celebrating all of your achievements (giveaway)

Posted on Jun 12, 2012 in Fitness

When I first set out to join the Under Armour What’s Beautiful campaign, I was deep in the midst of a hiking kick.

I was having fun, I was loving seeing the countryside, and I was loving the sense of accomplishment I got with every mile I completed. So, naturally, I set my goal to be a hiking related—to hike 100 miles before the end of 2012.

But now that we are headed toward the end of the What’s Beautiful challenge, I feel like I’ve finally wrapped my brain around the real and true meaning behind the challenge. While the method for the challenge is fitness, it isn’t really about cardio, weight-lifting or sweating.

It’s about empowerment. It’s about confidence. It’s about emotional, physical and mental strength. It’s about giving women the permission to be everything and anything they want to be.

Ready for a bit of honesty? I haven’t gotten that from hiking, but I did get it from something else.

As you know, a couple weeks ago, I completed a 39.3 mile breast cancer walk*. And it was everything What’s Beautiful is about. Every size, shape, age, color and ability took those steps, one at a time.

Honestly, it never occurred to me that just walking would ever be that big of a challenge. I’m relatively fit, I walk a lot, but by the time I hit mile 20 on the first day, and every step hurt, I knew I was going to have to pull from somewhere deeper to finish. It was about so much more than how strong my thighs were. It was about how strong my resolve was.

It was everything that I was hoping to get out of What’s Beautiful (and hoping you’d get out of it, too).

These women weren’t picture perfect fitness models. Many of them would never complete a triathlon. Few of them did crossfit, kettlebells or ran sprints for fun.

These were just women who picked a cause and decided it was bigger than them and committed fully to the charge. It was a group of 3,000 “average” women doing something completely extraordinary.

I saw women with both feet completely wrapped in gauze because of blisters…still walking. I talked to a women who pulled both her calf muscles at mile 12 on the first day…still walking. I saw a women who had broken both her legs the weekend before and her friend was there to push her in a wheelchair…still walking.

The truth is, I’m not sure I’ve stepped a foot on the trails in the past few weeks. And while that may seem like a total failure in relation to my original goal, I feel like the complete opposite. I feel like I unlocked the box that held the true meaning behind being empowered, and I think sometimes you have to step back from your original goal, analyze what happened, and really celebrate the achievements you did make. And boy, this was an achievement.

I’m not tossing my 100 hiking miles out the window, of course. I still want to hit the trails, see my state and experience nature with my favorite Canadian boy and fluffy puppy. But for now, my focus is a lot more about celebrating the empowerment and continuing the momentum I feel.

*Worth noting, I did all 15 hours of walking in head-to-toe Under Armour gear. It didn’t slip. It didn’t chafe. It kept me dry and comfortable. Yes, this post is sponsored by Under Armour, but after spending almost 40 miles in UA gear, I’d sing it’s praises even if I wasn’t in a partnership with them. Such high-quality, comfortable and cute gear.

Giveaway

Didn’t win the $500 gift card last time around? Well, lucky for you, Under Armour is feeling really generous and is giving away another 500 buck-a-roos to use online or in store. Nice people, eh?

To get entered, all you have to do is answer one question:

How do you keep motivated to achieve your personal fitness goals?

Here are the deets you need to know:

  • No duplicate comments.
  • You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion, including exactly the following unique terms in your tweet message: ì#whatsbeautifulî ì#sweepstakesî; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post. To comply with FTC Guidelines (see http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm), entrantsí blog posts must disclose that they are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post.

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

  • Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household.
  • This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
  • The Official Rules are available here.
  • This sweepstakes runs from 6/12-6/30.

Be sure to visit Under Armour’s page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersí posts!

Disclaimer

As you probably guessed, this blog post is sponsored by Under Armour in conjunction with BlogHer. All views expressed are my own.