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bilbl_superI had so much fun challenging myself to the Tone It Up #150bysummer goal (I exceeded it by 5 miles and logged 155 miles) that I didn’t want to see it end right when summer is just starting.

For me, summer is the time that I get in lots of daily workouts, because:

  • it’s something I can do by myself or with friends
  • it gets me outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather
  • it’s very inexpensive
  • it fills my time off in a very productive way
  • I love the way I feel while/after I’m working out

This morning on FB, Kandis TIU, who is a huge supporter of the entire TIU Community, made an adorable chart for tracking our cardio miles. She purposely made it blank at the top so that we could edit it and use it for our own purposes.  So, I thought I’d put out a summer challenge that we can all do together.

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Bella’s Summer Challenge: #150byBacktoSchool

The way the TIU miles work is simple.  If you can count miles, like when you’re walking or running, do that. If you’re biking, you’re supposed to divide your mileage by 3 (so if you biked for 12 miles, you’d only count 4 miles into your totals). If you’re doing a class or some other form of cardio, 1 mile = 10 minutes of intense cardio.

Since I was able to do 155 miles in the 8 weeks of the Bikini Series (and that was with me taking about a week and a half off), I figured we should all be able to log 150 miles in the 8 weeks between now and the time I go back to school, August 15th (my first teacher workday). I’ll be using Instagram/Twitter to keep myself accountable, using the hashtags: #150byBacktoSchool and #BellasSummerChallenge. Be sure to tag me @bellablogger on Instagram or Twitter so that I can see how well you’re doing.  And because I love incentives, I’ll be doing a small giveaway for the people who log the most miles/check in often.

Use the chart above and mark off your miles each day, along with a pic of you doing the activity, and a cool quote, if you’d like.  My favorite apps to jazz up photos are Rhonna Designs, A Beautiful Mess, and InstaPic Frames. I’ll post my favorites each week on this blog, along with my totals so far so that we can encourage each other.

Are you in?

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reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 5: Challenge
Did you take on a new challenge?  What was it?  Is there are challenge you deliberately avoided?  What do you want to do to challenge yourself in 2014?

The biggest challenge I faced and overcame in 2013 was meeting the weight loss requirement for my surgery.  It took me over 2 1/2 years to lose the weight – persistence and perseverance were key.  I failed so many times, but I never allowed those failures to get the better of me for too long.  Through lots of ups and downs, on the scale and mentally, I finally just decided to stop making excuses and start following the steps I knew would work.

In my career, I have taken on the challenge of teaching a totally new class – AVID.  It meant a commitment of four years to follow my cohort of students from freshmen year through graduation. It meant adding another prep – I teach four very different classes – English 3 honors, journalism, yearbook, and AVID.  (Most teachers teach two preps, maybe three). It meant spending a lot more time prepping for this entirely new class, which meant my work life became a lot busier. It also meant that I had to work with freshmen, who require a whole new level of patience to deal with students who are squirmy and silly and completely fun.  Although there have been moments where I’ve wondered if all the added time and work were worth it, ultimately, when I see the impact I’m having on the students’ lives, I know it is.

I’ve also challenged myself to start running.  I very recently (just last week) began the C25K program, and while it has been physically challenging, it’s not impossible, as it has been in the past. I love moving my body in this whole new way, and while I’m not breaking any records in terms of speed, I’m breaking through so many boundaries personally.  It’s exciting!

In 2014, one of my main challenges is to explore new hobbies.  I’ve focused for so long on weight loss, and while I still have a ways to go to get to my goals in that area, now that I’ve got it “down,” I want to start focus my energies on new areas of my life.  I’ve been so single-minded for so long in my personal life that I’m not sure what I might end up getting into, but I think that’s the fun of it.  The ideas I have are all things that take me out of the house and get me meeting new people:

  • Taking an Italian conversation class.  I’m so into my heritage in all other aspects, and I think learning the language is an important next step.
  • Joining a local run club.  Their program that lasts 28 weeks, has Saturday group runs, and a running schedule to follow during the week.
  • Reading more books, and maybe joining a book club.  This year I’ve been absolutely awful at reading books, even though I love to read, so I’m thinking that if I had a deadline and the expectation of discussing the book on a certain date, that would help.  I need to find out where I can find book clubs meeting in my area.
  • Taking some sort of art journaling/scrapbooking class that will tap into my creative side.
  • A dance class would be a great way meet people, do something physical, and have a lot of fun.

I’m interested in seeing what other challenges I find myself facing in 2014.

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I had a great week this week, and did something that I’ve never done before.  I liked it so much that I’m going to repeat it at least 3 times.  To find out more, watch:

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For those of you interested in following along with my videos to the YouTube challenge I’m participating in, feel free to watch this video.

Week 2 mini goal: getting in 60 minutes of exercise, 6 days a week, with a minimum of 30 of those minutes coming from “intense” workouts.

The photo I mention in the video is this one (click it to see it full size):

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