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Self-Respect or Sit n’ Spin – 100 Day Challenge Diary

When I was a kid, I loved my Sit n’ Spin. I would sit on it. And spin. And spin and spin and spin and spin AND SPIN. One Thanksgiving, I spun around so much that I missed supper. You know why. Sitting in one place and doing nothing but staring at one’s navel is dizzying at best. And you don’t get anywhere fast.

This is the diary of my 100 Day Challenge of Self-Respect. I’m sick of sitting and spinning when I should be making a beeline for the finish line. My journey is inspired by Matthew Trinetti. Here is his diary; he’s worth a follow. For transparency’s sake, here’s my progress in the categories of “fitnessy” and “writerly“:


Days 85 thru 100 – The Homestretch

Transformation Thursday Takeaway: The adrenaline-fueled enthusiasm of “what happens next?” is what happens when you cross the finish line.

Day One Hundred One – January 1st:
Today isn’t Tuesday, so let’s suspend disbelief and call it Transformation Thursday this one time, m’kay?

I just looked up the word “homestretch”, which means the part of a racecourse between the last turn and the winning post, or a final stage. The final stage of my 100 Day Challenge of Self-Respect found me a whirling dervish of all the things one winds up trying to do during the holidays.

The weekend of the 20th and 21st was a musical wonderland of three sold-out shows, two caroling with the Jolly Holidays and one with the Twin Cities Jazz Cats. Eight hours of crooning and five costume changes later, I found the need to sleep, for the better part of 36 hours. I’m not going to say I was sick. I was just resting. With saltines and broth and Nyquil. Resting.

On the 24th, feeling wistful and homesick a little bit like I missed the holidays, I went a little nuts, made four kinds of cookies, and then scrambled for people who might want cookies. Because I simply can’t be trusted with umpteen-dozen cookies. I sat for a long quiet time, feeling alone and frantic. Then the phone rang.

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Almost as good as mom’s…almost.

It was World-Class Boyfriend, also feeling a little frantic (about last-minute gift-wrapping). He was kind enough to offer to take some cookies off my hands. His face lit up with best-present-ever delight when I walked through his door. He thrust a package at me. “This is perfect for you. It’s obviously in the wrong box, but it’s perfect for you. Open it now. I can’t wait.” He grinned in that heart-melting way as I unwrapped it. “It’s a Propellergirl Action Figure!” We laughed, really really hard. Like you should when you’re happy and the holidays work out just right.

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It’s a Propellergirl Action Figure!
(Actually it’s a Jungle Bettie Page Action Figure…
but let’s just keep that between us, m’kay?)

During the homestretch I celebrated my opportunity to hit the gym hard six times (well, five actually, but snow-shoveling is a winter sport in my world, and on the 27th, there was quite a lot of it that wanted shoveling). I found that I’ve become so intoxicated by 5k running that I signed up for two more, the Polar Dash (which I’m doing today) and Esprit de She. Fitnessey Self-Respect.

During the homestretch I discovered that I’ve built unexpected writing muscles, in the form of regular blogging. I look forward to Transformation Tuesday in 2015 and my participation in the idea of “what happens next?”. Writerly Self-RespectBecause the adrenaline-fueled enthusiasm of “what happens next” is what happens when you cross the finish line.

Days 71 thru 77 AND Days 78 thru 84

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Breathe. Take time to breathe. And be. Be your best self.

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Day Eighty-four – Dec 15th:
I GOT TO GO BACK TO THE GYM!
Clad in my brand new celebratory Most Obnoxious Gym Outfit I threw a frenzied me at a number of assorted contraptions with abandon. Seventeen days since my last workout and I’m wound tighter than a….well, you can guess. About 30 minutes in, I felt like my heart might explode. I caught my worried expression in the mirror, confused and nearly deaf from the cardiac pounding. Neither exhilaration, nor exhaustion, but ADRENELINE.

Too much. The last two weeks have included, but not been limited to: Eight speaking engagements, seven sleepless nights, six client meetings, five busy airports, four crowded flights, three singing gigs, two rental cars, and one big birthday. Mine.

Time for tactical breathing.
In for four.
Hold for four.
Out for four.
Hold for four.
Times four.
(Thanks Mister Grossman!)

I calmed down, finished my workout, and considered…
Time has raced against itself these last two weeks, and so have I. Today is the first chunk of quiet time I’ve had since my last post.
Reflecting: Have I finished my award-winning novel or celebrated new business book? Nope. Did I summit the peak of my physical perfection? Nope.
Am I disappointed? Yep. A little bit on both counts.
As I look back, I realize these last two weeks have held more than the usual share of magic.
And I realize I respect myself for what I have done.

The eight speaking engagements were utterly delightful. Each audience uniquely engaged and discrete discoveries to be unearthed at every turn. Happy clients. Best next steps and promising future plans. Happy Deena.

One of the singing gigs with my beloved Jolly Holidays took us on a Flight to the North Pole with the Make-A-Wish Minnesota kids, courtesy of Sun Country Airlines. Everyone was happier than a sugarplum fairy! Volunteerism is good for anything that ails you.

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Caroling with the Make-A-Wish Minnesota kids
at Sun Country’s Flight to the North Pole!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was the leading favorite.

And I celebrated my birthday, which I usually do with days-long enthusiasm, and did so especially this year. Almost as much as I did when I was 2:

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Cake Faceplant!
Number 16 of #47ThingsILearned

Looking forward to digging into doing what I’m going to do with the rest of my days…

Days 64 thru 70

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~St. Francis of Assisi

Day Sixty-six – Nov 27th:
I ran a 10k and I did not die, even though I’m pretty sure nature was trying to kill me and the rest of the crazy fools who got up at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving to run in 15 below windchill.

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Zero degrees.
Feels like “what was I thinking when I signed up for a 10k?”
Chasing that turkey sammich…

The alarm hollered at 5:30 and I yanked on all the stuff I’d set out the night before: Neon yellow wear-these-or-your-feet-will-freeze socks. Two pair of running tights. Heat shirt. Heat sweatshirt. Heat overshirt. Down jacket. The other jacket I grabbed at the last minute, otherwise I surely would have perished. Neck gaiter. Wool hat. Propeller beanie. Gloves. Second-best gym shoes.

A mile in, my eyelashes froze to my face, just as my muscles were warming up. I blinked, weeping over what I’d done and not yet finished, trying to clear my vision. I looked up. Hills. I hadn’t thought there’d be hills. Looming. I almost said a bad word, but my brain stopped me.
“Hills,” said my brain, “This is what you’ve been training for. Those stacks of squats and umpteen burpees? Those are for kicking hill a**. Go get ’em.”

So I did. I wasn’t fast but I didn’t stop. I did it. And I didn’t die. I got a medal. And a banana. And a 45-minute shower when I got home. And a turkey sammich.
And a big hot helping of all-capital SELF-RESPECT.

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Winner winner turkey dinner!

In all candor, I spent the balance of the week being wildly grateful: Working hard on the job that I love, working out with abandon…happy that I’m healthy enough so to do, calling and connecting with friends and family, staying warm, and eating more turkey sandwiches. I’m not disappointed by my lack of diary entries, I was too busy living it up to write it all down.

Days 50 thru 56 AND Days 57 thru 63

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: When I set the bar just beyond the height I can jump, I end up surprising myself. I think I’ll put Sit n’ Spin in the corner for a while.

Day Sixty-three – Nov 24th:
Oh! Hi Holiday Overload! I think this challenge has let me set my own bar pretty high. I get just to the edge of spinning out of control when the timer rings and I realize it’s time to get ready for an early Italian Thanksgiving feast with two of my best men, since our family won’t be able to gather on Thursday due to distance and the unreasonable demands of the retail machine. Dinner is calm and yummy…we wore our best and said out loud what we’re grateful for. A welcome oasis.
Earlier this morning at the gym, I try a formerly impossible thing and crank out more proper pushups. Again, I’m so surprised, I stop. I could have done more. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
From a writerly perspective, I was considering giving up this blog and deleting the whole thing, afraid I couldn’t keep up. Now I’m slapping it together and posting it mostly unedited, because I’m not perfect, because I need a win, and because…Self-Respect.

Day Sixty-two – Nov 23rd and Day Sixty-one – Nov 22nd:
Much work. Much gym. Much taking care of people I love. Early to bed and early to rise. No noveling inspiration whatsoever, so I’m going where my enthusiasm is. I’d rather get loads of stuff done than stare at a blank page. I’m feeling Self-Respect and putting my Sit n’ Spin in the corner…I’m too busy.

Day Sixty – Nov 21st:
Much to my surprise, weighed in below my target weight today. Rewarded myself by getting up fantastically early and digging in to a client project so I can hit the gym. Fitnessey Self-Respect and writerly Sit n’ Spin. Because when I’m short of noveling words, I spend more time at the gym.

Day Fifty-nine – Nov 20th:
This morning I took a good look at myself in the bathroom mirror, and realized I couldn’t see me very well. I’d written a couple of motivating phrases there in sharpie lo these many weeks ago about minding my diet and being happier when I treat myself with self-respect. What with the toothpaste spit and hairspray and scribbles, I clearly haven’t had much time for cleaning. So I took one good look at my mantra, nodded, and scrubbed it off. Fresh perspective.
The Executive Coaching division Propellergirl is winding up nicely! Sessions today with a home-town favorite let us speak candidly about what we want – clarity is high on the list.
Clearly I need to carve out time for my writing. Work is wonderful and some days I feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. Sit n’ Spin on both writing and fitness today.
2° tonight, snow on the ground, and I spent the evening dressed in holiday best enjoying A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater with my dream date. I’m calling the holiday season a win and giving all y’all fair warning…I’m planning to be unapologetically festive for the next six or seven weeks.

Day Fifty-eight – Nov 19th:
Gym with all the gym for a fitness win. As a side note, I did 8 strict push-ups today. I surprised myself so much I stopped to think about what I was doing. Shouldn’t have stopped…might’ve done more.  Self-Respect.
The balance of the day was spent balancing client communications until well into the night. No writing – Sit n’ Spin – still winning.

Day Fifty-seven – Nov 18th:
Early speaking engagement! Long fast drive. Short flight. Late evening rehearsal. All of that goodness means Sit n’ Spin for writing and fitness.
In other news, I’m a nutball and just signed up for a Spartan OCR. Just a sprint, mind you, which I think a lot of Spartan beasts might poo-poo…still, throwing myself over fire and under barb wire for four miles is plenty challenging. I have just over 6 months to train. Impossible? I’m possible.

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Impossible? I’m POSSIBLE.

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: I can’t do everything, but I can do impossible things.

Day Fifty-six – Nov 17th:
Up in the air on the way to work with a great client. I haven’t got a workout in me today, and I’m tucked into bed after a great lot of travel before I remember I forgot to write. Double Sit n’ Spin.
Considering the concept of self-respect: I can’t do it all and I won’t quit. So I need to find a way to not get all fighty with myself when I’m inconsistent in my endeavors.

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I get so fighty with me sometimes.
Maybe I’ll stop badgering myself.

Day Fifty-five – Nov 16th and Day Fifty-four – Nov 15th:
No diary post… no words whatsoever for a dual Sit n’ Spin, but beastly workouts both of these days for Self-Respect in the fitness category.

Day Fifty-three – Nov 14th:
Most of my week has been spent doing impossible things, or things I have heretofore considered impossible. So…now I’m considering running a 10K on Thanksgiving. Because I’ve always considered a 10K impossible. I click the yes button. I’m committed (or should be, because this is crazy). Fitnessey Self-Respect. Eek.
No noveling.  Sit n’ Spin.  Eek.

Day Fifty-two – Nov 13th:
Impossibly long travel day, paperwork, work-work, rehearsal, and a dual Sit n’ Spin on writing and fitness.

Day Fifty-one – Nov 12th:
Today the impossible happened. Five 2-hour speaking engagements back-to-back. Without a fantastic flip team, a super co-star, and a stellar client, the whole thing would have been a great heaving disaster. I call the day a total win, even though writerly and fitnessy pursuits get a Sit n’ Spin.

Day Fifty – Nov 11th:
Uh oh! Halfway. Eeeek! Okay. I guess it’s time to stop whining and be honest.
I don’t know if I can do it all. But I do think I can achieve and be kind to myself simultaneously.
I realize I’m more aware of my health and pleased overall with my fitness progress (undaunted by a day of travel, I did my dips in the airport, much to the amusement of other travelers). Fitnessy Self-Respect.
Noveling continues to elude me, but I feel buoyed by the practice of daily writing and realize I’m producing more words overall than I have in months. Updating the blog regularly has been a great exercise and I invested two hours on the website tonight. Writerly Self-Respect.
Work has been wonderful over the last 50 days, capped off by a cross-country running-through-airports super-productive 15-hour-day. Tomorrow I have the blessing of a five keynotes for a favorite client. Lots of laughs on the horizon. Let’s see what the second half of this challenge brings.

Days 43 through 49

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Aristotle wrote: “Well begun is half done.” I say halfway begun is still undone.

Day Forty-nine – Nov 10th
Weather reporters in the Twin Cities are waving their hands in apoplexy, because snow threatens with a vengeance. I’m leaving tomorrow at dawn for some exciting speaking engagements, so I fix the website and tidy up the other halfway-done things. Except the writing. Sit n’ Spin.
Gym time happened very early, before the storm set in. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Forty-eight – Nov 9th
Today I hunker down and do all the household chores; that provides a clear mind so I can focus intensely on work next week. No gym. No novel. Double Sit n’ Spin, but a work win.

Day Forty-seven – Nov 8th
Who goes to the gym at the crack of dawn on a Saturday? Me. Fitnessey Self-Respect, but I cancel tomorrow’s workout before I overdo it.
The novel-writing is still undone. Sit n’ Spin. I don’t love me very much for that. I’m grateful for the close friends who make up my fan club and won’t let me give up on me. In a rush to get away from myself, I go outside on what threatens to be the last nice day of the year and install what may quite possibly be the ugliest holiday windowboxes in the Twin Cities. Plus, I step in rotten pumpkin. But they’re done. At least they’re done.

Day Forty-six – Nov 7th
I know I know I know! Write the book. Write the book. Write the book. I’m absolutely stalled, not a word. So instead I break my website, trying to install the rewrite, then put it back together. Halfway. Writerly Sit n’ Spin.
Worked out like a fiend. Feverishly. All this adrenaline has got to go somewhere. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Forty-five – Nov 6th
AlI want to do is go to the gym. At least there I know I know what to do and how to get it done. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
On all other forefronts I find myself frantic and only halfway finishing anything. I shake off the feeling of “wonky gyroscope” and focus on business writing – building website content – which seems remarkably easy. Still, I can’t give myself anything but a Sit n’ Spin for my writerly exploits. Desperately disappointed, but apparently not enough to novel.

Day Forty-four – Nov 5th:
Big workout. Much fitnessy Self-Respect.
Big planning for big work next week.
No writing (save for this blog post), so that earns me a Sit n’ Spin.
In truth, I’m spent. I don’t know if it’s falling back off Daylight Savings Time or getting back into the workout grove, but I’ve been leaning toward bed since dusk. I’m going to give my body and brain a recovery break and get some good sleep. I don’t think I could wrangle three fiction words into a fine line tonight. If I were NaNo-ing, I’d be ashamed of myself for going so far into the month with no words.

Day Forty-three – Nov 4th:
Super sore from getting back into the workout saddle yesterday and today is jam-packed with meetings, so I get a Double Sit n’ Spin in both writerly and fitnessy categories. But quite a lot of business got done, so I know I am not in stasis. And, I’ve made enough noise about the writing projects that people won’t let me forget my commitment. My boss, who originally challenged me to NaNoWriMo back in 1997, upped the ante today with a Ninja cup. I know. I know. Ninja on. Novel on.

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Drinking from the Ninja Cup.

Days 36 through 42

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Be prepared. Because you’re not going to be “ready”.

Day Forty-two – Nov 3rd:
Clad in a new Most Obnoxious Gym Outfit (On sale! Can’t imagine why no one else wanted the sartorial travesty that is this pair of pink and purple tights…) I did all of the things I wanted to and three I didn’t at the gym. This counts as training. Fitnessy Self-Respect.
My novel notes are all over the place from the last week, on the back of receipts and plane tickets, and most notably on the top of a Styrofoam leftover container. I spend enough time catching up on mission-critical client communication that I run out of time for personal writing projects. Writerly Sit n’ Spin.

Day Forty-one – Nov 2nd:
Home means laundry, leftovers, and lounge trousers. Using my extra hour and every minute of the day to recalibrate my compass star, I come to the realization that, although I wasn’t ready, I was prepared enough to be of good service in a bad situation. Self-Respect.

Day Forty – Nov 1st:
It’s been a long haul and I’m back home, hoping to gain some equilibrium after being thrown off-balance. Since the details of this minor disaster are a personal matter, I’ll let the matter rest with what I said to Reliable Young Person (a friend’s kid, a college freshman – no longer a kid, really – whom I esteem highly):
“I could give you the ring off my finger, the coat off my back, or the shoes off my feet, but I can never give you a better lesson than this:
Be prepared. Because you’re not going to be “ready”. You’re not going to be ready when life gives you something unexpected.
You’re not going to be ready for the tragedy, because tragedy sneaks up on us when we’re not looking. And it hits us from behind and it knocks us down.
When we’re prepared, we have our resources at hand. And our resources are made out of our tools and our training. In the midst of tragedy, we will default to the lowest level of our training. So train all the time. Train so that whatever you’re good at, you become better at. Train so that whatever you’re weak at becomes your strength.”

It hit us hard; the truth. It resonated enough that we cried until we could laugh. Then we had a pot of tea and I made my way home to figure where to go from here.

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Laughing at disaster…
and grateful to have been able to lend a hand.

Day Thirty-nine – Oct 31st:
No entry.

Day Thirty-eight – Oct 30th:
No entry.

Day Thirty-seven – Oct 29th:
No entry.

Day Thirty-six – Oct 28th:
No entry.

Days 29 through 35

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Be willing to laugh your ass off and prepared to handle disaster.

Day Thirty-five – Oct 27th:
No entry.

Day Thirty-four – Oct 26th:
No entry.

Day Thirty-three – Oct 25th:
Today was the kind of banner day that made me forget all of the things I was supposed to track. My hair turned out great. I did fun things with a favorite person. I celebrated a cherished anniversary and reflected on a life-altering milestone.
On the flip side, I forgot to log anything in My Fitness Pal and broke my winning streak. I might’ve written, but I neglected to take notes on what that might’ve been. I think I made a nod at fitness, but I can’t quite recall…
… because early the morning of Day 34, things go wrong enough that I need to take a few day off – as if stapling pages in my diary shut – turning my respect outward to focus on others. Preparedness builds over a lifetime for the unexpected that happens overnight. I’m grateful for a strong foundation.

Day Thirth-two – Oct 24th:
Hi Burpees! I know you thought I wouldn’t see you, hiding over there in the corner. Wrong. I see you. I’m coming for you. Bring your buddies Squats and Pushups. I’m happy to wrassle the three of you while I’m waiting for everyone else to shower up.
Squeezing projects in between the time I’m spending immersed in holiday is absolutely fine. I enjoyed a leisurely and companionable stroll today before banging out the burpees in private. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
I added twenty-seven words to the novel manuscript, which counts as a writerly Sit n’ Spin, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I know that I know I need to finish this project, as evidenced by the nightmare I had last night, inspired by professional jealousy over respected friend Alyson Grauer’s beautiful trailer for her new book On The Isle of Sound and Wonder. In the dream, Aly was blythe and merry, getting dressed for her interview on Oprah, and I was sloshing around in hot water, trying to do the leftover laundry. I think that interprets pretty clearly as “get busy”! (PS – Read Aly’s book!)

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Ecstatic author face!
Writerly wunderkind Aly Grauer flashes her newest book!

Day Thirty-one – Oct 23rd:
Today marks the beginning of a holiday. At the end of a full day of travel, I realize I’m not prepared for managing my two measurable categories of Self-Respect while “getting away from it all”. It occurs to me that I’ve accomplished tasks in the last 30 days while still treating myself wretchedly. I wonder if I can treat myself respectfully on days I miss my measurable mark. Hmmm.
I did not carve out even five minutes for burpees today. Fitnessy Sit n’ Spin.
I did manage to type 234 words. Writerly Self-Respect. Kind of.

Day Thirty – Oct 22nd:
If my deadly sin is pride, I’ll meet Saint Peter wearing the ludicrously itty bitty gym shorts I wore today. I’m sure it’s already in my file. Since I did not share last week the most terrible awful photo of me from way back when I had given up on myself and was miserable, I thought I’d not share today the totally awesome ridiculous self-absorbed selfie I took in the glute-buster outfit. But I got a dare… so I did… and got enthusiastic feedback. And I am marvelously happy to be on a better fitness path. Tried on the sad pants, they made me laugh. Great work out. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
Packed a lot into the rest of the day, including rehearsal and closet-purging and packing. Not one word written. Not. A. One. Writerly Sit n’ Spin.

Day Twenty-nine – Oct 21st:
Since napping is apparently not my thing and last week was wonky, I level up and prescribe myself laughter this week. Primarily because of this video. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, imagine what a regular dose of belly laugh can do for one’s esteem, productivity, and self-respect.
Yesterday I had the honor of being styled for the upcoming speaking and travel speaking by fashion entrepreneur and stunning success Laine Sou Weinberg at KOKOON. Things fit. Nicely! I blame the burpees. Fitnessey Self-Respect and some super-cute things to wear on stage. That victory fueled today’s workout at the gym. I was nice to nice people and they were nice back. I’m pleased with the evidence that working out works.
I have my stack of novel notes, but no inspiration. I decide to give myself a break from the computer (other than this diary update). Instead, I get many long-overdue chores done and have a couple of fun phone calls with neglected friends. World Class Boyfriend came over and made me laugh. Really hard. Just what the doctor ordered. Taking a writerly Sit n’ Spin, but calling the day a win!

Days 22 through 28

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: I am my own worst critic, naps turn me into a petulant toddler, and I can change at any time.

Day Twenty-eight – Oct 20th:
Golly wow. This was a rough week and I’m certain the obstacles were of my own doing. In reflection, I return to Matt’s original query:

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
If you could make good on something you’ve neglected over the past year, what would you do?
If you could dramatically increase the progress of a project, why not do it
now?

My current perspective is that self-respect has as much to do with personal kindness as it does project completion. I’ve been better in both categories at other times than I was this week. I’m not interested in changing anything about myself, per se, more enhancing my more positive aspects. I’m still focused toward making good on my writerly and fitnessy commitments (Self-Respect in both of those categories today, by the way) so I’ll give myself a pep talk and forge forward into next week. It’s nice to have a chronological dividing line. I do believe I can change at any time. Now would be just fine.
PS – 600 burpess month to date. I’m a beast.

Day Twenty-seven – Oct 19th:
Twelve hours of sleep. Fresh writing ideas (whilst in the shower, of course) and I get most of them roughed in, if not finessed. Writerly Self-Respect. I’ve started carrying a notebook everywhere, except the shower.
Instead of gym time I opt for kitty therapy. I got to hold kittens, pet kittens, kiss kittens, and be reminded that even though the week left me feeling unbalanced – like a soggy load in an out-of-whack washing machine – all is right with the world when a kitty decides to like you enough to fall asleep in your arms. I’ll take the fitnessy Sit n’ Spin; it was worth it.

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Kitty therapy.

Day Twenty-six – Oct 18th:
1:37 is a dumb time to wake up, especially on the heels of a sleepless night. I’m absolutely beside myself, still woefully out of balance, so I write. I’ll call it Self-Respect, but it feels more like desperate desolation. I finally exhaust at 5:30, and go back to sleep for two hours of nightmares. Yay.
For running on little and low-quality sleep, I have plenty of energy. Massive workout at the gym. Long walk with a friend. Two hours in the yard putting summer back into storage. Fitnessey Self-Respect, I hope it’s enough to tire me out so I can sleep. At least I’m not isolating.

Day Twenty-five – Oct 17th:
I wake up still in a fight with myself, put on Most Obnoxious Gym Outfit and take me to the gym where I force me to do burpees. Then I fling the battle ropes around like a wrinkled sheet. I’ve never had the nerve to pick up the battle ropes before, I’ll probably be sore tomorrow. I do a bunch of other stuff until I stink and I’m no longer in a foul mood. I call a friend on the way home. I realize I’ve isolated and been pulling emotional punches for a few weeks. I tell the truth and enjoy being heard. I decide to try to get over my bad self. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
Since I’ve been babbling publicly on about writing, it seems like everyone wants me to help them. I fix a friend’s resume and write a recommendation. I’m too awake for a nap, so I read the napping article again, and realize I’ve been doing it wrong. Too long and too late in the day. I decide to skip it. I open up the novel and enjoy some writerly Self-Respect in the spare time I have before a dinner date with an Alpha reader. We cover the whole paper tablecloth with novel notes. Back home I tumble into bed and… stare at the ceiling. Now it’s 1:37 a.m. In the morning. Officially tomorrow.

Day Twenty-four – Oct 16th:
Wow. I don’t like me very much this morning. I think it might be fun to post a photo for Throwback Thursday and I cast back to 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007. Not a flattering time for me. I roll around in self-pity for an hour before abandoning the idea. From there I slog through a number of snafus including a major bank error and several exploding inkjet cartridges. I wear gym clothes but can’t go to the gym. I receive a text from World-Class Boyfriend telling me to, ‘Carpe diem, then wrassle that f-er to the ground and make it cry!’ which should invigorate me but just makes me mad, embarrassed that I’m not doing better. I throw a tantrum by aggressively not writing a single word on my novel. I take a long, unsatisfying nap to make up for last night’s three hours of sleep. Overall, I suck at today. I go back to TBT photos, post one from a very embarrassing time in my life, and nearly bore myself to death with myself. Double whammy Sit n’ Spin.

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The one game we all play.
Click the photo for more Allie Brosh brilliance.

Day Twenty-three – Oct 15th:
Today and tomorrow are mandatory “no gym” days. I have a doctor’s note and everything. I’m perturbed, so I try a few pushups. No go. I also eat the wrong things. At least My Fitness Pal and I are on speaking terms. Still, I get a fitnessy Sit n’ Spin.
The napping seems to be a good idea. A short one, midday gets me on track with writing and I flesh out last night’s chapter per a wise suggestion from an Alpha. Writerly Self-Respect. Dinner with a friend gives me some interesting perspective for an upcoming chapter. Inspiration is everywhere, I just need to look further than the flat thing.

Day Twenty-two – Oct 14th:
Last night, on the verge of sleep, I decided insomnia is boring. So I’m going to do it differently this week. I’m going to bring back the tried-and-tested 20-minute sprint, in both writing and napping. Yep. I’m going to try naps this week. Here is an article via Forbes about taking naps. Don’t judge. It’s science. I’m going to try it. We’ll see.
At the gym, my lack of sleep catches up with me and so does one of my favorite coaches, Steve Zahn. He assigns me – you’ll never guess – sprints. Fitnessey Self-Respect and uncanny coincidence.
Back home, I clean up and then TAKE A NAP. Then I write, attempting to get back in the habit of 20-minutes sprints. It takes several hours to get chapter six in the bag, but it’s in. Sent to Alpha readers. Going to bed. Writerly Self-Respect.

Days 15 through 21

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Insomnia is trying to tell me something. Take good notes. Then get up and do stuff.

Day Twenty-One – Oct 13th:
More nightmares. Less sleep. I’m on adrenaline overdrive. I am surrounded by little scribbles in notepads, on old receipts, on the back of airline tickets. Terrified to lose ideas, I stack them on the kitchen table, under the fruit bowl. Overwhelmed, I go to the gym for a break from the writing. Worn out, I write for a break from the gym.
While extremely productive on both forefronts (and I’m proud to say I busted out my first strict pushup today) I’m getting weird(er) without a balancing amount of social interaction. I give myself Self-Respect in both categories for the day and send up flares to a friend, asking for an early supper and some human interaction. Afterward, I feel more like me.
Kicking it into gear and getting familiar with my night owl self, I decide to finish up this blog post now so I can surprise myself that it’s already done tomorrow morning. Giving myself a break (as you might notice if you are actually spying on my diary) on proper sentence structure. shifting tense, and syntax.

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Kicking it into high gear and getting familiar with my night owl self.
“March on Peeps” by Linda Clayton

Day Twenty – Oct 12th:
Yesterday evening, after a couple of big wins, I kicked it into high gear, hitting an anniversary party and a jazz-singing gig that run late into the night. Once I finally settled into bed well past midnight, I stared at the ceiling, realizing I’ve had nightmares three nights running.
Another nightmare woke me up this morning. At the gym I wandered around like a rather sporty fitnessy zombie and did all the stuff. Self-Respect, except I’m so tired I’m having a tough time remembering my own name.
To ameliorate that, I obliged myself to do a thing that wasn’t anything about extreme-burpees or weeping-noveling… a couple of hours outside gave me fresh perspective and newly decorated window-boxes.
Back inside, I hunkered down and wrote; an eye-wateringly dull pro-forma, an overdue favor. Apparently I’ve established a reputation as a writer, and I needed to make good on the commitment. From there, more late-night noveling. Writerly Self-Respect.

Day Nineteen – Oct 11th:
Mostly pretty much totally on fire with the noveling. To the point that I’m having a tough time interacting with real humans. Up early, rapid prototyping coffee ingestion, experienced a breakthrough that left me happy-weeping, then went back in. I think a good four solid hours in the noveling chair. Somewhere in there, the end of the book wrote itself. Sent a complete consecutive chapter 5 to my alpha readers, and got enthusiastic feedback. Writerly Self-Respect.
At the gym, I remembered that penalty for skipping an obstacle in an OCR is burpees. The penalty for skipping burpees is… burpees. 60 of ‘em. Which I did. And I did not die. They were ugly, but I did ‘em. And then I did the rest of my workout. Glad I finished in time to turn myself into a glamor-puss; I’ve got two soirees tonight. Took a risk and tried a very fitted dress from a favorite boutique, Local Motion. It fit. I love burpees. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Eighteen – Oct 10th:
Why oh why did I have to say insomnia? Here’s how it’s going today: Sleep five fitful hours, get up before dawn, write nonstop for four hours, perched on the three dollar garage sale chair. Writerly Self-Respect.  A zillion ideas are fluttering through my brain. I scribble myself a note to get a notebook so I have a place to scribble my notes.  Go take a shower and race into the first appointment of the day…
Appointments eat up the hours and I say “no way” to the gym late in the day. I even skip burpees. I’m going to hate that tomorrow. Fitnessy Sit n’ Spin.  Instead I accept an invitation to a bonfire with a bestie. Because… sometimes balance looks like s’mores and talking about boys.

Day Seventeen – Oct 9th:
Bwa ha ha! I laugh at me. After being all smug about making the most of my insomnia, I slept a rock solid 12 hours last night, barely able to make it past sunset before I crawled into bed. I guess that means I’m getting better at listening to my body, which this morning says “Ouch! More burpees?” Yes. Let’s do that. But not until after I sit at the computer for a rock solid 7 hours working on client events. THEN to the gym for a vigorous workout, because I’m a human gyroscope I can’t calm down. By the time I get back to the computer to write properly, it’s 9:30 p.m. and I haven’t had a shower yet. Choosing between Sit n’ Spin and stink…I choose stink. Hoping to get in a few good words before a bath and bed, I ended up writing for a good solid 90 minutes and dominating a tough chapter. Double up on Self-Respect, fitnessy and writerly. And exhausted.

Day Sixteen – Oct 8th:
The big hubbub: there will be a ‘rare blood moon’ early this morning. Compelled to see it, the alarm was set for 4:20. I was already awake, waiting. I got out the binoculars, and even though it was far away, behind a tree, it took my breath away. Great inspiration for the pivotal chapter I’ve been chewing on but not knowing how to do. Which got done. Inspired by the eclipse. Bam. Writerly Self-Respect and a new perspective on insomnia. If I’m awake – thinking – I should get up and do something with the ideas.
From there, I went to the gym, feeling a little low on energy and sapped of inspiration. But a few steps in I got my adrenaline rush and a solid workout. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Fifteen – Oct 7th:
Today I decided to be kind to myself. It was just the simple idea that remained floating around in my brain after a couple of sleepless nights second-guessing. So I went to the gym early and enjoyed a nice long workout with grown-up girl burpees. Then I opened up the computer and dumped my dose of adrenaline in word form for quite a lot of novel-y goodness. Fitnessy and writerly Self-Respect.

Days 8 through 14

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Life is an OCR. You can skip a challenge, but then you’re stuck with the burpees.

Day Fourteen – October 6th:
Golly WOW! I did 30 burpees today! Not all at once, and they were the scaled-down version, but I felt so gosh-darn mighty I stayed at the gym and did a bunch of other stuff for 90 minutes. I’m giddy! I was having so much fun, I forgot to pay any attention to the gym bully, who in the past I’ve let chase me away. I have a new mantra: May you kick so much a** today, that you wear out your socks. Fitnessey Self-Respect!
Back at the computer, I decided to delve into the old CDs I unearthed a month or so ago, hoping one of them would have the lost chapters from my novel. Third one in, reward! Somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000 words I though were long gone. Edited for 5 hours. Now working on this blog post. I call that a big dose of writerly Self-Respect! Happy to finish this segment strong.

Day Thirteen –  Oct 5th:
Today I took my fitnessey self down the street to watch the amazingly inspiring wheeler racers and runners in the Twin Cities Marathon. It was gosh-darn chilly, so I did my jump squats right while waiting for the first group to arrive at our mile marker. A fellow cheerleader was kind enough to snap a photo of me, so I have evidence. Evidently, people are starting to notice I’m doing this 100 Day Challenge and are asking about it. Can’t quit now! People know! Fitnessy Self-Respect!
Getting writerly right now, putting together these diary notes. Note to self – skipping days is silly. It’s like skipping a challenge on an obstacle course race and having to do burpees instead. Write every day for Self-Respect!

Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Kinda. Sorta.

Day Twelve – Oct 4th:
Yay with all the YAY! I got to go back to my proper gym today! Mine mine mine mine MINE! I love my gym. Lifetime. I used everything and did my best to figure out how to do strict pushups. Fitnessey Self-Respect!
No work on writing of any kind, so I get another writerly Sit n’ Spin. Did have dinner with a dear friend, and we talked about the novel arc. She had some great ideas and we waved our hands around a lot and cackled and I took some notes.

Day Eleven – Oct 3rd:
Today I traveled back across the country: getting lost in the rental return parking garage, running through airports, sitting in the middle seat, and arguing with the taxi driver about which house was mine. (I was right.) Then I brushed off the Road Warrior dust, put on a dress, and went to a charity benefit. Much fun was had, much of it by me, but no writing was done, so that earns me a writerly Sit n’ Spin.
I did, however, have the presence of mind to crank out my fitnessey stuff in the morning before the mad travel dash. Squat thrusts… 10 sets of 10 to the YouTube viddy of David Hasselhoff’s Hooked on a Feeling…because why not? Self-Respect!

Day Ten – Oct 2nd:
Since I’m on the other side of the country, sure it makes sense to get up early. To do a hundred half-burpees. Which a week ago would’ve seemed ridiculous and now seems regular. So, there’s that. Dominated the fantastically small hotel gym and told the world by tweeting and instagramming it. Fitnessy Self-Respect FTW.
Spent the bulk of the day with aforementioned highly esteemed and much-adored client. Since I’ve been blogging again, I was able to point them to new thought leaders I’m following. That felt awesome! Writerly Self-Respect! Now it’s quite late and I’m going to take a turn around the novelling dance floor…which got me a few well-edited words on Chapter Five, but not much more.

Day Nine – Oct 1st:
Apparently four-o-you’ve-got-to-be-kidding is when my brain decided writerly Self-Respect started this morning, because it got me up to work on my novel. I tried to ignore it, but it kept giving me interesting word combinations. I know from previous glaring memory gaps, if I don’t commit those to manuscript, I’ll forget. So I got up early, got coffee is brewing and chapter five percolating.
Today was a fly-cross-country day, so that happened. Then I dominated the hotel gym and made good on my intention to throw myself headlong into the October Spartan 30-days-of-burpees torture tutorial. The challenge leader, Coach Casey, is adorable, so I think I’ll have fun with that in spite of myself. Ate a salad the size of my head and got back to chapter five. Got some surprisingly good words. Yay me. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Eight – Sept 30th:
Today I flexed my blog muscles! Two posts that got slathered all over Twitter and LinkedIn. Boy howdy, that felt good. I forgot (since my last blog post was all the way back in February) that I’d figured out how to do it mostly the way I want most of the time. Don’t know why I stayed away so long. Silly Propellergirl. Writerly Self-Respect.
The bulk of the day was spent running about, readying myself for a speaking engagement for a long-time client with whom I’m fantastically excited to reconnect. Since I take them seriously, I’m taking my time to be exquisitely prepared. Which means I didn’t take time for the gym. Waved the barbells around in the basement a bit while I was unintentionally shrinking my new sweater in the laundry. Made wise food choices and have kept up honest nutrition data on My Fitness Pal, but am desperately missing a full workout. Lower-case fitnessey self-respect.

Days 1 through 7

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: When I do stuff, stuff gets done.
I was able to push past all manner of daunting obstacles, including a wicked paper-cut. 6000 solid words on the novel edit and I’m more intentional about my physical wellbeing.

Day Seven – Sept 29th:
Up early to work with a client and I’ve been single-mindedly focused on that all day. Now I realize I need to tidy up this post so I can have it ready for tomorrow. Many of the “ah-ha! moments” I’ve had in the last week are turning into analogous conversations with the clients I serve. So… that’s Self-Respect and serving others in one fell swoop. Sadly, no time to be writerly on my novel today. Most of the way through the day, and miles to go…squeezing out this progress update is the best I’ve got. Still, not giving up.
Speaking of miles to go, there is no way I can squeeze in the visit to the gym I so desperately crave today. So I’m going to go downstairs right now and wrangle the decrepit weight set that’s sitting in the creepy basement. An itty bitty fitnessy win at the the outset, but I gave up halfway when the phone rang. Sit n’ Spin.

Day Six – Sept 28th:
Words woke me up several times in the night, so I wasn’t surprised to be excited to sit down at the kitchen table and start banging away. Even with a nasty paper cut on the fourth finger of my right hand that at other times might’ve gotten me off the hook. Looking at clock, I can see I’ve been writerly for the better part of five hours. Sent edited chapters 2, 3, and 4 to alpha readers. Self-Respect! Forcing myself to go outside and be fitnessey, because it’s pretty…I’m back! Jogged around the lake. It was sweet! Body and brain refreshed for more writing. Self-Respect!

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Pushing past the paper-cut and pounding out the novel.

Day Five – Sept 27th:
Traveling cross-country is no excuse for not being fitnessey. Still, I did nothing but confess the fullness of my sins (and my belly) to My Fitness Pal. I’m pretty sure I could have squeezed 20 minutes out of the day to bust a move, but mostly I’m busting out of my pants after a enjoying a delightful brunch with the daughter of one of my best friends, and indulging in most of the snack cart on the airplane. Sit n’ Spin.
On the writerly front, Self-Respect abounds. I sent the first edited chapter of my first novel to three alpha readers. Yahooo!

Day Four – Sept 26th:
While explaining my crazy intention to hang tight with 100 Days of Self-Respect to a totally awesome client, I realized that transformation is fueled by commitment and commitment is the willingness to push past “procrastinatory feelings”. (Here’s a smart article on that, by the way, from Fast Company.) To that end, I got back to the hotel after a very full day of speaking and went right down to the creepy subterranean hotel gym to kick my procrastinatory feelings in the hind end. Fitnessey Self-Respect!
Writerly? Worked on this blog and decided I’ll post an update weekly, tagging #TransformationTuesday. Plus, I told on myself, and now folks are going to be looking for it. So, there’s that. Self-Respect!

Day Three – Sept 25th:
Hauled my hind end down to the creepy subterranean hotel gym and pretended like it was a fancy secret lair for elite athletes. Got my heart rate up and got back to my room by taking the stairs. Only 6 flights, but still Fitnessy Self-Respect.
Started this diary, along with notes for a blog post on what I’ll be doing for 100 Days of Self-Respect. Backtracked to see what I’d done to date. Decided to tell the truth. Writerly Self-Respect.

Day Two – Sept 24th:
Said yes to a lot of things I knew nothing about while tagging along with my number one inspiration crush for a workout. Evil Bobby from CrossFit South Metro let me push a sled up and down the parking lot. He put 50 pounds on it. Then he put 90 pounds on it for my “victory lap”. Later, I made friends with My Fitness Pal, which I have been giving the side-eye since I fell off the food wagon. Fitnessey Self-Respect!
Worked edits and character sketches of the first three chapters of my first novel. Had to get out of bed three times after lights out to add personality quirks…they’re becoming more real. Writerly Self-Respect!

Day One – Sept 23rd:
In the category of fitnessy I got a big honking X. The only heavy lifting I did consisted of shoveling two bowls of potato chips into my face while sitting in an airport bar. Sit n’ Spin.
In the category of writerly I nearly missed my plane for winning! Reengaged with the draft of my first novel and got some distance editing chapters 1 through 3. (While eating bowls of potato chips…does that mean these cancel out each other?) Self-Respect…I think. Maybe.
Day Eighty-four – Dec 15th:
I GOT TO GO BACK TO THE GYM!
Clad in my brand new celebratory Most Obnoxious Gym Outfit I threw a frenzied me at a number of assorted contraptions with abandon. Seventeen days since my last workout and I’m wound tighter than a….well, you can guess. About 30 minutes in, I felt like my heart might explode. I caught my worried expression in the mirror, confused and nearly deaf from the cardiac pounding. Neither exhilaration, nor exhaustion, but ADRENELINE.

Too much. The last two weeks have included, but not been limited to: Eight speaking engagements, seven sleepless nights, six client meetings, five busy airports, four crowded flights, three singing gigs, two rental cars, and one big birthday. Mine.

Time for tactical breathing.
In for four.
Hold for four.
Out for four.
Hold for four.
Times four.
(Thanks Mister Grossman!)

I calmed down, finished my workout, and considered…
Time has raced against itself these last two weeks, and so have I. Today is the first chunk of quiet time I’ve had since my last post.
Reflecting: Have I finished my award-winning novel or celebrated new business book? Nope. Did I summit the peak of my physical perfection? Nope.
Am I disappointed? Yep. A little bit on both counts.
As I look back, I realize these last two weeks have held more than the usual share of magic.
And I realize I respect myself for what I have done.

The eight speaking engagements were utterly delightful. Each audience uniquely engaged and discrete discoveries to be unearthed at every turn. Happy clients. Best next steps and promising future plans. Happy Deena.

One of the singing gigs with my beloved Jolly Holidays took us on a Flight to the North Pole with the Make-A-Wish Minnesota kids, courtesy of Sun Country Airlines. Everyone was happier than a sugarplum fairy! Volunteerism is good for anything that ails you.

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Caroling with the Make-A-Wish Minnesota kids
at Sun Country’s Flight to the North Pole!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was the leading favorite.

And I celebrated my birthday, which I usually do with days-long enthusiasm, and did so especially this year. Almost as much as I did when I was 2:

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Cake Faceplant!
Number 16 of #47ThingsILearned

Looking forward to digging into doing what I’m going to do with the rest of my days…

Days 64 thru 70

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~St. Francis of Assisi

Day Sixty-six – Nov 27th:
I ran a 10k and I did not die, even though I’m pretty sure nature was trying to kill me and the rest of the crazy fools who got up at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving to run in 15 below windchill.

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Zero degrees.
Feels like “what was I thinking when I signed up for a 10k?”
Chasing that turkey sammich…

The alarm hollered at 5:30 and I yanked on all the stuff I’d set out the night before: Neon yellow wear-these-or-your-feet-will-freeze socks. Two pair of running tights. Heat shirt. Heat sweatshirt. Heat overshirt. Down jacket. The other jacket I grabbed at the last minute, otherwise I surely would have perished. Neck gaiter. Wool hat. Propeller beanie. Gloves. Second-best gym shoes.

A mile in, my eyelashes froze to my face, just as my muscles were warming up. I blinked, weeping over what I’d done and not yet finished, trying to clear my vision. I looked up. Hills. I hadn’t thought there’d be hills. Looming. I almost said a bad word, but my brain stopped me.
“Hills,” said my brain, “This is what you’ve been training for. Those stacks of squats and umpteen burpees? Those are for kicking hill a**. Go get ’em.”

So I did. I wasn’t fast but I didn’t stop. I did it. And I didn’t die. I got a medal. And a banana. And a 45-minute shower when I got home. And a turkey sammich.
And a big hot helping of all-capital SELF-RESPECT.

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Winner winner turkey dinner!

In all candor, I spent the balance of the week being wildly grateful: Working hard on the job that I love, working out with abandon…happy that I’m healthy enough so to do, calling and connecting with friends and family, staying warm, and eating more turkey sandwiches. I’m not disappointed by my lack of diary entries, I was too busy living it up to write it all down.

Days 50 thru 56 AND Days 57 thru 63

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: When I set the bar just beyond the height I can jump, I end up surprising myself. I think I’ll put Sit n’ Spin in the corner for a while.

Day Sixty-three – Nov 24th:
Oh! Hi Holiday Overload! I think this challenge has let me set my own bar pretty high. I get just to the edge of spinning out of control when the timer rings and I realize it’s time to get ready for an early Italian Thanksgiving feast with two of my best men, since our family won’t be able to gather on Thursday due to distance and the unreasonable demands of the retail machine. Dinner is calm and yummy…we wore our best and said out loud what we’re grateful for. A welcome oasis.
Earlier this morning at the gym, I try a formerly impossible thing and crank out more proper pushups. Again, I’m so surprised, I stop. I could have done more. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
From a writerly perspective, I was considering giving up this blog and deleting the whole thing, afraid I couldn’t keep up. Now I’m slapping it together and posting it mostly unedited, because I’m not perfect, because I need a win, and because…Self-Respect.

Day Sixty-two – Nov 23rd and Day Sixty-one – Nov 22nd:
Much work. Much gym. Much taking care of people I love. Early to bed and early to rise. No noveling inspiration whatsoever, so I’m going where my enthusiasm is. I’d rather get loads of stuff done than stare at a blank page. I’m feeling Self-Respect and putting my Sit n’ Spin in the corner…I’m too busy.

Day Sixty – Nov 21st:
Much to my surprise, weighed in below my target weight today. Rewarded myself by getting up fantastically early and digging in to a client project so I can hit the gym. Fitnessey Self-Respect and writerly Sit n’ Spin. Because when I’m short of noveling words, I spend more time at the gym.

Day Fifty-nine – Nov 20th:
This morning I took a good look at myself in the bathroom mirror, and realized I couldn’t see me very well. I’d written a couple of motivating phrases there in sharpie lo these many weeks ago about minding my diet and being happier when I treat myself with self-respect. What with the toothpaste spit and hairspray and scribbles, I clearly haven’t had much time for cleaning. So I took one good look at my mantra, nodded, and scrubbed it off. Fresh perspective.
The Executive Coaching division Propellergirl is winding up nicely! Sessions today with a home-town favorite let us speak candidly about what we want – clarity is high on the list.
Clearly I need to carve out time for my writing. Work is wonderful and some days I feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. Sit n’ Spin on both writing and fitness today.
2° tonight, snow on the ground, and I spent the evening dressed in holiday best enjoying A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater with my dream date. I’m calling the holiday season a win and giving all y’all fair warning…I’m planning to be unapologetically festive for the next six or seven weeks.

Day Fifty-eight – Nov 19th:
Gym with all the gym for a fitness win. As a side note, I did 8 strict push-ups today. I surprised myself so much I stopped to think about what I was doing. Shouldn’t have stopped…might’ve done more.  Self-Respect.
The balance of the day was spent balancing client communications until well into the night. No writing – Sit n’ Spin – still winning.

Day Fifty-seven – Nov 18th:
Early speaking engagement! Long fast drive. Short flight. Late evening rehearsal. All of that goodness means Sit n’ Spin for writing and fitness.
In other news, I’m a nutball and just signed up for a Spartan OCR. Just a sprint, mind you, which I think a lot of Spartan beasts might poo-poo…still, throwing myself over fire and under barb wire for four miles is plenty challenging. I have just over 6 months to train. Impossible? I’m possible.

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Impossible? I’m POSSIBLE.

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: I can’t do everything, but I can do impossible things.

Day Fifty-six – Nov 17th:
Up in the air on the way to work with a great client. I haven’t got a workout in me today, and I’m tucked into bed after a great lot of travel before I remember I forgot to write. Double Sit n’ Spin.
Considering the concept of self-respect: I can’t do it all and I won’t quit. So I need to find a way to not get all fighty with myself when I’m inconsistent in my endeavors.

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I get so fighty with me sometimes.
Maybe I’ll stop badgering myself.

Day Fifty-five – Nov 16th and Day Fifty-four – Nov 15th:
No diary post… no words whatsoever for a dual Sit n’ Spin, but beastly workouts both of these days for Self-Respect in the fitness category.

Day Fifty-three – Nov 14th:
Most of my week has been spent doing impossible things, or things I have heretofore considered impossible. So…now I’m considering running a 10K on Thanksgiving. Because I’ve always considered a 10K impossible. I click the yes button. I’m committed (or should be, because this is crazy). Fitnessey Self-Respect. Eek.
No noveling.  Sit n’ Spin.  Eek.

Day Fifty-two – Nov 13th:
Impossibly long travel day, paperwork, work-work, rehearsal, and a dual Sit n’ Spin on writing and fitness.

Day Fifty-one – Nov 12th:
Today the impossible happened. Five 2-hour speaking engagements back-to-back. Without a fantastic flip team, a super co-star, and a stellar client, the whole thing would have been a great heaving disaster. I call the day a total win, even though writerly and fitnessy pursuits get a Sit n’ Spin.

Day Fifty – Nov 11th:
Uh oh! Halfway. Eeeek! Okay. I guess it’s time to stop whining and be honest.
I don’t know if I can do it all. But I do think I can achieve and be kind to myself simultaneously.
I realize I’m more aware of my health and pleased overall with my fitness progress (undaunted by a day of travel, I did my dips in the airport, much to the amusement of other travelers). Fitnessy Self-Respect.
Noveling continues to elude me, but I feel buoyed by the practice of daily writing and realize I’m producing more words overall than I have in months. Updating the blog regularly has been a great exercise and I invested two hours on the website tonight. Writerly Self-Respect.
Work has been wonderful over the last 50 days, capped off by a cross-country running-through-airports super-productive 15-hour-day. Tomorrow I have the blessing of a five keynotes for a favorite client. Lots of laughs on the horizon. Let’s see what the second half of this challenge brings.

Days 43 through 49

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Aristotle wrote: “Well begun is half done.” I say halfway begun is still undone.

Day Forty-nine – Nov 10th
Weather reporters in the Twin Cities are waving their hands in apoplexy, because snow threatens with a vengeance. I’m leaving tomorrow at dawn for some exciting speaking engagements, so I fix the website and tidy up the other halfway-done things. Except the writing. Sit n’ Spin.
Gym time happened very early, before the storm set in. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Forty-eight – Nov 9th
Today I hunker down and do all the household chores; that provides a clear mind so I can focus intensely on work next week. No gym. No novel. Double Sit n’ Spin, but a work win.

Day Forty-seven – Nov 8th
Who goes to the gym at the crack of dawn on a Saturday? Me. Fitnessey Self-Respect, but I cancel tomorrow’s workout before I overdo it.
The novel-writing is still undone. Sit n’ Spin. I don’t love me very much for that. I’m grateful for the close friends who make up my fan club and won’t let me give up on me. In a rush to get away from myself, I go outside on what threatens to be the last nice day of the year and install what may quite possibly be the ugliest holiday windowboxes in the Twin Cities. Plus, I step in rotten pumpkin. But they’re done. At least they’re done.

Day Forty-six – Nov 7th
I know I know I know! Write the book. Write the book. Write the book. I’m absolutely stalled, not a word. So instead I break my website, trying to install the rewrite, then put it back together. Halfway. Writerly Sit n’ Spin.
Worked out like a fiend. Feverishly. All this adrenaline has got to go somewhere. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Forty-five – Nov 6th
AlI want to do is go to the gym. At least there I know I know what to do and how to get it done. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
On all other forefronts I find myself frantic and only halfway finishing anything. I shake off the feeling of “wonky gyroscope” and focus on business writing – building website content – which seems remarkably easy. Still, I can’t give myself anything but a Sit n’ Spin for my writerly exploits. Desperately disappointed, but apparently not enough to novel.

Day Forty-four – Nov 5th:
Big workout. Much fitnessy Self-Respect.
Big planning for big work next week.
No writing (save for this blog post), so that earns me a Sit n’ Spin.
In truth, I’m spent. I don’t know if it’s falling back off Daylight Savings Time or getting back into the workout grove, but I’ve been leaning toward bed since dusk. I’m going to give my body and brain a recovery break and get some good sleep. I don’t think I could wrangle three fiction words into a fine line tonight. If I were NaNo-ing, I’d be ashamed of myself for going so far into the month with no words.

Day Forty-three – Nov 4th:
Super sore from getting back into the workout saddle yesterday and today is jam-packed with meetings, so I get a Double Sit n’ Spin in both writerly and fitnessy categories. But quite a lot of business got done, so I know I am not in stasis. And, I’ve made enough noise about the writing projects that people won’t let me forget my commitment. My boss, who originally challenged me to NaNoWriMo back in 1997, upped the ante today with a Ninja cup. I know. I know. Ninja on. Novel on.

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Drinking from the Ninja Cup.

Days 36 through 42

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Be prepared. Because you’re not going to be “ready”.

Day Forty-two – Nov 3rd:
Clad in a new Most Obnoxious Gym Outfit (On sale! Can’t imagine why no one else wanted the sartorial travesty that is this pair of pink and purple tights…) I did all of the things I wanted to and three I didn’t at the gym. This counts as training. Fitnessy Self-Respect.
My novel notes are all over the place from the last week, on the back of receipts and plane tickets, and most notably on the top of a Styrofoam leftover container. I spend enough time catching up on mission-critical client communication that I run out of time for personal writing projects. Writerly Sit n’ Spin.

Day Forty-one – Nov 2nd:
Home means laundry, leftovers, and lounge trousers. Using my extra hour and every minute of the day to recalibrate my compass star, I come to the realization that, although I wasn’t ready, I was prepared enough to be of good service in a bad situation. Self-Respect.

Day Forty – Nov 1st:
It’s been a long haul and I’m back home, hoping to gain some equilibrium after being thrown off-balance. Since the details of this minor disaster are a personal matter, I’ll let the matter rest with what I said to Reliable Young Person (a friend’s kid, a college freshman – no longer a kid, really – whom I esteem highly):
“I could give you the ring off my finger, the coat off my back, or the shoes off my feet, but I can never give you a better lesson than this:
Be prepared. Because you’re not going to be “ready”. You’re not going to be ready when life gives you something unexpected.
You’re not going to be ready for the tragedy, because tragedy sneaks up on us when we’re not looking. And it hits us from behind and it knocks us down.
When we’re prepared, we have our resources at hand. And our resources are made out of our tools and our training. In the midst of tragedy, we will default to the lowest level of our training. So train all the time. Train so that whatever you’re good at, you become better at. Train so that whatever you’re weak at becomes your strength.”

It hit us hard; the truth. It resonated enough that we cried until we could laugh. Then we had a pot of tea and I made my way home to figure where to go from here.

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Laughing at disaster…
and grateful to have been able to lend a hand.

Day Thirty-nine – Oct 31st:
No entry.

Day Thirty-eight – Oct 30th:
No entry.

Day Thirty-seven – Oct 29th:
No entry.

Day Thirty-six – Oct 28th:
No entry.

Days 29 through 35

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Be willing to laugh your ass off and prepared to handle disaster.

Day Thirty-five – Oct 27th:
No entry.

Day Thirty-four – Oct 26th:
No entry.

Day Thirty-three – Oct 25th:
Today was the kind of banner day that made me forget all of the things I was supposed to track. My hair turned out great. I did fun things with a favorite person. I celebrated a cherished anniversary and reflected on a life-altering milestone.
On the flip side, I forgot to log anything in My Fitness Pal and broke my winning streak. I might’ve written, but I neglected to take notes on what that might’ve been. I think I made a nod at fitness, but I can’t quite recall…
… because early the morning of Day 34, things go wrong enough that I need to take a few day off – as if stapling pages in my diary shut – turning my respect outward to focus on others. Preparedness builds over a lifetime for the unexpected that happens overnight. I’m grateful for a strong foundation.

Day Thirth-two – Oct 24th:
Hi Burpees! I know you thought I wouldn’t see you, hiding over there in the corner. Wrong. I see you. I’m coming for you. Bring your buddies Squats and Pushups. I’m happy to wrassle the three of you while I’m waiting for everyone else to shower up.
Squeezing projects in between the time I’m spending immersed in holiday is absolutely fine. I enjoyed a leisurely and companionable stroll today before banging out the burpees in private. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
I added twenty-seven words to the novel manuscript, which counts as a writerly Sit n’ Spin, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I know that I know I need to finish this project, as evidenced by the nightmare I had last night, inspired by professional jealousy over respected friend Alyson Grauer’s beautiful trailer for her new book On The Isle of Sound and Wonder. In the dream, Aly was blythe and merry, getting dressed for her interview on Oprah, and I was sloshing around in hot water, trying to do the leftover laundry. I think that interprets pretty clearly as “get busy”! (PS – Read Aly’s book!)

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Ecstatic author face!
Writerly wunderkind Aly Grauer flashes her newest book!

Day Thirty-one – Oct 23rd:
Today marks the beginning of a holiday. At the end of a full day of travel, I realize I’m not prepared for managing my two measurable categories of Self-Respect while “getting away from it all”. It occurs to me that I’ve accomplished tasks in the last 30 days while still treating myself wretchedly. I wonder if I can treat myself respectfully on days I miss my measurable mark. Hmmm.
I did not carve out even five minutes for burpees today. Fitnessy Sit n’ Spin.
I did manage to type 234 words. Writerly Self-Respect. Kind of.

Day Thirty – Oct 22nd:
If my deadly sin is pride, I’ll meet Saint Peter wearing the ludicrously itty bitty gym shorts I wore today. I’m sure it’s already in my file. Since I did not share last week the most terrible awful photo of me from way back when I had given up on myself and was miserable, I thought I’d not share today the totally awesome ridiculous self-absorbed selfie I took in the glute-buster outfit. But I got a dare… so I did… and got enthusiastic feedback. And I am marvelously happy to be on a better fitness path. Tried on the sad pants, they made me laugh. Great work out. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
Packed a lot into the rest of the day, including rehearsal and closet-purging and packing. Not one word written. Not. A. One. Writerly Sit n’ Spin.

Day Twenty-nine – Oct 21st:
Since napping is apparently not my thing and last week was wonky, I level up and prescribe myself laughter this week. Primarily because of this video. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, imagine what a regular dose of belly laugh can do for one’s esteem, productivity, and self-respect.
Yesterday I had the honor of being styled for the upcoming speaking and travel speaking by fashion entrepreneur and stunning success Laine Sou Weinberg at KOKOON. Things fit. Nicely! I blame the burpees. Fitnessey Self-Respect and some super-cute things to wear on stage. That victory fueled today’s workout at the gym. I was nice to nice people and they were nice back. I’m pleased with the evidence that working out works.
I have my stack of novel notes, but no inspiration. I decide to give myself a break from the computer (other than this diary update). Instead, I get many long-overdue chores done and have a couple of fun phone calls with neglected friends. World Class Boyfriend came over and made me laugh. Really hard. Just what the doctor ordered. Taking a writerly Sit n’ Spin, but calling the day a win!

Days 22 through 28

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: I am my own worst critic, naps turn me into a petulant toddler, and I can change at any time.

Day Twenty-eight – Oct 20th:
Golly wow. This was a rough week and I’m certain the obstacles were of my own doing. In reflection, I return to Matt’s original query:

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
If you could make good on something you’ve neglected over the past year, what would you do?
If you could dramatically increase the progress of a project, why not do it
now?

My current perspective is that self-respect has as much to do with personal kindness as it does project completion. I’ve been better in both categories at other times than I was this week. I’m not interested in changing anything about myself, per se, more enhancing my more positive aspects. I’m still focused toward making good on my writerly and fitnessy commitments (Self-Respect in both of those categories today, by the way) so I’ll give myself a pep talk and forge forward into next week. It’s nice to have a chronological dividing line. I do believe I can change at any time. Now would be just fine.
PS – 600 burpess month to date. I’m a beast.

Day Twenty-seven – Oct 19th:
Twelve hours of sleep. Fresh writing ideas (whilst in the shower, of course) and I get most of them roughed in, if not finessed. Writerly Self-Respect. I’ve started carrying a notebook everywhere, except the shower.
Instead of gym time I opt for kitty therapy. I got to hold kittens, pet kittens, kiss kittens, and be reminded that even though the week left me feeling unbalanced – like a soggy load in an out-of-whack washing machine – all is right with the world when a kitty decides to like you enough to fall asleep in your arms. I’ll take the fitnessy Sit n’ Spin; it was worth it.

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Kitty therapy.

Day Twenty-six – Oct 18th:
1:37 is a dumb time to wake up, especially on the heels of a sleepless night. I’m absolutely beside myself, still woefully out of balance, so I write. I’ll call it Self-Respect, but it feels more like desperate desolation. I finally exhaust at 5:30, and go back to sleep for two hours of nightmares. Yay.
For running on little and low-quality sleep, I have plenty of energy. Massive workout at the gym. Long walk with a friend. Two hours in the yard putting summer back into storage. Fitnessey Self-Respect, I hope it’s enough to tire me out so I can sleep. At least I’m not isolating.

Day Twenty-five – Oct 17th:
I wake up still in a fight with myself, put on Most Obnoxious Gym Outfit and take me to the gym where I force me to do burpees. Then I fling the battle ropes around like a wrinkled sheet. I’ve never had the nerve to pick up the battle ropes before, I’ll probably be sore tomorrow. I do a bunch of other stuff until I stink and I’m no longer in a foul mood. I call a friend on the way home. I realize I’ve isolated and been pulling emotional punches for a few weeks. I tell the truth and enjoy being heard. I decide to try to get over my bad self. Fitnessey Self-Respect.
Since I’ve been babbling publicly on about writing, it seems like everyone wants me to help them. I fix a friend’s resume and write a recommendation. I’m too awake for a nap, so I read the napping article again, and realize I’ve been doing it wrong. Too long and too late in the day. I decide to skip it. I open up the novel and enjoy some writerly Self-Respect in the spare time I have before a dinner date with an Alpha reader. We cover the whole paper tablecloth with novel notes. Back home I tumble into bed and… stare at the ceiling. Now it’s 1:37 a.m. In the morning. Officially tomorrow.

Day Twenty-four – Oct 16th:
Wow. I don’t like me very much this morning. I think it might be fun to post a photo for Throwback Thursday and I cast back to 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007. Not a flattering time for me. I roll around in self-pity for an hour before abandoning the idea. From there I slog through a number of snafus including a major bank error and several exploding inkjet cartridges. I wear gym clothes but can’t go to the gym. I receive a text from World-Class Boyfriend telling me to, ‘Carpe diem, then wrassle that f-er to the ground and make it cry!’ which should invigorate me but just makes me mad, embarrassed that I’m not doing better. I throw a tantrum by aggressively not writing a single word on my novel. I take a long, unsatisfying nap to make up for last night’s three hours of sleep. Overall, I suck at today. I go back to TBT photos, post one from a very embarrassing time in my life, and nearly bore myself to death with myself. Double whammy Sit n’ Spin.

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The one game we all play.
Click the photo for more Allie Brosh brilliance.

Day Twenty-three – Oct 15th:
Today and tomorrow are mandatory “no gym” days. I have a doctor’s note and everything. I’m perturbed, so I try a few pushups. No go. I also eat the wrong things. At least My Fitness Pal and I are on speaking terms. Still, I get a fitnessy Sit n’ Spin.
The napping seems to be a good idea. A short one, midday gets me on track with writing and I flesh out last night’s chapter per a wise suggestion from an Alpha. Writerly Self-Respect. Dinner with a friend gives me some interesting perspective for an upcoming chapter. Inspiration is everywhere, I just need to look further than the flat thing.

Day Twenty-two – Oct 14th:
Last night, on the verge of sleep, I decided insomnia is boring. So I’m going to do it differently this week. I’m going to bring back the tried-and-tested 20-minute sprint, in both writing and napping. Yep. I’m going to try naps this week. Here is an article via Forbes about taking naps. Don’t judge. It’s science. I’m going to try it. We’ll see.
At the gym, my lack of sleep catches up with me and so does one of my favorite coaches, Steve Zahn. He assigns me – you’ll never guess – sprints. Fitnessey Self-Respect and uncanny coincidence.
Back home, I clean up and then TAKE A NAP. Then I write, attempting to get back in the habit of 20-minutes sprints. It takes several hours to get chapter six in the bag, but it’s in. Sent to Alpha readers. Going to bed. Writerly Self-Respect.

Days 15 through 21

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Insomnia is trying to tell me something. Take good notes. Then get up and do stuff.

Day Twenty-One – Oct 13th:
More nightmares. Less sleep. I’m on adrenaline overdrive. I am surrounded by little scribbles in notepads, on old receipts, on the back of airline tickets. Terrified to lose ideas, I stack them on the kitchen table, under the fruit bowl. Overwhelmed, I go to the gym for a break from the writing. Worn out, I write for a break from the gym.
While extremely productive on both forefronts (and I’m proud to say I busted out my first strict pushup today) I’m getting weird(er) without a balancing amount of social interaction. I give myself Self-Respect in both categories for the day and send up flares to a friend, asking for an early supper and some human interaction. Afterward, I feel more like me.
Kicking it into gear and getting familiar with my night owl self, I decide to finish up this blog post now so I can surprise myself that it’s already done tomorrow morning. Giving myself a break (as you might notice if you are actually spying on my diary) on proper sentence structure. shifting tense, and syntax.

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Kicking it into high gear and getting familiar with my night owl self.
“March on Peeps” by Linda Clayton

Day Twenty – Oct 12th:
Yesterday evening, after a couple of big wins, I kicked it into high gear, hitting an anniversary party and a jazz-singing gig that run late into the night. Once I finally settled into bed well past midnight, I stared at the ceiling, realizing I’ve had nightmares three nights running.
Another nightmare woke me up this morning. At the gym I wandered around like a rather sporty fitnessy zombie and did all the stuff. Self-Respect, except I’m so tired I’m having a tough time remembering my own name.
To ameliorate that, I obliged myself to do a thing that wasn’t anything about extreme-burpees or weeping-noveling… a couple of hours outside gave me fresh perspective and newly decorated window-boxes.
Back inside, I hunkered down and wrote; an eye-wateringly dull pro-forma, an overdue favor. Apparently I’ve established a reputation as a writer, and I needed to make good on the commitment. From there, more late-night noveling. Writerly Self-Respect.

Day Nineteen – Oct 11th:
Mostly pretty much totally on fire with the noveling. To the point that I’m having a tough time interacting with real humans. Up early, rapid prototyping coffee ingestion, experienced a breakthrough that left me happy-weeping, then went back in. I think a good four solid hours in the noveling chair. Somewhere in there, the end of the book wrote itself. Sent a complete consecutive chapter 5 to my alpha readers, and got enthusiastic feedback. Writerly Self-Respect.
At the gym, I remembered that penalty for skipping an obstacle in an OCR is burpees. The penalty for skipping burpees is… burpees. 60 of ‘em. Which I did. And I did not die. They were ugly, but I did ‘em. And then I did the rest of my workout. Glad I finished in time to turn myself into a glamor-puss; I’ve got two soirees tonight. Took a risk and tried a very fitted dress from a favorite boutique, Local Motion. It fit. I love burpees. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Eighteen – Oct 10th:
Why oh why did I have to say insomnia? Here’s how it’s going today: Sleep five fitful hours, get up before dawn, write nonstop for four hours, perched on the three dollar garage sale chair. Writerly Self-Respect.  A zillion ideas are fluttering through my brain. I scribble myself a note to get a notebook so I have a place to scribble my notes.  Go take a shower and race into the first appointment of the day…
Appointments eat up the hours and I say “no way” to the gym late in the day. I even skip burpees. I’m going to hate that tomorrow. Fitnessy Sit n’ Spin.  Instead I accept an invitation to a bonfire with a bestie. Because… sometimes balance looks like s’mores and talking about boys.

Day Seventeen – Oct 9th:
Bwa ha ha! I laugh at me. After being all smug about making the most of my insomnia, I slept a rock solid 12 hours last night, barely able to make it past sunset before I crawled into bed. I guess that means I’m getting better at listening to my body, which this morning says “Ouch! More burpees?” Yes. Let’s do that. But not until after I sit at the computer for a rock solid 7 hours working on client events. THEN to the gym for a vigorous workout, because I’m a human gyroscope I can’t calm down. By the time I get back to the computer to write properly, it’s 9:30 p.m. and I haven’t had a shower yet. Choosing between Sit n’ Spin and stink…I choose stink. Hoping to get in a few good words before a bath and bed, I ended up writing for a good solid 90 minutes and dominating a tough chapter. Double up on Self-Respect, fitnessy and writerly. And exhausted.

Day Sixteen – Oct 8th:
The big hubbub: there will be a ‘rare blood moon’ early this morning. Compelled to see it, the alarm was set for 4:20. I was already awake, waiting. I got out the binoculars, and even though it was far away, behind a tree, it took my breath away. Great inspiration for the pivotal chapter I’ve been chewing on but not knowing how to do. Which got done. Inspired by the eclipse. Bam. Writerly Self-Respect and a new perspective on insomnia. If I’m awake – thinking – I should get up and do something with the ideas.
From there, I went to the gym, feeling a little low on energy and sapped of inspiration. But a few steps in I got my adrenaline rush and a solid workout. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Fifteen – Oct 7th:
Today I decided to be kind to myself. It was just the simple idea that remained floating around in my brain after a couple of sleepless nights second-guessing. So I went to the gym early and enjoyed a nice long workout with grown-up girl burpees. Then I opened up the computer and dumped my dose of adrenaline in word form for quite a lot of novel-y goodness. Fitnessy and writerly Self-Respect.

Days 8 through 14

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: Life is an OCR. You can skip a challenge, but then you’re stuck with the burpees.

Day Fourteen – October 6th:
Golly WOW! I did 30 burpees today! Not all at once, and they were the scaled-down version, but I felt so gosh-darn mighty I stayed at the gym and did a bunch of other stuff for 90 minutes. I’m giddy! I was having so much fun, I forgot to pay any attention to the gym bully, who in the past I’ve let chase me away. I have a new mantra: May you kick so much a** today, that you wear out your socks. Fitnessey Self-Respect!
Back at the computer, I decided to delve into the old CDs I unearthed a month or so ago, hoping one of them would have the lost chapters from my novel. Third one in, reward! Somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000 words I though were long gone. Edited for 5 hours. Now working on this blog post. I call that a big dose of writerly Self-Respect! Happy to finish this segment strong.

Day Thirteen –  Oct 5th:
Today I took my fitnessey self down the street to watch the amazingly inspiring wheeler racers and runners in the Twin Cities Marathon. It was gosh-darn chilly, so I did my jump squats right while waiting for the first group to arrive at our mile marker. A fellow cheerleader was kind enough to snap a photo of me, so I have evidence. Evidently, people are starting to notice I’m doing this 100 Day Challenge and are asking about it. Can’t quit now! People know! Fitnessy Self-Respect!
Getting writerly right now, putting together these diary notes. Note to self – skipping days is silly. It’s like skipping a challenge on an obstacle course race and having to do burpees instead. Write every day for Self-Respect!

Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Kinda. Sorta.

Day Twelve – Oct 4th:
Yay with all the YAY! I got to go back to my proper gym today! Mine mine mine mine MINE! I love my gym. Lifetime. I used everything and did my best to figure out how to do strict pushups. Fitnessey Self-Respect!
No work on writing of any kind, so I get another writerly Sit n’ Spin. Did have dinner with a dear friend, and we talked about the novel arc. She had some great ideas and we waved our hands around a lot and cackled and I took some notes.

Day Eleven – Oct 3rd:
Today I traveled back across the country: getting lost in the rental return parking garage, running through airports, sitting in the middle seat, and arguing with the taxi driver about which house was mine. (I was right.) Then I brushed off the Road Warrior dust, put on a dress, and went to a charity benefit. Much fun was had, much of it by me, but no writing was done, so that earns me a writerly Sit n’ Spin.
I did, however, have the presence of mind to crank out my fitnessey stuff in the morning before the mad travel dash. Squat thrusts… 10 sets of 10 to the YouTube viddy of David Hasselhoff’s Hooked on a Feeling…because why not? Self-Respect!

Day Ten – Oct 2nd:
Since I’m on the other side of the country, sure it makes sense to get up early. To do a hundred half-burpees. Which a week ago would’ve seemed ridiculous and now seems regular. So, there’s that. Dominated the fantastically small hotel gym and told the world by tweeting and instagramming it. Fitnessy Self-Respect FTW.
Spent the bulk of the day with aforementioned highly esteemed and much-adored client. Since I’ve been blogging again, I was able to point them to new thought leaders I’m following. That felt awesome! Writerly Self-Respect! Now it’s quite late and I’m going to take a turn around the novelling dance floor…which got me a few well-edited words on Chapter Five, but not much more.

Day Nine – Oct 1st:
Apparently four-o-you’ve-got-to-be-kidding is when my brain decided writerly Self-Respect started this morning, because it got me up to work on my novel. I tried to ignore it, but it kept giving me interesting word combinations. I know from previous glaring memory gaps, if I don’t commit those to manuscript, I’ll forget. So I got up early, got coffee is brewing and chapter five percolating.
Today was a fly-cross-country day, so that happened. Then I dominated the hotel gym and made good on my intention to throw myself headlong into the October Spartan 30-days-of-burpees torture tutorial. The challenge leader, Coach Casey, is adorable, so I think I’ll have fun with that in spite of myself. Ate a salad the size of my head and got back to chapter five. Got some surprisingly good words. Yay me. Fitnessy Self-Respect.

Day Eight – Sept 30th:
Today I flexed my blog muscles! Two posts that got slathered all over Twitter and LinkedIn. Boy howdy, that felt good. I forgot (since my last blog post was all the way back in February) that I’d figured out how to do it mostly the way I want most of the time. Don’t know why I stayed away so long. Silly Propellergirl. Writerly Self-Respect.
The bulk of the day was spent running about, readying myself for a speaking engagement for a long-time client with whom I’m fantastically excited to reconnect. Since I take them seriously, I’m taking my time to be exquisitely prepared. Which means I didn’t take time for the gym. Waved the barbells around in the basement a bit while I was unintentionally shrinking my new sweater in the laundry. Made wise food choices and have kept up honest nutrition data on My Fitness Pal, but am desperately missing a full workout. Lower-case fitnessey self-respect.

Days 1 through 7

Transformation Tuesday Takeaway: When I do stuff, stuff gets done.
I was able to push past all manner of daunting obstacles, including a wicked paper-cut. 6000 solid words on the novel edit and I’m more intentional about my physical wellbeing.

Day Seven – Sept 29th:
Up early to work with a client and I’ve been single-mindedly focused on that all day. Now I realize I need to tidy up this post so I can have it ready for tomorrow. Many of the “ah-ha! moments” I’ve had in the last week are turning into analogous conversations with the clients I serve. So… that’s Self-Respect and serving others in one fell swoop. Sadly, no time to be writerly on my novel today. Most of the way through the day, and miles to go…squeezing out this progress update is the best I’ve got. Still, not giving up.
Speaking of miles to go, there is no way I can squeeze in the visit to the gym I so desperately crave today. So I’m going to go downstairs right now and wrangle the decrepit weight set that’s sitting in the creepy basement. An itty bitty fitnessy win at the the outset, but I gave up halfway when the phone rang. Sit n’ Spin.

Day Six – Sept 28th:
Words woke me up several times in the night, so I wasn’t surprised to be excited to sit down at the kitchen table and start banging away. Even with a nasty paper cut on the fourth finger of my right hand that at other times might’ve gotten me off the hook. Looking at clock, I can see I’ve been writerly for the better part of five hours. Sent edited chapters 2, 3, and 4 to alpha readers. Self-Respect! Forcing myself to go outside and be fitnessey, because it’s pretty…I’m back! Jogged around the lake. It was sweet! Body and brain refreshed for more writing. Self-Respect!

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Pushing past the paper-cut and pounding out the novel.

Day Five – Sept 27th:
Traveling cross-country is no excuse for not being fitnessey. Still, I did nothing but confess the fullness of my sins (and my belly) to My Fitness Pal. I’m pretty sure I could have squeezed 20 minutes out of the day to bust a move, but mostly I’m busting out of my pants after a enjoying a delightful brunch with the daughter of one of my best friends, and indulging in most of the snack cart on the airplane. Sit n’ Spin.
On the writerly front, Self-Respect abounds. I sent the first edited chapter of my first novel to three alpha readers. Yahooo!

Day Four – Sept 26th:
While explaining my crazy intention to hang tight with 100 Days of Self-Respect to a totally awesome client, I realized that transformation is fueled by commitment and commitment is the willingness to push past “procrastinatory feelings”. (Here’s a smart article on that, by the way, from Fast Company.) To that end, I got back to the hotel after a very full day of speaking and went right down to the creepy subterranean hotel gym to kick my procrastinatory feelings in the hind end. Fitnessey Self-Respect!
Writerly? Worked on this blog and decided I’ll post an update weekly, tagging #TransformationTuesday. Plus, I told on myself, and now folks are going to be looking for it. So, there’s that. Self-Respect!

Day Three – Sept 25th:
Hauled my hind end down to the creepy subterranean hotel gym and pretended like it was a fancy secret lair for elite athletes. Got my heart rate up and got back to my room by taking the stairs. Only 6 flights, but still Fitnessy Self-Respect.
Started this diary, along with notes for a blog post on what I’ll be doing for 100 Days of Self-Respect. Backtracked to see what I’d done to date. Decided to tell the truth. Writerly Self-Respect.

Day Two – Sept 24th:
Said yes to a lot of things I knew nothing about while tagging along with my number one inspiration crush for a workout. Evil Bobby from CrossFit South Metro let me push a sled up and down the parking lot. He put 50 pounds on it. Then he put 90 pounds on it for my “victory lap”. Later, I made friends with My Fitness Pal, which I have been giving the side-eye since I fell off the food wagon. Fitnessey Self-Respect!
Worked edits and character sketches of the first three chapters of my first novel. Had to get out of bed three times after lights out to add personality quirks…they’re becoming more real. Writerly Self-Respect!

Day One – Sept 23rd:
In the category of fitnessy I got a big honking X. The only heavy lifting I did consisted of shoveling two bowls of potato chips into my face while sitting in an airport bar. Sit n’ Spin.
In the category of writerly I nearly missed my plane for winning! Reengaged with the draft of my first novel and got some distance editing chapters 1 through 3. (While eating bowls of potato chips…does that mean these cancel out each other?) Self-Respect…I think. Maybe.

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