I had heard it said, "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." Fourteen weeks on The Biggest Loser ranch and I have been challenged in a million ways, big and small. I've gone as far as a person can go on the show. I've risen to the demands of each day, each workout, each setback, each growing challenge and I have succeeded. I have learned about true success, being nothing more and nothing less than a few simple disciplines practiced daily. And CHALLENGES are the gateway to the next level of growth, a launching pad for our potential, and a decision to define our own destiny.
I was desperate for change when the casting team rolled through my region. I was scared to death to put myself out there, but more scared of what would happen to me if I didn't. When I was finally chosen as a Season 15 contestant, I was terrified to see if I had what it would take to make the changes I had only dreamed about. I was blessed to be picked by Dolvett as my trainer and together he helped me see a way from where I was to where I wanted to be by the finale. He believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. Dolvett challenged me in ways my inner voice told me "you can't do that", right before he watched and celebrated me doing that very thing.
Three months ago I find myself doing laps in the Biggest Loser pool, training with my new red team partner Rachel. We spent time talking about how we might train outside the ranch, either to reach our finale goals, or as a means of maintaining new healthy lifestyles. We talked about how both of us could see ourselves signing up for a Triathlon - challenge accepted!
From that day forward, we trained like Triathletes, the best we knew how at the time. By Week 10, Alison reveals to the remaining contestants we would be competing in the first ever Biggest Loser Sprint Triathlon with the winner securing a spot in the finale. At the news, Rachel and I lock eyes and exchange a smile. Today I am a Triathlete, all because I was willing to challenge myself beyond my current limitations. And this is my strategy for maintaining my new healthy lifestyle. I must always have a race to train for, a physical goal to achieve, or a challenge to accept. Today I do what I can, so tomorrow I can do what I want.... And this is where you come in.
On my Facebook fan page, I have started the 1Stronger Challenge. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to find a race, an event, a challenge being held in your area in the next 60 to120 days, and commit - Today! You may not see how you will be able to compete in a Sprint Triathlon or polar plunge or a Biggest Loser Run/Walk, and that is the point. It should challenge you to start doing something today in preparation for the event down the road. And when you sign up, go back to my Facebook fan page to post what you signed up for so we can all share support, accountability and motivation every step of the way. As Dolvett did for me, consider this my personal challenge to each of you. Yes you can!
And so you know I'm in it with you, I signed up for my first "official" run ever, The Oklahoma City Memorial marathon. Last year I attended this race to support my wife, and was completely out of breath walking from the parking lot to the grandstands. This year, I am registered to run the full marathon 26.2 miles... What a difference those small, intentional and compounding steps can make. Today I'm a marathon runner in training. Tomorrow I'll be a marathoner, ready for my next challenge. And one day, in the not-so-distant future, I'll be an IronMan.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you, the seemingly endless number of people who have shown support to me on this journey of healing and health. I am humbled and thankful beyond words. I hope my story has inspired you to make healthy changes in your own life, to deal with the broken pieces of your past that may still need your attention, to fall in love with the person in the mirror again, and know you are worth it. I pray each of you challenge yourself daily, so you feel alive again, while also learning just how strong you are. It's not about having time, it's about making time, for you, for your future self, for the many challenges that await, and the life you always knew was yours... Challenge accepted!