Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Goal Accomplished

Your core supports the whole body. Explore ways to keep it strong. I say...Explore Bikram!

Hi guys! Last night I completed Day 30 of the Challenge. Yay! Below please enjoy a recap of my experience.

November 1st 2009 the new owner of our studio, Chris, asked if I would be participating in the 30 Day Challenge starting on that day. He said you’re here all the time anyway. I said I’d love to but couldn’t because the latest class on Friday is 4:30 and I can’t make it there by that time with work and all. Stacey agreed and we were both like...Damn! Oh well. Too bad. Secretly thinking, WHEW dodged that one. And just like that Chris says, well then I’ll just add a 6:30pm! All this happened before class that Sunday morning. Uhhhh, yeah, let me process that. I’m the type that if I accept a challenge or set a goal I won’t give up. So before I accepted the challenge I needed to be 100% on board in my head. After class the teacher Sarah and I were talking, she stops mid sentence...Wait, why isn’t your name up there? And just like that I write my name below Stacey’s and also add Sarah’s to the board. Call it a little peer pressure, perhaps, but it was the push I needed. I wanted to do it, but was honestly a little worried about committing myself. Every day. Every single day. No days off. All right Traci let’s do this!

And so it began. I remember how lonely that single red check mark looked beside my name on the big board at the studio that 1st class. Only 29 more! One day at a time, one class at a time. That’s what I kept saying to myself. Would I recommend this to anyone else? Well, you’ll just have to read through this post to get that answer my friends.

Here’s how the month went. I printed out a Challenge calendar and hung it in my office at work. Every day I’d highlight in pink the day that was done. Everyone coming into my office asked what it was. Now I had all these people knowing my goal and asking about it almost daily. Accountability folks! Every time I’d have a weak moment and not want to go to class after a long, tough day at work, my colleague Rachel would exclaim “Traci you have to...Your Challenge!” Kind of became a running joke, but really it did motivate me to keep on going. Thanks Rache.

In the beginning my Mom thought I was crazy, that it was too much. I tried to explain that you can’t do too much yoga. As some of you know I have had really bad back pain for several years. Nothing alleviated it. I just lived with it. Ran through it 5-6 days a week anywhere from 20-40 miles a week. But during the challenge a wonderful thing happened. One day I realized...Wait, I’m not in pain. I could get out of bed like a normal person! Wow! My little sis Erin told our Mom...Let her go, this Bikram this is working magic. It’s good for her! And so my Mom became my Bikram Cheerleader! She’d hear none of my weak moments from here on. Nothing but tough love and motivation. Thanks Mom, you know you’re my favorite person in the whole world, right?

Let’s talk about some goals I set for the challenge. Goal setting is important to me.

One goal I set for myself was to do 30 CLASSES in 30 DAYS. That meant no doubles. I needed to get to the studio everyday, no excuses. I know it’s different for everyone, but it was an important one for me. To prove to myself that I could practice every single day. That both my mind and body were strong enough to do it (or at least would be!).

2nd set of Goals: To target certain postures. Standing Bow was #1. My goal was to hold it longer, kick out harder, kick back and up correctly, to get my chest and body down, to get my chin over my shoulder (ok really just to do the posture the right way I guess). Standing Head to Knee (added this a bit into the 30 Days) and Triangle rounded out the standing series goals for me. Floor series, I quite simply wanted to get to know and love the entire spine strengthening more. So much to work on!

So how’d I do? Let’s take a closer look and find out shall we?

30 classes. 30 days. No days off and no excuses. 30 days in a row. Done! I think I feel best about accomplishing this goal. In all my years of working out and running I have at a minimum always taken at least one day off a week. 30 days, no breaks seemed a bit daunting to me in the beginning. But you know what? The more I got into it, the easier it was. Oh sure some practices were better than others, some days just purely, well let’s be honest here, they sucked, some days absolutely rocked and left me feeling I could take on the world! And really when I think about it I needed those though days to give me the strength and determination to have those rock star days. To look myself in the eye in that studio mirror and say...Do NOT give up on the posture. If you fall out, ok. That's cool. But don’t just give up.

People practicing behind me in class began telling me they love watching me, that I motivate them and give them the energy to keep going. God I love that. That just gives me more motivation to practice stronger, better and continue to be that motivation for them.

2. Posture goals: Yeah, still working on ALL of the above. But I’ll definitely say I have made big progress. Just when I was so frustrated with Standing Head to Knee, a guy in class complimented me on it! I’ll take it...and keep working on it! As we say we have a lifetime to work on our yoga. There’s no rush. I use to dread the spine series on the floor. I've come to terms with it and now embrace it. Love what it has done for my back so far.

I’ll bottom line it folks. I just completed my 1st 30 Day Challenge. When someone recommends something, anything, it’s very telling. It tells me they had a great experience and got a great deal of satisfaction from it. So am I recommending a 30 Day (or 60, or 90 or 101 Day) Challenge to anyone who has not yet done one? I’ll answer that with a very BIG YES. Give it a shot, what do you have to loose? It’s a great personal accomplishment. It truly is. Not only is it a great accomplishment but you’ll notice changes in your body. Just another added bonus for this great thing we do every day. I haven’t seen my family since beofre the challenge began and they were surprised on Thanksgiving to see the muscle in my arms and legs. To quote my sis Kellie “Look at the arm muscles coming through her sweater (as she squeezes my arm). Who would have thought Yoga could do that? Huh!” Kellie cracks me up. It’s like she doesn’t have the edit function sometimes, but you know what she says is what she means. Great. Love ya Kiki.

A final note on the Challenge and our studio. And maybe I am being a tad picky here. I know this Challenge was a personal goal, but I was a bit disappointed our Studio didn’t even announce congrats to those who completed it. If I didn’t mention it on my way out the door last night to the studio owner it would have never been brought up. Struck me as odd. Dale Carnegie taught us how far a little praise and acknowledgement can go. People generally like to be commended and recognized for their efforts. So for it not to even be mentioned just seemed unusual to me. The studio should try some different things during the next challenge. Just a suggestion. I make a point to commend people all the time for the smallest things at work and trust me it goes a long way. It makes them feel they accomplished something great. Who doesn’t like to hear they did a great job? But you guys know I love my studio and all the great things I've said about it so this is minor.

Bikram is a gift. A beautiful gift we give to ourselves. No, there’s no little blue box (still love the little blue box though and would LOVE one for Christmas) or fancy ribbons or sparkly glitter. Just hard work, determination and sweat...Lots and lots of sweat. It's not easy, not at all.  I know how lucky I am to have found Bikram, how lucky I am to be able to practice it every day, how lucky I am to sweat every day, how lucky I am to see all these people I practice along side of working so hard to better themselves.

So what’s up next? Well, I’ll of course continue to practice my Bikram. And run. I need to create a good balance and mix of my two loves. Maybe do another 30 Day Challenge after the first of the year? I have to say you guys in the blogging community are truly amazing. You all motivate me every single day with your practices and your dedication. I plan on continuing my blog, sharing my experiences in the HOT room with you all, asking for suggestions on my practice etc. Hope you don’t mind but I’ll also talk about other things that pop up in life from time to time. Thanks to all for your support theses past 30 days!

Final words today...“Resist the urge to overanalyze every experience. LIVE each moment instead.” I tend to overanalyze everything, so this is a great one for me!

Cheers to all....Traci


  1. During my first 60 day challenge I did not have my blog yet. My second challenge I fired it up....and never stopped blogging. The blogging community is so supportive. Glad you are sticking around. You are amazing and I'm so glad you were "peer pressured" into doing this 30 day challenge. Next year, a 60 perhaps? ;)

  2. Awesome Traci, just awesome. Congrats! Only a handful of people at my studio completed the last 30 day challenge (including me of course), and half of them were teachers, so it's a big deal, believe me! I know people that have practiced for a years and haven't done a 30 day challenge, so it's definitely something to be proud off. You inspire me. Thank you.

  3. BYC: Like Bikram, this blogging this is so addictive...In a good way of course! 60 is sounding pretty good. :)

    G: Thanks so, so much. You're the best! And YOU inspire ME!

    And guess what guys? I just interviewed a candidate and both he and his wife practice Bikram! Well now! Set the stage for a wonderful interview discussion. I think I should hire him right now ;)

  4. Good job Traci. You did it!!! Keep practicing and keep blogging. Stay connected. I am sure you'll find a way to do both Bikram and running. My same loves :) Good luck with everything!!

  5. Thanks Cirita! You have been such a postive voice during my challenge. Truly appreciate it. Good luck with the remainder of your 60 Days as well. Your so close!

  6. Awww... you did soooooooooooo good, Traci! I'm so happy for you! And I just love the fact that your mom "got it" and started kicking your butt to make you go to class. It's so great that your family is behind you. And yes, you must stick around. As Bikram says at the end of his book... welcome to your new life. :)

  7. Thanks J! Families are great aren't they? Is that the orange book? I love that book!

  8. Blue book! "Welcome to your new life, Terry Two," if I'm remembering it right.