The Everyman: A 29-Day Challenge

Missing a workout during a daily challenge isn't the end of the world, Jason Devaney writes.

By not fully completing a task, does that classify as a failure?

I asked myself this question after missing a workout during January’s #RUNCM30, a 30-day fitness challenge set up by us folks here at Competitor. Days 1-13 went off without a hitch, filled with runs, gym workouts, snow shoveling and even chopping wood.

Day 14, however, was a wash.

I’ll spare you the details, but I wasn’t able to get in a workout on Jan. 14. Not even a single pushup or a 100-meter run.


But I’m not letting this ruin my month. I woke up this morning and made a promise to myself to continue with the challenge, which means getting off my rear end and doing something today. With the gravel roads near my house still glazed over with ice, it looks like I’ll be heading to the gym this afternoon for a quick workout.

If someone vows to do something that extends over a certain number of days, and “doing something” doesn’t happen on one of the days, is the challenge over? Did the person fail?

The answer, of course, is no. The point of this challenge is not necessarily to do something every day, but rather to get people moving and motivated. All too often, people make empty promises to themselves at the turn of a new year to get in shape and eat healthier. A challenge such as this instills good habits that hopefully will become automatic come Feb. 1, not a fad that wears off.

I doubt I’m the only person in the #RUNCM30 challenge who has missed a day. And if someone chooses to modify it so that they take 2-3 days off a week, that’s OK in my book.

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But if you are struggling with finding the time or motivation to work out daily, here’s an idea: Sign up for a race. If you’re a new runner, find a 5K in February or March. More advanced runners can look for a 10K or even a half marathon around the same time. Having a race to train can provide that extra booster shot you need to get out the door.

And if you’re stuck inside for a few days because of lousy winter weather, here are a few things you can do at home without any weight:

— Body weight squats
— Pushups
— Lunges
— Planks
— Burpees
— Yoga
— Climbing stairs
— Chopping wood
— Shoveling snow

And the list goes on.

Now get to it.

Are you participating in the #RUNCM30 challenge? Tweet me at @jason_devaney1 and share your progress.