouragement from your best friend? Maybe even a challenge from someone you love?

That was it for me.

During this fear of failing in the plank challenge; my husband said, “When you get to 3 minutes, I will do it with you.” That was just the thing I needed to hear. It was one of those I’m-encouraging-you-but-also-sound-like-I’m-doubting-you-will-make-it moments. The type of encouragement that people put out there where your first response is “I’ll show you!” A lot of times, that’s what it takes.

We need this from our partners and friends. We need to surround ourselves with people who not only care about us, but can also challenge us to accomplish our goals. Whatever it takes!

The right song can save you


3 minute plank V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! You bet your bottom dollar we did…ha! And true to his word, my husband was right there along side me, sweating and screaming (well maybe he was screaming the last 15 secs or so)

A great way to mind trick your way through something like this, I discovered is to have a theme song. A 3 minute song to listen to to divert your attention and provide some motivation. My song of choice for this was Found/Tonight; the Hamilton/Dear Evan Hansen mash up. With lyrics like this, how could we not crush it!

It’s only a matter of
Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you’re broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found…
Songwriters: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Found/Tonight lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

What’s next?

When the plank was completed, I felt proud and also remember thinking “Hmmm that wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought it would be…” Of course not.

It’s always good reminder. You need to push yourself.

Out of your comfort zone. Out of your head. Out of your plans. Don’t hesitate. Just do it.

What is one way you are pushing yourself? What is something on your summer list?What are some great milestone goals? I’d love to hear what’s on your list!

Seeing the Northern Lights? Camping outside with the kids? Kayaking around the whole lake? Visiting a new park every weekend? Trying out every flavor of ice cream at the local ice cream stand? I’m making my summer list this week in conjunction with the Full Moon. Perfect timing…

Go forth and conquer!

Much Love- Audrey

4 thoughts on “The Plank that broke me

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