Wow. So much has happened since I last wrote anything here. In October, my dad almost died twice (from an initially misdiagnosed abdominal aneurysm and then from the aftermath effects of coiling the artery, which cut off all blood flow to the liver). When I got back to work and life in November, we were in the midst of my craziest time of year at work–planning Disciple Now for January, not to mention the busyness that comes along with the holiday season generally. As always, God was so good and faithful to pull me through and pour Himself out during the event in a big way.

Post D-Now is always a bit hard for me, and with all the emotional trauma I had experienced during Dad’s scare, I knew I was going to have to hit it hard with some old fashioned exercise and detoxing. (Of course, this would be in addition to monitoring my food a bit more carefully, and making time for those green smoothies again–if you know me you know life is busy when I haven’t had my smoothie!)

Enter Slique in 60, a challenge to wellness put out by Young Living. Buy a couple months of products (that I want to use anyway) to support my wellness, use them, and get tips for living a healthy lifestyle weekly…sounds good! Check! Signed up for that, and started Jan 9.

Enter Cottonwood’s Chase Pastor John Mark Chellenge Jan 22. Here was my thought process for entering this challenge: “Well, I’m already in the Slique challenge, and I’ve already decided to step it up for that, plus I should support it anyway as a Cottonwood staff person, and I do already have a tracker……I don’t have to go crazy over it, but maybe I can stay in top 20 if I do like 15,000 steps a day…I guess it’s a win win situation, right?” Yeah, that all sounded good and reasonable. Haha!

Little did I know that during that first 6 days I would hit 20 thousand steps in a day and would average above 16 thousand daily! The big turning point didn’t come until that Sunday (day 7 of 38 in the challenge) though, when our assistant to the children’s pastor walked past me and very casually said that he was coming for me. Well, that was it. Game on. I had been working hard not to let my naturally competitive nature take over, but the following weeks proved that turning off that side of me is much easier said than done.

On February 4, I hit 40,000 steps a day.

On February 8, I hit 58,000.

On February 11, I hit 66,000 to claim first place!

On February 25, I hit 70,000 steps. (This was an effort to reclaim the highest steps per day in the challenge record, which I believe still stands. :-))

This morning, the challenge roster was officially closed to anyone who had not synced the last day (February 28), and results are now final. Ryan Solt (my children’s ministry counterpart) and I ended up tying for #FIRSTplace! Several other friends did really well too!

Now before you start giving me grief about why we tied, hear me out. I am not a runner in any way, shape, or form. I have never participated in any athletic challenge in my entire life, other than running a couple 5Ks where I was in it to be with friends more than to actually win. Believe me when I say, there is NO WAY ON EARTH that I would have made it to first place without Ryan pushing me there all the way to the end. He got sick, I got sick, he had shin splints, I hurt an ankle and had about a million blisters…but the point is, we made it to the top together, and we had so much support from others along the way as well! (If you think you’re seeing a lesson here, you are.)

There’s also the fact that if we hadn’t agreed to tie we probably would have both ended up with multiple injuries. #competitivemuch 😉

But really, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this whole experience, it is that WE CAN DO SO MUCH MORE THAN WE THINK WE CAN. It just takes someone to call it out in us and to walk (or run!) with us on our way there. Sometimes, the potential we see in someone else may be completely unrealized by them as of yet–so give them time, but don’t give up on them. You never know when you might just awaken a part of someone that they didn’t even know existed.

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