Last year’s gym challenge – this time with added plot twist

It’s that time of year again, where I fess up to how much exercise I did last year. If you have been following this blog for a while you will know that I do a yearly gym challenge of 150 exercise sessions. Yes 150 trips to the gym sounds like a lot, but it’s really only 3 times a week for 50 weeks of the year. It’s more doable than you might think. I bet you could do it too.

2018 was a big one for me because it was the 10th year of my gym challenge and I was turning 50 at the end of the year. I was very determined to turn 50 in as fit a shape as I could muster. Unfortunately in a lot of ways it was a bit of a stinking poop of a year. It started with a root canal and went downhill from there. I’m happy to see the back of and move on to something better. In particular I had a lot of anxiety to deal with in 2018

And what is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety? Yes, it’s exercise. So that’s how this happened:

200 trips to the gym! I know! What was I thinking? I didn’t mean to get to 200 but it just kind of happened. To deal with some tough times, I cranked up from 3 times a week at the gym to 5 or 6 times. I have very mixed feelings about this total. In some ways I guess it’s an achievement of sorts, but a very small and self-serving one. It’s hardly world changing. I’m sort of glad that I did it, but equally I wish I’d never needed to in the first place.

In December, on my 50th birthday I ran for 5k on the treadmill. I like to do some sort of bone-shaking exercise on my birthday. It gets your blood going and reminds you that, for better or worse, you’re still alive.

gym challenge 5k treadmill

That was kind of fun. I’m not a natural runner so this is as close to a marathon as I’m likely to get. Speaking of fun, while I was exercising, I enjoyed the virtual company of some terrific podcasts including The Emma Guns Show, Book Shambles and The Creative Beast.

So where do I go from here? Well, I don’t think I’ll be going for 200 gym sessions again this year. Really, it’s nuts. Who does that? Apart from a perimenopausal woman trying to outrun the next panic attack, of course. Time to find another hobby.

In 2019 I’ll go back to my original gym challenge target of 150. It seems much more manageable now, so I’ll be sticking with that. I’m still doing my weights program which I wrote about here, so I’ll be carrying on with that for at least the next few months.

I’m also doing a 30 day abs challenge for January – the main challenge being to find my abs from the nice layer of Christmas cake they are currently hiding under. This is the challenge I’m doing. Takes less than 5 minutes a day. Why don’t you give it a go? Every day is the start of the next 30 days, after all.

Have you got a gym challenge of your own? What are your exercise plans and goals for 2019? And can you recommend me a good podcast to listen to when I’m doing mine? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you

PS I realised after I wrote the post above that I sounded a bit flat about the whole thing. I think this is down to 2018 being less than stellar. And really, persisting with this gym challenge for 10 whole years is pretty good going. That’s over 1500 gym sessions completed. Some of them were only tiny little 20 minute Abs classes and some of them were full on, exhausting workouts, but they all count and I’m proud of having done them. Exercise is for everybody, and any activity you do is worth it in the long run, and it is a long run so keep at it!