30 day challenges
November 15, 2018
30 Days of CrossFit
The alarm blares as I angrily get up to shut it off. It’s 5:20 a.m. and I’m completplating my entire existence as I bregrudling get ready to go to CrossFit at Oak Ridge (CFOR).
For the past 30 days I have drudged through rain, cold, and darkness to go do an hour of the hardest workouts I’ve done in my life.
I’ve realized through this that I love metcon workouts (metabolic burn) and absolutely hate deadlifts. But I have enjoyed the multifarious and ever-changing workouts sets we do every day.
After 4 weeks of this routine, I have seen a huge boost of energy during my day, but only modest gains in physique. I attribute this most my terrible diet. Clearly, even if you were workout every single day, if you don’t eat right you will not lose weight and improve.
I plan on continuing to workout at CFOR. I enjoyed the satisfying soreness after each workout, but moving forward I realize that we must make sure we eat healthy food.
30 days vegetarian
During any normal month, I typically don’t eat a lot of meat. Mostly because I don’t enjoy it, so I figured how hard could it be to cut all meat out?
Before starting this challenge I made sure I was prepared with plenty of vegetarian meals so that I would not have to rely on meat at any time. Many of the meals were very vegetable heavy, especially with beans. I also made sure I had protein bars and nuts as a backup for school lunches.
The first week was not all that different, I ate lots of new foods that tasted good and were healthier than what I’d typically eat. It was a lot of work though, with all the cooking and preparing vegetables it became a time commitment.
Every Sunday night before the school week i’d spend time making nice meals for the whole week, full of bags of vegetables and nuts. It made me question why I didn’t do that when I was eating meat; there was no question about it being healthier and I was really only changing one aspect of my meal.
Though I didn’t see any major changes, I noticed that after eating I was much less lethargic and had more energy. It also made me acutely aware of the nutrients and protein I was consuming.
The second week became a little harder as I struggled to come up with meals and new things to eat. It also became progressively harder as I watched my family eating meat almost every night.
The third and fourth week of the challenge went by relatively quickly as I adjusted to the no meat lifestyle. It was a routine now for me to spend time on my meals and they were tremendously healthier.
The main challenge really came whenever my family and I decided to go out to eat. Vegetarian meals are not always the most appetizing or easiest to get at the most popular restaurants and fast food chains.
Overall this challenge was a very positive experience for me, it allowed me to experience a new lifestyle change and to see how no meat would really affect my body.
I would say that it did not dramatically alter my way of thinking or how I felt on a day to day basis but I did notice minor changes such as how I felt after eating that make me consider making this lifestyle change permanent.
30 days of cold showers
8 p.m. rolls around and I brace myself for the coldest three minutes of my life. Reluctantly stepping into the ice chamber, I try to mentally prepare myself.
Let’s get one thing straight– I’m the first skeptic of any internet trend. With health fads that sweep the internet, many of them do not yield noticeable results. A supposed benefit of taking cold showers is improved mood, but nothing has ever put me in a worse mood than taking a shower with the knob on cold for 30 days.
However, I do admit that my energy levels skyrocketed. By the time I finished my shower, I was rejuvenated and ready to take on the day… For about half an hour, and then I was back to my usual self.
I timed my showers throughout this challenge, and they averaged to less than three minutes each, which is a world of difference compared to my 10-15 minute hot showers. The amount of water that taking cold showers saves could be a reason in itself to do this 30-day challenge, but other than that, the consequences definitely outweigh the benefits.
Maybe this would be more appealing in warmer months, but now that the weather is cooler, the initial shock of the cold water was exponentially worse than if I was warm to begin with. Day after day, I would get out of the shower and my lips were purple.
I thought after a while that my body would adjust to the temperature difference, but the chill of the water made me feel like I was going to turn into a solid ice cube. I don’t think I have ever been less excited to do anything.
Holistically, the results were not major. However, the self discipline this challenge took definitely taught me mental strength.