Helen! And a personal testimonial about the Whole Life Challenge.
If you’ve been to any class in the past several weeks, you’ve no doubt heard us talk about the Whole Life Challenge. We’ve announced the date, told you how to register, and gave you a brief (unless it was myself or Tait talking) description about what it consists of. But maybe our “brief” descriptions still left you with some questions and you haven’t had the time to grab any of us outside of class to elaborate for you. Well, first, let me give it to you in the words of the creators of the WLC themselves:
The Whole Life Challenge is an 8-week, no holds barred, personal game/challenge to see what sort of impact you can have on your health, fitness, and daily lifestyle habits. It’s played online with your friends, family, and anyone that will help you be accountable, and trains you to stay “awake”… to make daily choices that support your long-term health, life and vitality.
Playing the game means taking a snapshot of where you are at the start then looking at your life each day and scoring yourself for specific nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle activities. The game gives you immediate feedback as to what sort of impact the actions you’ve chosen that day will have on your health and fitness. It’s definitely not a routine – it’s meant to flow with your life, operating in the background with you, at all times, wherever you go. The playing board, while literally online, is in reality, your life. At the end, take another snapshot – and get a very real idea of just the sort of impact you’ve made.
The Whole Life Challenge – it will change, revolutionize and transform your body and your life.
It began with the notion that regular training for your lifestyle in the world is as valuable as regular training for your body in the gym. It grew into a game in which your world is the field, your choices are the movements, and your life is the prize.
The Whole Life Challenge is not something you win in the way you are used to winning something. The Whole Life Challenge is not a competition like any you’ve ever taken part in. This is not the Olympics. The goal is not to be perfect. The goal is to be honest and create from there. You won’t best the other players or beat the competition. Make no mistake, however, this is a game and you can win.
The Whole Life Challenge is a brand new way of looking at your life. Your whole life. How does it work? Where are your opportunities? What does a life lived inside of a commitment to real, long term, sustainable, practical health, fitness, and overall well-being look like? It certainly isn’t about beating your brains out in the gym day after day. It can’t be about a restrictive, ascetic dietary regimen. And it definitely isn’t living like your health is a problem to solve and your life is something to fix.
The Whole Life Challenge is an extraordinary tool. For building. It doesn’t fix anything — it only builds new things. What do you want your life to look like? What excites you, enlivens you? This challenge will have you living a life where you can have it all. You want vibrant health and you want to enjoy all of the exciting things the world offers — work that rewards and play that rewards. When this is over, your work will be integrated with your play. They will cause and support each other, they will no longer sabotage each other.
Play this game like you want to know, not like you already know. Be great — Own your perfect days and your breakdown days. Be clear about what works and what doesn’t work. See where you can make a difference that lasts longer than the 8 weeks of the challenge. Do that, and you will transform your life more than you imagine. You can have it all. This is where it starts.
Welcome to the Whole Life Challenge — What will you build with it?
Now you may be wondering to yourself, “Ok, sounds interesting, but what am I going to get out of it, specifically? What is my incentive for doing it?” Well, for one, everybody who registers for the WLC gets an extra class per week added onto their membership. (Rad, right?) Outside of that, I can’t tell you specifically what you’ll get out of it. That’s part of the beauty of it; everyone gets something different. (If you ask Tait, he’ll tell you that he got something different out of it each of the 4 times he’s participated in it.) What I can tell you is what I got out of it.
I think I was one of the very few people who went into the Challenge really excited to do it. I knew the beginning was going to be rough, but I also knew that after the initial week or so, the results were going to be awesome and I’m always down to go outside my comfort zone and try something new and exciting. I also went in thinking that I wasn’t actually going to have to make that much of a change to my lifestyle. I. Was. Wrong. Like most people in the CrossFit world, I keep a pretty good Paleo standard diet. (I wouldn’t ever order anything with flour, but if I happen across some nachos, well, to say no to them would just be rude. And we can’t have that.) But the standard set within the WLC looked at my previous standard, pointed, and laughed hysterically.
Within the first week, I was feeling better than I’ve ever felt before. Physically speaking. Emotionally is a different story. (Read: sugar withdrawals are a bitch.) A few weeks in and I could feel my athleticism reaching levels it had never been before. The first big revelation was in a partner wod. My partner and I were approaching the end of the wod that involved doing 100 burpees and a 400m run carrying a med ball (split between the two of us). After we reached about 70 burpees, I could see how fatigued my partner was and (mid burpee) thought to myself, “I can keep going.” and called to my partner to get ready for the run, I would finish the burpees. I finished the burpees faster than I’ve ever done burpees before and sprinted the last 200m. Afterward, I experienced something I have never experience before; I got compliments on the speed, agility, and efficiency of my burpees. Not long after that, I was able to do kipping handstand push ups. After that, butterfly pull ups. Somewhere in there, my overhead squat pr jumped 40 pounds. Every day I had more energy and positivity than I’ve ever known before. Every night, I had a more peaceful, deep sleep than ever before.
All those things are just the physical aspects of all the things I got out of the WLC. I also can’t really describe how fun it is to be involved in some specific activity with dozens of my fellow athletes. (Thousands if you count everybody all over the world participating.) The joining together and sharing recipes, tips on restaurants that are WLC compliant, and supporting one another in our struggles of not ordering the fully loaded nachos as an appetizer. Lastly, anybody who knows me can tell you how much of an internet/social network addict I am so the whole part of logging on to the site every day, logging my score, and reading through everyone’s reflections was more fun for me than it was probably intended to be.
These are the things I got out of doing the WLC. Everyone you ask might (will probably) have a completely different story than me. In fact, I highly encourage everyone who does to share their stories with us so that we can share them with everyone else. I can hardly contain my excitement for the upcoming WLC Spring Throwdown and am really looking forward to sharing in this experience with everyone from the last one and everyone doing it for the first time!
(Link to register is here: https://www.wholelifechallenge.com/wlc2013/join_with_affiliate/undisputedfitness)