When you’re a child, you have to overcome challenges whether you like it or not. You have to do a speech for a public speaking assessment in high school. You have to overcome the challenge of learning algebra, even if you despise numbers. You have to learn to play piano, even if it’s hard. Heck, when you’re a toddler, you have to overcome the challenge of learning to walk and talk.
As we grow older, however, the challenges we choose to face become more and more selective. If we don’t like public speaking, we no longer have to confront that – we just choose a job where we never, ever have to talk in front of a large group of people. If we don’t want to play softball, we don’t have to. If we don’t want to lose weight, exercise, or improve our vocabulary, we don’t have to as well.
Many of us stop challenging ourselves as much as we could – and many of us will never discover how capable we truly are.
I am guilty of cruising through sometimes. I avoid challenges sometimes because I don’t have to do them. I avoid challenges because they are hard.
But today, I am saying yes to a challenge.
Despite its ‘Biggest Loser’ name, I am not doing any weight loss challenge. Instead, like the little black box in the left hand corner says, I’m going on a fitness challenge to keep myself entertained at the gym. The $5000 prize doesn’t sound too bad either.
However, it’s going to be hard – much harder than I originally anticipated.
See, the challenge works by calculating your current BioAge (an extensive health and fitness measurement from The Biggest Loser) and your stats, and then measuring the improvement after eight weeks. I thought my BioAge would be around 25 or 26 and that I was ridiculously unfit. I marched into the assessment prepared to be a little embarrassed, but ultimately to have a good chance at decreasing my BioAge by plenty of years.
It turns out, my BioAge is 19, which means I have a lot of hard work to do if I want to beat it, let alone win the $5000. These are the ways I can improve my BioAge:
- Eat less and cut down on body weight a bit (I’m guessing around 5 kilos)
- Improve my core so I can plank for a minimum of 1 minute (something I have neglected for months)
- Improve flexibility in my hamstrings so I can squat lower (I currently do approximately no flexibility exercises)
- Improve push ups on knees to 34 reps in one go (I can do around 20 at the moment)
- Stress less (what??????)
All of these require a lot of effort in things that I don’t really like doing. I hate ab exercises and stretching. I live in a fast-paced, high energy world. Doing exercises to failure is annoying to me and lacks structure. And contrary to other women, I don’t really want to lose weight; I just want to build muscle and strength and any weight loss that occurs is just an extra. Unfortunately, that sort of attitude won’t be as kind to my BMI as dropping kilos will.
I could stay at a BioAge of 19. It would be easy. It would be simple. I would get to continue doing the things I like. But I’m not going to do that. Instead, for the first time in a long time, I am going to grab this challenge and embrace it, purely because I want to and because I can.
They say a goal is a dream with a deadline. I have 8 weeks starting from tomorrow, and I’m going to challenge myself again, just for the sake of finding out what my body can do.