Several months ago a man named Andy Frisella came up with the concept of 75hard. I had been an avid listener of his podcast for sometime and had been tossing around the idea of doing the challenge. While a large portion of this challenge is physical it is really designed to be a mental challenge. I did know that if I was going to do it I would be all in. I followed many people attempting this. I got a good idea what this would take for me to accomplish and I began to get mentally ready. This took a bit. It consists of five relatively simple tasks that are to be done daily for 75 days if you fail at even one you start over. I had heard that most people wont even attempt let alone finish the challenge. Over a year ago at least, I wrote on my mirror at home and I read at least once a day. I can do anything I put my mind to I create it. I am good guy and a badass mother f*cker. I will do the work to achieve this. The story I believe the most about myself determines who I am, who I am determines what I am capable of. I tell you this because I already had a strong believe in what I could do. Could doing 75 hard add to this? These are the rules:
1. Follow a diet. This was really any diet of your choosing. Zero alcohol.
2. Work out 2 times a day for 45 minutes. One of these workouts must be outside.
3. Drink a gallon of water a day.
4. Read 10 pages of a self help book.
5. Take a progress pic a day
Motivation can be a weird thing. Mostly in how we get it and choose to use it to our advantage. Many of us have lots of different ways to get motivated. Some use accountability, support, fear, and results or progress to name a few. Mine came by the way of someone telling me I couldn’t! A local writer, public speaker, entrepreneur, and life coach who had just completed the 75 hard challenge, basically said most of you won’t even try let alone complete this challenge! While this gentleman has probably positively helped thousands, the way he said this I perceived as him thinking he was better than me and most other people attempting the 75hard. He went off about how we wouldn’t finish this challenge and that he was special. I took this personally. Who the f$ck is he? He was no better than me. I am extremely grateful that he unknowingly was my initial motivation. So I set a date and it was on!
1. I chose to be in a deficit calorically daily, eat clean, no sweets (like ice cream I love ice cream), consume as close as possible 200 grams of protein a day. I sit in an office a lot of the day. With this challenge I burned 3000-4000 calories a day. I decided to stay below 3000 calories a day to be safe. I hate counting calories. So I found a few meals and counted those calories and that’s what I ate for 2 ½ months. I had long since left my relationship with alcohol so this wasn’t a big deal.
2. I walked nearly every morning at 5:30. I invested in a 30 lb. vest and added that to my routine. Lifted 5 days a week. Played basketball, Wallyball, Softball, and walked some more. This forced me to get creative. I ran out of things to do after working out 14 times a week.
3. This was hands down the most difficult part for me. I like water just fine. But a gallon? I started carrying around a gallon jug daily. I hated this. I eventually found a forty oz. container that I liked and used it. There are 128 oz. of water in a gallon. So the math doesn’t quite get to 128. So I would usually slam some at night if needed. On a good night I would only have to get up once or twice to take a leak.
4. I loved this part. I had really never been a big reader until a few years ago. This was just awesome!
5. It is nice to see the progress and not remembering to do it could ruin your entire challenge. Remember to do the little things. They count too. So I sometimes took two or even three if I wasn’t sure.
My results were two fold in the form of measurable and immeasurable outcomes:
My Weight was 211.6 when I started. I ended at 200.7. So
I said goodbye to 10.9 lbs.
My body fat 2 weeks into the challenge was 11.6 (I really wish I would have thought of this at the start to have a better baseline). I ended at 8.6. That’s 25 % of my total body fat just to put this in perspective.
I read all or part of these books: As a Man Thinketh, The Richest Man In Babylon, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Refuge Recovery, and The Book of Joy.
There are others but they aren’t really that important.
This to me is why I did 75hard and what it is all about.
Intention-I had to be intentional every day to successfully complete this. I had to plan my day out to the letter. This didn’t mean that if something came up I couldn’t be flexible and work around it. But for the most part to get my workouts in, eat correctly, read, and get that damn water down, and take a selfie I had to plan it. Hell I carried a water jug around with me all day long. This was a constant reminder to me of doing the little things to accomplish a goal are important and that I had a goal to accomplish.
Sacrifice– Like many of you I have a very busy life. Five busy teenagers all active in athletics, married, and a full time demanding job. Sometimes the last thing that I wanted to do was read or workout. I wanted to sleep, go out, sit on the couch and watch a movie, go to kids games. While I did my best to do what I could. Sometimes I had to choose and make a sacrifice. I got the pleasure of doing lots of walking outdoors. Many times if I wanted to accomplish my goal needed to do it in the rain, cold, when I was sore and tired. Things that are worth doing will take sacrifice.
Untapped Potential: I saved this part for last. So those of you that have continued reading get the best part. With a couple weeks left in 75hard I had been playing in a pick up basketball game with a couple of my boys. (Something I wouldn’t be doing if I weren’t doing the challenge). I decided I would attempt to grab the rim. I’m closer to 44 than 43 have had a full ACL replacement a couple years ago. I haven’t played a lot of basketball since High School and haven’t dunked since I was probably 21. I ended up jumping high enough to dunk the basketball and grabbed the rim two handed with ease. I did attempt to dunk it later but I can’t palm the basketball and needed a lob to throw it down. I just got bad passes. I will dunk it soon. I told a friend about this great accomplishment. Which I think is pretty cool! He laughed and asked if this was how I measured success? The answer is no. This is simply a side effect of 75 hard. To me success is simply setting out to actively accomplish a goal that has some meaning. The side effects of trying to accomplish these goals through intention, hard work, sacrifice, and discipline are the things like nearly dunking a basketball, looking fantastic naked, good health, money, fame, etc. Nearly dunking a basketball wasn’t even on my radar. I didn’t even think it was possible. So what else isn’t on my radar? What else am I capable of? Am I being held back on some of these things because of my limiting beliefs ,illusionary fears, and stories I tell myself about myself? Think about this for a second. ………………..Dunking the basketball was just the tip of the ice burg and doesn’t mean shit! What about all the other areas of my life whether in relationships, work, mentally, or spiritually is this untapped and unrealized potential?
There are multiple phases of 75hard. Each one gets more demanding. Even with my newfound knowledge I find that I have been hesitant on doing the next phase. I find myself saying things like it is getting to cold outside to workout. The snow will be horrible. I don’t know if a can take a 5-minute cold shower. Bottom line is I’m saying it’s too hard. That is just my mind wanting to be comfy. I encourage all to take a step out of their comfort zone and truly see what they can be capable of and am truly grateful for the gifts that 75hard has shown me.