:: 21 Day Challenge :: Why I Did It

I believe that people come into our life for a reason. For us, them and all the connected people. I believe each and every one of us has a purpose.

I met Ashley over 6 years ago, but we never totally connected until I left corporate America and started searching for my purpose in 2016.

I’ve always been in awe of her chosen profession and the pressure associated with it. The sacrifices she makes serving our community are tough on her and her family. She was superhero strong to me before she even started at the gym. I have a tremendous amount of respect for our first responders. All of them. Huge. Thank you all 🙏🏼

Ash has watched me suffer over the past couple years. She’s always talked about the gym, but never shoved it down my throat. I went to watch her for a bit at her Endeavor challenge last year because I was so proud of her hard work.

This year has been tough on me. Mid thirties are tough. Husband, kids, dogs, money, family, people, places, things… the struggle is so real. I’ve been sad for awhile. Out of alignment. Big time.

On May 8, my emotions pinned me to the floor and struggled to get back up. I texted Ash and told her I wasn’t comfortable with my thoughts anymore. She called me and we talked. She gave me straightforward answers to my emergency medical help questions. She did not fluffy sugarcoat anything. That’s what I needed.

Ashley committed to helping me however she could. She mentioned the gym. I told her I’m willing to do anything to help myself, but that I was very scared.

Somewhere between May 8 and May 20, Ashley tagged me in the 21 day challenge post and sent me a text about maybe signing me up for something. Sneaky sneaky. But I had to do the work to sign up. She didn’t force me. It all unfolded and I committed.

Ashley told me what class to schedule. She picked me up in my woods. She introduced me to her people. She literally shepherded me around for 3 weeks. She really is the ultimate gym buddy. If she couldn’t help me, she left me in someone’s hands. I am her little lamb 😂 I trusted her every move. I knew I wasn’t going to die because she’s a professional at saving lives and I just needed to do the things.

So yeah. I cried for help. Metaphorically I called 911. Ashley came, scooped me up and gave me a taste of her chosen medicine. It’s working on me right now. It’s so good on so many levels.

I learned that the gym is not just the building where you workout, it’s where community is built. It’s like a church or temple – where you all go for a common purpose, regardless of your struggles, you go to become a better version of yourself. Sometimes you pray to the high heavens that the timer buzzes soon. It’s where egos are both killed and tickled. Where energy is shared and people sweat. A lot.

I signed up for a membership after my 21 day challenge. I can’t stop because of the momentum and I won’t stop because of my drive 💥👊🏼💥 Stepping out of your comfort zone is the hardest thing ever. It’s been a ride and I’m going to keep stepping.

The first step in changing your life is to change your environment. I had to be removed from the comfort of my woods to make the changes I needed to help better myself.

It wouldn’t have happened without Ashley and I’m forever grateful. Thank you, girl 🙏🏼 You know I got you. In all the ways.

People come into our lives for a reason. I only hope I can pay it forward and help someone like Ashley has helped me. I’ve got goals 💖☠️💜

:: 21 Day Challenge :: THE RESULTS

Three weeks ago I joined a challenge at Ashley’s gym, 100% free of charge. I committed to going to a minimum of 3 classes a week, following the nutrition guidelines and tracking my food using the MyFitnessPal app.

Day 1, I stood on a robot that I named Rosie (from the Jetson’s). Rosie is smart. She’s the gym robot who is there to tell us the numbers – lean muscle mass, fatness, hydration – the “inside your skin sack” measurements. Lots of numbers.

Rosie read me on day 1 before my first class. I remember it like yesterday. For real.

Then I gymmed for 21 days.

It happened like this:
4 days on / 2 days off / 5 on / 1 off / 2 on / 1 off / 3 on / 2 off / on the last day

I’ve walked an average of 5 miles a day for the past couple of years. I started jogging the last week. I had very few poor-nutrition days – my will power was pretty killer. I committed to changing my life 21 days ago.

I wiped my feet and stepped onto Rosie this morning. I held her “hands” while she sang a little ditty and scanned this hot bod 🔥😉

She spit out results that my #gymsquad assures me are very good. I lost 4% body fat and gained 2 lbs of muscle 🤷🏻‍♀️🔥💪🏼

Sounds good, right?! But want to know what’s better than the way it sounds? Dun dun dun…


I’m starting to love living in *this* body. Like, I kind of like being my own skin again 😍 I don’t really mind looking at myself in the mirror. However, I’m very frustrated because my current wardrobe is too big. But I get to buy smaller clothes that are just my style! I’ve shrunk out of my old Rachel clothes. All of them. It feels amazing.

It feels so good to have my husband actually notice me 🥰 He’s always loved me, he has just always really super sucked at telling me how great I am 🤷🏻‍♀️ He loves seeing me feel so good. He FEELS how much happier I am. He’s happier. He’s pretty proud of the commitment I’ve made. I am too.

I lost a few pounds, but I lost so much more than physical weight. I gained strength, but I gained so much more than physical strength. So much more. My heart is so full ❤️

I’m so grateful for Bonnie Barrows-Kussmaul and Rachelle Seguin at TRV|FIT in Highland and Hartland for hosting this challenge. You and your community have spent 21 days helping me change my life. I *WOULD NOT* have done this without Ashley Marie, but I *COULD NOT* have done this without all of you – Bonnie, Rachelle, Ashley, KatieBillHollyLindseyChrisBret and Carlos – I’m forever grateful for the energy you’ve provided along the way. This whole gym thing was a really big step for me. Thank you so much for all of your help 🙏🏼

Another big thank you goes out to everyone that I share gym space with while I’m there – I appreciate all the energy you provide. I feel your struggles and your success. We’re all in this together 💛

And for anyone following… I’m so thankful that my words have resonated with you! It helps me knowing that the vulnerability (courage) of documenting my journey actually inspires others. Thank you for reading my guts 😊

I’m proud of the MIND work I’ve done to get my BODY working as hard as it has been these past 3 weeks. I’m guided by my SOUL (and my gym angels and shepherds ☺️).

Mind. Body. Soul. It’s all balance 💖

And it’s only just begun 😉

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 21

Day 21 :: The Final Day ::

I immediately questioned myself why I was waking up when my alarm went off. I woke up slow, floated out of bed and did the things I needed to do to leave at 4:15 am.

I kept questioning myself the whole way there. Is this the new life I really want? Leaving my amazing bed so early in the morning?! Putting myself through another gym time? The people-ing? The sweating? The thinking about numbers and movement and form?

Day 21 came thick. Not heavy, just thick. Like my thoughts were swimming through Vaseline. Not bad thoughts, just a lot of thinking and feeling. So early though 😳

I don’t like arriving earlier than Ashley. I go back into lamb mode, just waiting for my gym shepard to push me along. She arrived and I felt better. It’s still a thing. It’s been 21 days but I still prefer her presence around me. Especially in Hartland. I don’t know if it’s the time, the building, or everyone’s spirit still waking (some slower than others), but 4:45 am in Hartland is very tough on me.

I love it at the end though 🤷🏻‍♀️

I think maybe today was a sweat record 😳 I was dripping gross. So gross. Wet. All wet. It was amazing and horrible and I wanted more but I couldn’t move any more 😂

Thank you for your energy today, Rachelle ⭐️ I’ve been looking forward to today all weekend! I appreciate the patience you have with me so much 💗And thank you for the extra push the whole time. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you 🙏🏼

But, ummm, my lunge muscles are still toast 😳 My squats are unstable and weak and my lunges are almost unbearable. I need to make the time to visit Great Lakes Chiropractic & Movement Center. I’m overdue for a head-to-toe adjustment and a movement consultation. Probably a massage too. All the things up there. All the good stuff 

This balance of self care and life seems a bit impossible at times. Taking care of yourself is mind, body and soul. Taking care of your body isn’t just going to the gym. It’s paying attention to your body and caring for it during its growth. Staying aligned. Stretching properly and rest and recovery. Breathing. Eating the good fuel and staying hydrated.

Loving yourself is a lot of work ☺️

Monday came with a lot of thoughts, understandable feelings and good energy 😌 I love that full moon 🌝 I’m going to make today the greatest day of this challenge yet! Lotsa water, housework, happy time with my boys and a little work-work. Starting out my birthday week right 😉

Smiling through it all 😊🚪💫

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 20

Challenge day 20 out of 21.

Mr. Briggs was busting out the overtime this morning, so I was on my own to gym at home.

I started out strong with a mile driveway jog in shoes, then a mile barefoot walk in the woods. I felt good. Lots of fresh air. That oxygen is so nice 

I cleaned my gym space and started a different YouTube video than yesterday.

I struggled HARD and got a half-ass workout in. I just didn’t have it in me. I tried to channel my inner Rachelle, but she just wasn’t coming in 😐 I need your energy, girl! 💛💪🏼💥

Every cell in my body is swollen and crappy feeling from my lack of self-control, eating at the open houses yesterday. I spent time talking with Adam about these feelings of total failure so late in the challenge. Like, I just killed all my hard work 😫 He reassured me that I have not killed my progress. It’s progress. I just need to keep moving forward regardless of the day I had before. Forward. Pick up and go. Progress not perfection.

So, yeah. Today. I got the miles in, cleaned my gym, moved through my workout and called it good. I showered and started to get ready for the day. But instead of getting dressed in clothes, I put my new swimsuit on and worked on my waist hooping for awhile ☺️ It’s been a long time since I’ve stepped into that big circle. We took it slow. It felt good. It made me happier than body weight training in the basement ❤️⭕️

My nutrition has been better today. I just have to stay busy and stay away from food. I don’t like feeling like crap. Ugh 🤢 This was the reminder I needed I suppose 🤷🏻‍♀️

Today is my last day before my InBody (that measures the insides of me to get the “results” of my 21 day challenge). My expectations are not high. But I can tell you that I’ve been winning this challenge all along, guys. It’s between me and the gym and no one else. There isn’t a number that could tell me otherwise ⭐️

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 19

Challenge day 19 – gym day at Chateau Briggs!

I needed to gym today. My body wanted it. Well, it didn’t want lunges or burpees, but it wanted everything else that the gym offers!

It wasn’t an option to leave the house because Adam was working and M was back at her moms. I put on my shoes, found a HIIT circuit video on YouTube, channelled my inner gym goddess and started moving to the best of my ability without a live trainer or my #gymsquad. But everyone was with me in spirit ☺️

I sweated at home and it was great! I needed it. I prefer to drive to the gym at the buttcrack of dawn to sweat, no doubt. But I’m proud that I did the gym stuff at my house. I actually made myself do it. That’s huge progress for me!

As I was plugging my phone into the stereo in the basement, I dropped it face first onto the concrete. The screen shattered into a million pieces. That’s super unfortunate 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’ll be heading to get that fixed tomorrow 🤦🏻‍♀️

Good and bad. Yin and yang. They come together 😐

We cleaned up nicely and headed to graduation parties when Adam got out of work. I got a lot of warm hugs, peeped a couple beautiful babies, played with a tiny beast and ate way, way, way too much sugar. My body feels super swollen. Like, every cell feels bloated 😣

Today was great, aside from my nutrition. You can’t win them all, right?! The highs were so good that they outweigh the lows. Balance. It’s all balance.

:: 21 Day Challenge :: The End of Day 18

So, today…

1. It was the first time I wore my ropes down in weeks. My shoulders and arms have hurt too bad to hold them above my head to palm roll the kinks out of my dreadlocks 🐙💪🏼🔥

2. I walked a lot. I even ran. But then I took my shoes off and picked up sticks with my toes on our trails. It was challenging and fun!

3. I bought a new swimsuit and wore it with my leggings all afternoon 😎

4. I put my hair back up on top of my head. That was fun while it lasted 🤣

I got some work done without any difficulties. I got an approval on a big print job. I did some laundry. I ran errands. I fed myself. I fed my people. I get to sleep in tomorrow. I’m good. So good 😌

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 18

Challenge day 18/21 😊

That 4 am alarm rings early. Especially after forcing creativity while pushing pixels at your squat desk all night 🖥🎨 My brain, eyes and legs are very tired.

5:15 am class in Highland with Katie, Bill, Holly, Chris, Darrick, Rachelle, Bret and Ashley was comfortable. Like, #gymsquad comfortable 💛💪🏼 So good 😌

However, Katie’s warmups were tough on me 😳 I had a hard time starting my body this morning. I was not properly fueled (yummy potluck at the scout roundtable I attended last night) and little sleep (work). But I followed the board, worked on my form and stopped lunging when my lungers told me to stop. They were/are toast 🔥

Cheering for the challengers over in the corner got super intense at one point 😅👏🏼⚡️ I was envisioning myself on a mountain, skiing hard (getting my 10 cal cardio in on the ski machine contraption). The cheering took me out of my mountain headspace and put me in someone else’s. Everyone was watching them 👀 That challenger was trying their freaking hardest at that very second. They were giving it their all, regardless of whatever was going on in their world. Their community was throwing so much energy at them to keep pushing. I hope the challenger harnessed that energy and hit record numbers 💥👊🏼💥 That was magic 

I got a sweaty hug from my warmest gym angel, Chris 🤗 Today was my first class with Chris in a couple of days! She pushes me in the kindest, most amazing way in every class I take, whether she’s physically present or not. I’m so grateful for your spirit, Chris 🙏🏼💛 You are so special 💖

At the end, I stole a sweaty selfie while Ash was owning that bar 💪🏼 She touches it at the end of class every day. Pull-ups and, well, bar-work in general intimidates me. Ashley has strength goals. I love it 💥👊🏼💖

I took your reminders to move at my own pace to heart and into the gym today. Thank you for helping me through this 💛

I experienced discomfort in a comfortable setting. Balance. I pushed and rested. Balance. I physically tried to balance on one leg while holding a kettlebell 🤷🏻‍♀️ Not great balance, but it’s about PROGRESS and not PERFECTION. All the positive reminders ☺️

Busy Friday, busy weekend, busy mind. Making a list and doing the things. Stretching my lunge-rebelling muscles and the rest of this body. Working. Drinking water. Creating. Getting sun. Lots of driving. People-ing. Family time. Smiling through it all 💛

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 17

Challenge day 17 came with more energy than day 16 🙌🏼

I didn’t have to set an alarm. Sleeping in really is nice 😊 I woke up and stretched slow. I took a walk outside with my dog and listened to the sounds of 6:30 am. I came in to get a little computer work done and stretch some more. Calm. Super calm.

I didn’t pay attention to who my 9:30 am class was with until just before Ashley picked me up. I got pretty excited when I seen it was with Rachelle ☺️ Not even nervous, but excited!

Thursday 9:30 am class with Rachelle was exactly what I needed! There’s just enough “do the things” in her voice to help me keep doing the things 💥💪🏼💥 She took her time to modify movements when I was struggling, increased the weight when I wasn’t moving properly and she broke down the movements into things I can comprehend. “Shut the car door with your ass,” I get that 👍🏼🍑😆

Thank you so much, Rachelle, for your energy and for speaking my language ☺️

Today’s highlights include using bands around my ankles (that’s a first), jumping jacks using battleropes (another first, and I couldn’t physically stop laughing at the thought of what I looked like), jumping rope outside (I love it out there), sitting on a box and lifting a weight with my legs (new for me) and ummm, I kinda upped my burpee game… I tried going all the way down after awhile. Like, big girl on the floor and then push up to jump back up. Again, probably a ridiculous sight, but I pushed hard 💪🏼🔥😳

Today’s post-workout selfie would have been very, very sweaty. But I didn’t take one 🤷🏻‍♀️

Today was fantastic and I’m totally looking forward to 5:15 am in Highland tomorrow 🙌🏼 Word is that all my favorite people will be there 💛 I can’t wait!

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 16

Day 16/21 😐

I was irritated my alarm went off. I’m pretty sure I swore at it out loud. I even texted Ashley my unhappiness with my alarm. I went through the motions and left on time. I drove. I parked.

Bill was the spark I needed this morning ⚡️ His 4:45 am class in Hartland really is one of my favorite ways to start the day 🌞💪🏼🔥 Bill brings such great energy – the super positive stuff that sometimes you REALLY need to face another day. His hype guy spirit is on point ⚡️👌🏼

Todays workout was hard. My energy was low. I couldn’t keep up with Ashley for freaking anything. I couldn’t figure out how to count and go from one thing to another without looking at the board every other second. I was not comfortable in my tank top. I cannot stand the shoes I wear at the gym. My pushups are so very sad. I hate hate hate burpees.

I was there and I did the things as best as I could at that time. I showed up and that part is really hard. I feel a bit heavy today – in my head and in my body. It happens sometimes. I’m getting better at becoming aware of it, feeling it out, processing it and letting it pass.

I’m thankful it’s still so early and that I have all day to make it great 😊🚪💫

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 15

Challenge day 15.

After a fairly gentle battle between my brain and body, at 4 am, I cancelled my 5:15 am class in Highland.

I’ve been processing the feelings since then. Guilt is lingering. I miss the energy, the people, the burn, the sweat 😐

But I also got to snuggle extra with my husband, crawl straight into a hot bath and I stretched deeper, knowing I made the right decision 😌

I received too many signs I needed to rest after yesterday’s workout. I’m not injured, but a few parts that have never been worked so hard in their life want me to chill for a minute. It’s time to burn slow, girl 🔥

Thank you, Ashley, for reminding me to listen to my body. People might want to steal your goats, but you are truly a fantastic shepherd 😘🐐👊🏼Your guidance and honesty are more than appreciated 🙏🏼

No gym this morning, but I’ll do the right movements to honor myself throughout the day 💗🕊💪🏼👣🌳🌞🕉

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