November 01, 2022

75 Hard: Day 1 (of Round 2)

Damn, I feel good!

Like, really good. Today was the first day of 75 Hard (here is the post with the details) and I was really excited to get started. It had been a while since I was running regularly, and I was just feeling ready to push myself a bit. And while 75 Hard isn't a diet or exercise challenge (it's a mental toughness challenge--building discipline), I knew that the exercise part was what I was craving the most.

Jerry just took this picture of me while I'm writing this post... I'm as exhausted as I look! Haha.

Sure, I could have just started doing exercise without the commitment of 75 Hard, but I didn't finish the challenge the first time around, and I want to try again.

I had a therapy appointment at 10:00 this morning, so I knew I wanted to get my first workout in before I had to leave home at 9:30. My first workout will probably always be a walk (or run) with Joey. I feel like it's a good way to start the day and I miss when we used to walk every morning together (five miles!).

I didn't want to walk in the dark and I'd gotten up pretty early, so I used the time to start a 75 Hard journal. It's just a very small (vegan) leather lined notebook (here is the Amazon affiliate link). For under $10, it's really nice!

I found a cute 75 Hard tracker printout online and I just printed it at a very small size; then I glued the pages into my journal. Basically, you just keep track of the 75 Hard goals by filling in the little circles each day.

I'd like to use the other pages to journal a few things related to the challenge each day: my weight and body fat percentage, what non-fiction book I'm reading, a quote from the book that I read that day, quick details of my workouts, and a food journal. It sounds like a lot, but it'll only take less than five minutes or so to write it down and it'll be nice to have a recap 75 days from now.

While I was waiting for the sun to come up, I drank a quart of water and read 10 pages from 'Running & Being' by Dr. George Sheehan. I think I'm really going to like this book! What I read today was about how we (as a people) don't enjoy the present moments as they are happening. A quote that really spoke to me: 

"Given the choice, most of us would give up the reality of today for the memory of yesterday or the fantasy of tomorrow. We desire to live anywhere but in the present."

I am 100% guilty of that--all the time. I think about how things used to be and how I wish they were still like that; and I think about the future (when I reach certain goals, in particular). But the present moment? I realized that I never really think about the present, let alone take the time to appreciate it!

Finally, Joey and I headed out for our walk. It was warm for October--the temp was 55 degrees or so--and it felt great. I listened to the audiobook 'Can't Hurt Me' by David Goggins (Amazon affiliate link). I read the book once and loved it so much that I got the audiobook, which was even better (there is more content in between chapters). And now I'm listening to it a second time. I cannot recommend this book enough!

I just pre-ordered his next book which comes out in December, and I'm excited to listen to it as well. (FYI, Goggins is not shy about using curse words, so if that's not your thing, I think there is a clean version as well.)

I have no idea how I managed it, but as my Garmin's timer was approaching 45 minutes, I was approaching my driveway. I hadn't planned a route ahead of time or tried to keep a particular pace, but managed a perfect 45-minute walk.

When I uploaded the Garmin info to my phone app, I thought something was wrong with a setting because it didn't tell me how long my heart rate was in each zone for. It showed my average heart rate and maximum, but nothing in the zones. Then I realized that was because I hadn't even reached zone one! Hahaha.

I wasn't taking a lazy stroll, either--I feel like a 16:40 pace is decent--but my heart rate averaged 107 and maxed out at 119. I'm not trying to reach heart rate goals or anything, but I found it funny. I'm going to change zone one to start at 50 bpm so at least it will register!

I scarfed down breakfast quickly so I could change clothes and brush my teeth before heading out the door for therapy. When I got home, I wanted to set up the Wii Fit U so that I could do it for my second workout; it had been a long time since I used it. When I got out the balance board, it was missing a foot--and I tore the house apart for two hours looking for the stupid thing. (I never did find it, so I just had to take the other three feet off.)

After all sorts of problems getting it set up and updated and all of that, I didn't have time to do the second workout before I had to start cooking dinner. Ideally, I'll be done with my second workout of the day by mid-afternoon. My plan for my second workouts is basically not to have a plan at all--to change things up and try to have fun with it. I'll just do whatever I feel like that day.

I mentioned a few days ago a couple of pieces of exercise equipment that I'd gotten with an Amazon gift card. Right after I wrote about it, the "hula hoop" contraption-thing arrived and I really didn't like it. It was SUPER loud--a clackety-clack noise--so I returned it and got a weighted hula hoop instead. The only ones I've ever used are the cheap plastic ones that have water in them; I had no idea that you could buy them in pieces that you put together, or that they come with a foam exterior for cushion.

I've always liked hula hooping, so I tried it out right away and wow--it was heavy! It's bigger and heavier than what I've used before, but I think it'll be a better piece of fitness equipment than the small plastic ones.

The other thing I got was a squat-like machine (photo below, because it's really hard to describe). You basically push out with your arms and squat down, then stand up and pull your arms back in. There are bands on the back to create resistance. I put it together yesterday and I had no idea how it was going to go when I used it--would I be able to do it for 30 seconds? 5 minutes? 30 minutes?

So for my second workout today, I started with the squat machine. I wanted to set a timer to at least give me something to aim for, but I had no idea what to set it for. Finally, I decided on five minutes.

Holy hell! Just 30 seconds in, my arms and shoulders were burning and my legs were on fire. My heart rate was up to 130+ in just that 30 seconds! I wanted to quit, but I kept thinking about David Goggins' book and I knew I could do the full five minutes.

My heart rate got up to 157 bpm before the timer went off. My legs were super wobbly, I was sweating, and breathing really hard. That is going to be a personal challenge for me--I'd like to try to increase my time on it. (Here is the affiliate link to the squat machine)

The hula hoop felt easy after that squat machine! My abs will feel it tomorrow, I'm sure, but I'm pretty confident my whole body is going to feel like I was run over by a truck, haha.

I had fun using the Wii--I played some of the games I used to love, like the rhythm stepping and island cycling. My heart rate was very inconsistent because of the different games, but like I said--I don't have goals for the workouts other than to exercise. It averaged 117 and maxed at 157.

Well, I'm completely wiped out now and I'm going to find a scary movie for Jerry and I to watch. It was a great first day! Let's hope my body can still move tomorrow.


  1. Sounds like an amazing day! That squat machine is so interesting, definitely looks like it would give you a great burn! Wow I totally forgot about my Wii, you're making me want to dust it off and give it another go!

  2. Okay. Between my heart issue (can't exercise until early December) and reading this, I'M EXHAUSTED! I'm so glad you're having fun. You deserve happiness and I know you love challenges. May November be a great month for you.

  3. I had a great first day as well! I know you're not a "church person", but our sermon from 2 weeks ago has been spinning in my head since I heard it and it was talking about living a deeper life. About staying where you're comfortable in the shallow water or going deeper. I don't know if this was the context that was supposed to put that sermon in...but it feels like it. Get out of your comfort zone and go deeper!


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