Challenging myself physically excites me, which is why I love a 30 day fitness challenge. It’s also one of the reasons I love running, yoga, and snowboarding. Even an easy run can push me to my physical boundaries, but make something a challenge and I’m all in. Three months ago I started my first 30 day fitness challenge and have found a new one every month since. I started out with a plank challenge, then a push up challenge, and today I concluded my burpee challenge! Wow, the burpees completely challenged my physical and mental boundaries, destroying any limits I thought I once had.
My man suggested the burpee 30 day fitness challenge. We both wanted something that would push our limits and that we could do while away for the holidays. For those that don’t know what a burpee is, check out this Youtube video which teaches you how to do The Perfect Burpee. Burpees seem easy enough in principal. I’ve always done them in circuit training along with jump rope, jumping jacks, and pushups. But I’ve never done more than 20 at a time, so I was psyched to challenge myself and work up to 100 on day 30.
Most people I told about the burpees challenge had the same reaction. “Ugh, burpees. I hate those.” Or “yuck, no thank you.” Others mumbled about having to do them in boot camp class sometimes. I kept racking my brain as to why; why are burpees so reviled? After 30 days, now I know. They’re hated because they’re hard kids! Any way you slice them, burpees are hard. BUT that is what made this challenge so exciting.
The 30 day fitness challenge seemed simple enough. Start with five burpees on day one and add five burpees each day after. The challenge was four days on and one day off, resuming after the off day with the number you were at before. Keep going for 30 days until you get to 100 burpees. Okay, challenge accepted.
The first four days were easy enough, and I say that lightly. Burpees are by no means anything to scoff at. These bad boys are a full body workout. I was out of breath by day four, but had my head in the game. Every day thereafter was hard, which was amazing! I couldn’t believe how winded I got, how much willpower it took to keep going, and how amazing I felt after accomplishing the day’s set.
This 30 day fitness challenge surprised me, way more than plank or pushups. Each morning after I did my burpees, whether I’d worked out before hand or not, I was completely out of breath and sweating profusely. Most days my legs were dead by the end, my shoulders were torched, and I would slump on the floor. But it motivated the heck out of me, gave me an insane natural energy boost, and made me feel great all day long! Once I hit my 50 mark I was like DAMN. Half of my body was telling me I could go to 100, and half was screaming to stop. I of course did not stop, kept going every day for 30 days, and now feel such an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that its complete.
The secret to this challenge was being steady. I didn’t want to start off too quick, because I knew I’d blow myself out. I also didn’t want to start too slow, because then it would feel like agony. A steady and consistent pace kept me going. I decided that no matter what, I was going to continue. I was going to let myself think all those thoughts, wallowing in my mental and physical misery, until my set was complete. I would accomplish each day, knowing that when I made it to 100, I’d done it! I worked for it.
This particular 30 day fitness challenge reinforced how much of our life is mental. The timing of it couldn’t have been better either! I started it about a week before Christmas, so it kept me motivated right through the New Year. It has even given me a nice accomplishment to hang on the wall, barely halfway through January! It didn’t occur to me when I began this challenge, but it’s now made it so much sweeter.
Anyone who is looking for a way to get physically motivated and find out what you’re truly made of, I implore you to embark on this burpee challenge. I did it! I made it to 100. I sweated, I mentally cursed at myself, and I was out of breath. BUT I did it kids. I did all 30 days, ending with 100 burpees! I now challenge all of you. Get at it.
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Photo credits to http://www.ivandimitrijevic.com/ & http://30dayfitnesschallenges.com/