Monday, November 11, 2013


So many meanings to a single word.


What does it bring to mind for you?

I think of hard times mostly. Some are from my own life, but some are from things I've observed in the lives of those around me. People like you. People across the world.

And while some challenges are placed in our way or on our backs by no special reckoning of our own, other challenges are self-inflicted or self-selected. No matter which type of challenge, overcoming them can bring a sense of accomplish and confidence that easy days do not provide.

It helps you feel alive!

Before I go into a short explanation of a new challenge I'm facing personally, I want to send out a challenge to you.

I've thought about this a lot, and I'd really appreciate it if you'd participate! And feel free to share this challenge with others! The more who join in, the more inspiring you will collectively be!


Just so you know, this challenge is totally 100% self-directed. 
You choose *everything* about it. 

Part I

For every mile of my Ironman that I finish, 
you set a "matching" goal.
You don't have to match the miles themselves.
Just match the NUMBER of miles with something else.
If I finish the race, your goal will include the number 140.6.

Here are some potential examples.

Make a personal health goal:
  • In the next month, eat 140.6 servings of vegetables.
  • Build up your strength until you can do 140.6 sequential push-ups.
  • Cut your caffeine or sugar consumption for 140.6 days.
  • Walk 140.6 miles over the next 4 months.
If personal health isn't troubling you, make a goal that's healthy for others:
  • Write 140.6 (um, but don't mail the .6 one) letters to 140 military personnel for Christmas.
  • Donate $140.60 to help rebuild communities in the Philippines.
  • Pick up and throw away 140.6 pieces of litter.
  • Do a community service project that takes 140.6 hours to complete.
  • Give 140.6 hugs to strangers.
  • Record 140.6 journal entries on gratitude.
But these are just examples -- the true possibilities are endless! 

Make your goal personal ... to you. I'd love for you to choose a goal that will stretch and change you. But if that's not your thing right now, make it something easy but meaningful.

Challenge yourself for 140.6!

Part II

Tell someone about your goal. (Preferably ME!)

I would LOVE to hear the goals you've set. Please(!) tell me about your choice-of-self-challenge in the comments below or on Facebook. I'm quite sure that knowing your goals in advance will give me courage to meet my own this Sunday. 140.6 miles. THAT'S A LONG LONG WAY! I'll have a lot of time to think. :)

If your goal is too personal to share publicly, share it with someone you trust. Studies have shown that sharing your goal and being accountable to someone else as you try to reach it will help you get there far more consistently than keeping it to yourself.


Part III

Tell me when you've accomplished your goal. 

That's IT! 
  1. Choose a 140.6 goal.
  2. Tell me about it (BEFORE SUNDAY!)
  3. Tell me when you've accomplished it.
If you decide to participate, THANK YOU A MILLION BILLION!


And now, an update on my own little challenge...

At this moment, of course "challenge" makes me think of my Ironman race 6 days from now.


Some months race day slowly crept toward me as I worked morning after morning after morning, evening after evening after evening thinking November 17 could never come soon enough. While other times race day has leaped and bounded toward me, and I've wanted to stuff it back into the nether regions of the calendar from whence it came!

I'd like to say the challenge of training and the challenge of racing were enough for me, but after a run Friday morning, I experienced two days of excruciating knee pain over the weekend. I didn't want to make it public until I knew what to report.

After a couple of hours at physical therapy this morning, the most likely supposition is that I have torn my medial meniscus.

I can weight bear, and there is no instability. For close to 48 hours I felt intense(!) pain when I bent my knee or turned my foot, but the pain has slowly dissipated over the last 24 hours.

This means it is likely a small tear.

One of the PTs explained to me that a meniscus can shift a bit when torn, folding over or catching, affecting range of motion and irritating the muscles around it. It can then work its way back to a less painful position.

a) Normal; b-e) Types of tears

So.... I spent most of the weekend feeling ... um ... challenged.

That's the mild version.

The timing, of course, seemed like it couldn't be worse. And my emotions (depression mostly -- not crying just... emptiness) made it hard to do laundry and pack and clean the house and get excited for my trip.

Well, not to mention my knee pain. That made it hard to do laundry and pack, too. The stairs in my house? Demons. Every. One.

The question, of course, was ... can I race?

The happy answer is ..... yes! But it's likely to hurt like hell.

I had been nervous about my ability to finish prior to my injury. Silver lining? Nothing brings you into focus quite like the sudden realization an injury, not your ability, could prevent you from finishing.

And while I had begun to think of this race as the potentially hardest day of my "chosen-challenge" life?

Well now? Yeah. Actually. That hasn't changed.

So there.

I recently took a Myers-Briggs personality test. It was a mini-version, not the real one that costs $160 and 3-hours of your time.

According to my results I am an ENTP, and in one of the character descriptions, I read this:
"The ENTP regards a comment like 'it can't be done' as a personal challenge, and if properly motivated, will spare no effort to discover a solution."
I don't know what my new injury means exactly for race day. It could mean nothing. Maybe I'll be fine.

Then again, if what occurred last weekend happens this weekend, maybe I won't be.

I still plan to finish the race because .... good heavens how & why would I possibly plan on anything else!?

As the pain has eased, I'm packing again. Only this time, it's with way less general anxiety and way more excitement. What a lark, making it to the starting line!

I know I'll have a fun weekend with family and friends as I throw in 140.6 miles of self-challenge along the way.

See you on the flip side!