Lisa’s 50 Day Wellness Challenge

It was a simple email – “Hey everyone, I’m inviting you and everyone I’ve ever known in this or past lives to devise your own wellness challenge and post a daily-ish running commentary on the ups & down’s of following it.” This prefaced a terse “Best Lisa” and a virtual maniacal giggle.

How could I refuse when I have worked so diligently to convince my friends and neighbours that I’m something of a wellness guru?

I accepted her challenge and devised a wellness protocol but you should know, it is subject to frequent change.

My first thought was to set big, hairy, audacious goals. Yes, yes, yes. Swimming pool twice a week, fitness classes x 2, skating rink x 2 – hang on a bit. I’m mad at Meadow Park and their stupid rules – especially the one stipulating that I cannot sign in for fitness class when I arrive at 7:30 am to swim. Nooooo, I have to get out of the pool and sign in at 8 am while shivering and dripping all over their entryway. I have other beefs with their policies that are equally fascinating but I digress.

Okay then, since my go-to fitness choices tend to be complicated and expensive, why don’t I keep it simple and local? Every time I use my staircase, I’ll go up and down it twice. Perhaps revisit the 100 mile diet. Oh and give up sugar. I’ll also put my locally grown potatoes & carrots one by one on the floor by the kitchen sink and bend to pick them up individually to peel for supper. That should be good for 12 deep knee bends a day…. Endless possibilities, eh?

“Right,” I thought, “Let’s get started with the stairs,” as I headed for the bedroom to get dressed. Six steps up, three on the landing and six more steps up. Turn around, go back down and come back up. Now what? Technically a goal of “going up and down the staircase twice every time I use it” would involve ‘up/down, up/down’. An astute reader will quickly ascertain that ‘up/ down, up/ down’ will leave me permanently in my pajamas at the bottom of the stairs and ‘up/down, up/down, up’ is actually 2.5 times and distressingly incomplete without the additional ‘down’. Reluctantly acknowledging this conundrum, I settled for completing the final ‘down’ when I returned to the kitchen for breakfast but you do know that it continually bugs me to have an interrupted rep, don’t you?

As I proceeded through my day, I enthusiastically expanded my protocol to include the exterior stairs of my cliff side home. In the midst of merrily upping and downing, I caught my neighbour’s housekeeper exhaling cigarette smoke through her nostrils and studying me intently through slitted eyelids. I’m pretty sure she assumed I was off my meds and feared the worst.

Embarrassed, I hastily reassessed and decided that I was still complicating matters unnecessarily. In truth, fitness is not synonymous with wellness and I could not reasonably expect to cross anything off my daily ‘to do’ lists if I was mindlessly running up and down stairs all day, every day for the next 50 days. Perhaps I could just use the inside stairs with the blinds shuttered. To make up for fewer reps, I could run instead of walk. Yikes, bleh and UGH.

Maybe I’ll give up sugar until December. So what does that really mean? All cane sugar? All added sugar? All processed sugar? Maple syrup? Fruit? No dried cranberries in my morning oatmeal? Does lactose count?

Do you see the problem? I seem to crave a protocol that involves sweat, rules and endless nit picking because the real me is a sweaty, law abiding, literal kind of a gal. These personality traits can have negative effects on blood pressure and longevity and need to be counterbalanced. I know what I must do but I confess that the possibility of failure is real and it scares me.

Jumping off a cornice here.

Tah dah…..I shall improve my state of wellness over the next 50 days by adding formal periods of stillness to my daily routines. I shall slide from bed to floor at promptly 6:30 am daily, assume the position, clear my mind and meditate. I shall finish with a resounding, soul satisfying ‘oooooooooohm’ twenty minutes later and make an honest reporting of my success or failure promptly over coffee and social media. Whaddya think? Maybe should I  give up my electronic devices too? Coffee? Cream in my coffee?

For sure, I think I’ll give up sugar for 50 days. I’ll keep you posted.


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