My Lenten Challenge

Yes, I know Lent technically started yesterday, but being on time with posts is NOT my challenge.

I grew up in a very Catholic household, that over the years, grew less and less so. I would not consider myself a practicing Catholic. I’m not even a Christmas and Easter Catholic. Judge as you will. I have my own spiritual relationship with God, and choose not to define it through specific church doctrines. Again, judge as you will.

That being said, the idea of challenging myself to do something for 40 days is always exciting. I’ve done many a challenge, whether it be a running streak, yoga streak, no meat, no dairy, no grains, no soda… Well you get the idea.

This year, I’m pledging a couple of things that will improve my being:
– No eating candy. Candy is a huge weakness for me, but in most cases, I find I’m not any happier after eating than I was before. Cookies and cupcakes, still in play. Candy, you’re out of here.

No skipping training. I’ve found myself using excuses too often recently, and if I want to achieve my goals, I have to stop doing that. So, I’m not allowed to skip any scheduled training. I can adjust if necessary, such as scaling back on speed or distance if I’m not feeling well or feeling off, but I have to get out there. Also, if I really do need a day off on an on day, I can adjust my days. Tuesdays are really tough run days for me because I’m on the road every week, and am going for 12-14 hours straight. Sometimes, I may have to adjust.

Control my thoughts. I’ve been finding myself getting really angry, I mean very, very angry, much more often than I’ve ever experienced. It’s not okay. In some cases I need to just accept what I can’t change, in others, I need to put steps in place to ensure things don’t ever get to that point.

Not so simple, but important things to make changes to my life for the better.


16 thoughts on “My Lenten Challenge

  1. I’ve taken a similar challenge, except with chocolate instead of candy! 🙂 Ugh, this is actually going to be a challenge. It’ll be the longest I’ve gone without chocolate in possibly a decade 😐

    PS. I linked to your blog post on Lent, in my blog post on Lent, which I’m now mentioning in this comment…so I’m not sure how that’ll affect the loop of links, maybe it’ll blow up :-S It’s this infinite loop of Lent linking!

  2. I think this sounds realistic and great. I am not catholic so we don’t give anything up but I would probably have to give up chocolate. Don’t know if I could do it!

  3. During the winter when I only ran one day a week and wasn’t training for anything, I found myself getting a lot angrier and more tempermental than usual. December and January were brutal months for me emotions-wise! I chalked that up to buying our first home, packing, and moving, but I’m not sure that’s all it was. Now that I’m back in full-swing training for my half marathon, I have found that my emotions are on a much more even keel. I’ve had some really challenging students in my classes this semester (I mentor HS students and teach at a local community college) and I used to get bent out of shape over this type of stuff, but now I find myself handling everything much better and not even getting the slightest bit angry anymore. I wonder if the two are connected?

  4. I am not going to wish you luck, but rather success….it takes work to make something happen. I gave up artificial sweeteners…..seems easy enough but many products contain them. Hopefully I rid my system of all those nasty chemicals!

    1. Thanks, Pam!! That sounds like a great challenge. I’ve been able to get myself off everything but stevia, which (at least for now) is the least bad. I probably should try easing myself off of all sweeteners, at some point.

  5. I like this idea of focusing on improving yourself rather than giving something up.

    And I have the same problem with anger and I found it’s gotten worse since I’ve been going to yoga less over the past few months. It’s definitely something I need to work on and not only accepting that I can’t change some things, but after that letting it go rather than allow it to continue to bother me.

    1. I feel like it is a better version of the intent of Lent, and, in reality, these are things I need to work on, so why not use this as an opportunity to focus on them.

      And yes, the letting it go piece is the hardest. Just tonight, something happened at work, and I said to myself no less than 10 times “I’m done with this” and yet kept finding myself coming back to it. That has to stop 😊

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